Onwards

It’s amazing the toll that stress can take on your body. It’s also amazing how your body can adapt to previously unheard of regimes (such as fresh lemon and hot water – a bitter but effective detox – in the morning) in order to restore it to its proper balance.

I’ve had almost seven weeks out of an office environment and in the last two I have finally, thankfully, begun to feel like me again and my body is singing thankfulness to me for giving it a much needed rest. A new job, a new routine, new challenges and new opportunities await and I’m so looking forward to it all. My mind is back to a place where it has room to process, my body has energy with little pain and I have established a set of eating and daily habits that will hopefully serve me well.

So… things I’m looking forward to:

  • That Friday feeling. When you haven’t had to work during the week, the weekend blurs into just another day and you lose its value. You need to work hard to be able to understand that kind of relaxation and I’m looking forward to getting back to working hard.
  • Listening to Radio 4 in the morning. Being in touch with the world beyond your own bubble is great for perspective. My commute has become significantly longer with my new job so I’ll be tuning in in the earlier hours and getting my global news fix.
  • Managing a team. I’ve seen some outstanding examples of how NOT to manage people in the last few years and I’m so grateful I have an opportunity to manage a team in a way that inspires them and enables them to excel. I hope and pray I do it well!
  • Incorporating my rest habits into my new work routine. My skin is glowing, my stomach is happy and my energy levels are restored. There are ways I can continue this even with early mornings and I have every intention of doing so! The hot lemon is a great way to start but so is the significantly reduced sugar intake, the decent amount of rest, the flexible time and prioritising my time with God, husband, family and friends without trying to please and look after everybody.

Hubby and I are marching into an exciting new season. Onwards!

Everything becomes familiar

In time, all things become familiar. What starts off as overwhelming, uncomfortable, confusing, unnerving or discombobulating eventually feels like routine. A new job, a new home, any kind of change – even a new kitchen! – takes time to adjust for me. That’s not to say it’s bad. It’s just new.

Since everything will at some point start to feel like the norm, I may as well embrace the slightly bewildering emotion of change – the feeling doesn’t last forever.

Rhythms of Rest: Routine and Change

The Sabbath is a Biblical principle. Whether or not you believe that the earth was created in six days, the message of rest is undeniable.

I read a great blog earlier this week which spoke about the Rhythms of Rest and it prompted me to look at my perception of routine and change. As a girl of opposites I am a creature of habit but I love change that brings new challenges so I consciously work to keep a balance between the two.

I also find that change forces me out of my comfort zone and brings with it an exciting season of learning, new experiences and self-discovery. I love the feeling of achievement that change usually heralds and I love making memories in the process.

Of course, change isn’t always positive and at those times, when change is out of my control and life takes over, I revert swiftly to routine to maintain an internal equilibrium which helps me to deal with what the world currently holds. It takes fine tuning but I have found that at the core of this balance, is rest.

Making sure that there are times when I am able to recharge, either by myself or with those I am completely myself with, lies at the heart of both routine and change. Those rhythms of rest, when built in to my schedule, serve as a foundation in the good change and the bad. They prepare me to face whatever type of change comes, with energy, determination and a network of friends and family who encourage always. And when, inevitably, life is just a bit too much, rest brings a momentary peace in chaos and a temporary escape from the patterns and pressures of the day.

Simply put, rest is just one of life’s rhythms that is worth taking a moment to listen to.

A girl of opposites

I am a confident introvert, a creature of routine who thrives on change, an adventurer rooted at home, a healthy-eating chocoholic and a believer who questions. I’m a leader who happily follows and a musician who loves the quiet. I love simplicity but my thought processes are usually complex, I save money but enjoy spending it, I adore tradition but not for the sake of it, I appreciate photography but rarely art and I stick to the rules, but rarely recipes. I seize opportunities, carefully, I seek out challenges, cautiously and I set goals, flexibly. I am a strategic thinker who lives in the moment, a 21st century technology advocate with a paper calendar and a meticulous planner who loves spontaneity.

Gaining momentum

2013 was the year when life settled – and I don’t mean that in a negative way. I have been married for almost three years and it has been a quite blissful and stress-free start to marriage, but it has taken a while for routine and life in general to settle into the newness. The small things that needed to be bought to make our house a home – kitchen appliances, linen and wall hangings – have all been purchased over time and our routines are, although I’m hesitant to admit it, fairly predictable. Even in myself, I began to know and understand more fully my likes and dislikes, my style and my dreams; life in general became more defined and known in 2013.

I don’t consider my career to have settled quite yet. 2013 certainly defined it more clearly for me and narrowed down the style of work I am most passionate about and the sort of work I believe will fulfil me the most, but I’m not quite there yet and I’m not sure my husband is either.

My life was far from turbulent before 2013 but the past year, even with its ups and downs, brought with it a steady and reliable comfort. Perhaps therefore it is unsurprising that I am quietly hoping for 2014 to bring, in its turn, a sense of moving forward, of gaining momentum, achieving the things which as yet have been just out of reach and turning our familiar routine into the foundation of something great.