It’s Been a Wild Year… Already!

Hands up if 2019 has taken you by surprise already! It certainly has me and, for a change, not all in a bad way…

Year after year I have set out with good intentions, only to find that something knocks me off track. Usually before January closes to be frank…

A path through the woods covered with snow on a cloudy day.
January… The winter of Soul?

It’s not that I don’t have the intention or the will. Something always happens and my consistency takes a knock. Usually, it has something to do with my unpredictable health. Once that happens, the good ol’ feelings of failure finish off their sabotage attempt. In the past, it’s been my health, my brain, my kid’s health, even Brexit (that’s a good story, go on, ask me). Year after year the frustration rose and I piled on more and more layers to smother my self-esteem.

Then as this year began, I was able to make a fundamental shift in how I look at my life. I identified the ONE thing that was a part of me and yet I was not acknowledging.

Unpredictability.

With at least three chronic conditions, you’d think I’d have noticed that setting a plan in stone is a no-go, right? But no!

Part of my struggle is something called context blindness (it’s a thing. Look it up here). You can know the steps needed to solve problems but you are unable to recognise when to take those steps.

It can look like: ‘Oh look, the kids dropped a blob of jam on the floor, it needs cleaning up’ but walking off to do something else.

Or can be: Knowing you have unpredictable health. Knowing that people with unpredictable health shouldn’t commit to long term plans. Yet still failing to connect the two to help yourself out.

The good news is it can be overcome with simple willpower but there’s a catch. If you’re familiar with the spoon theory that sh*t just cost you a drawer-full!

So what does this mean for me?

This change in awareness has meant a few (oh, who am I kidding, a whole lot) of change in my life.

Here’s the summary:

Embracing flexibility and enhancing awareness.

Sometimes my brain doesn’t work so good. Sometimes my body doesn’t work so good. Sometimes neither want to play ball. Increasing my awareness of the causes of these things means I can preempt them to some extent.

Hormones due to spike? Rearrange the plans for the next few days. Didn’t sleep so good? Reschedule housework for tomorrow, Netflix is calling.

For personal projects, I’ve found that hard deadlines are a definite no. My new motto is: ‘I’ll get there with my wellbeing intact or not at all’.

Getting it all out of the brain.

Ever been working on something important and your PC throws you the Blue Screen of Death™? You know, the memory dump that means you lose everything? That’s kinda how my brain likes to keep me on my toes. It’s unreliable.

I tried many productivity apps to help it out. I broke a fair few of them and the others were either too simple or too complicated. The ones that weren’t, couldn’t stand up to my fluctuating health. I needed something that I could change strategies based on how I felt. Pomodoro timers, eat the frog, split the day, reschedule this sh*t, ALL OF THEM!

In stepped The Amazing Marvin. No, this isn’t a magic show (well actually, it kinda is!). Marvin is THE productivity app to end them all. It has so many different strategies to use in your day. Complicated, you may think? It would be, but Marvin lets you turn on (or off) the strategies whenever you need them! This means your workflow is ALWAYS the right one for you at that time.

It has saved my bacon and I love Christina & Mark dearly for inventing it! <3

The Amazing Marvin! Ta Dah!

Being in the creative flow.

Another change has been embracing my creative side once again. Whilst I was having these painful realisations, I decided to teach myself graphic design. The ability to be creative, without having to pull out all my Mixed Media supplies was a godsend to me. Pushing less allowed more inspiration to filter into my life.

I hope that something may come of this expression in the future but, for now, I’m focused 100% on creating. If you want to see what I’ve been up to, you can check out my portfolio here: The Imperfect Studio

Or follow my studio’s Instagram here: @imperfect_studio

The two big ones….

There are two concepts that have helped me embrace this new way of life. They are Grieving the Healthy Self and Choosing Not to Strive.

People don’t realise the psychological effect a chronic illness diagnosis can have. I’ve witnessed healthy people categorise us as ‘permanently pissed off’. To be honest, I’m not surprised. It’s hard. Dreaming of what your life would have been like. Thinking of what you were once capable of. Knowing there is every chance you won’t experience that again. That’s enough to make anyone feel “a little bit narky” :eyeroll:

Victoria during a rare break from her unpredictable health, standing in a forest of trees in the sunshine.
A rare (but much loved) trip out into nature…

Mine has stripped me of almost ALL my hobbies. Opera singing, horse riding, figure skating, painting, reading. All I’m left with is gaming.

Countless times I’ve heard the phrase ‘You’d be a lot better off if you’d just get off that console’. What do you think that does to a person? I DREAM of going back to my hobbies. I’ve tried (and failed) so many times, often pushing too hard but only setting myself back months.

Acceptance comes from grieving, just like you’d grieve any other loss. It’s healthy and it’s natural.

Ditching the ‘Strive Culture’ is also key to wellness. This society is hell-bent on making everyone feel inadequate. Everyone out on social telling you how you should be doing stuff and how fast.

Firstly, we don’t all have the same lives, so upholding the same standards is pointless.

Secondly, it’s usually their business to make you feel inadequate. If they succeed, you just KNOW they have the solution to your woes… And that happens to take the form of their paid program and by the way, there is a marvellous payment plan and multiple exclusive bonuses click here to find out more… :More eyeroll:

Let’s not get me started on the illusion of perfection.

I swear, if I’m ever known for anything in my life I want it to be for starting a revolution. One of healthy, slow, imperfect living.

Happy people all round!

So tell me…

So tell me, dear ones, how has your 2019 started off?

Even if it’s not what you wanted, tell me. We’re all about good, honest reality here. That’s how we grow <3

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