Well it’s been quite the year. I started it terribly burnt out and am ending it feeling much better. Slightly battered and bruised, but much, much better.
I’d known I was burnt out, I’d already spent months trying all sorts of things to keep a handle on it. Float pods, reflexology, exercise, you name it, I probably tried it. All the things the articles tell you to do. It took me too long to remove the source of the burnout (my job) but that’s what I did a year ago, and I started my current job just before my 40th birthday last year.
Starting a new job with trauma from an old one was so hard. I was being triggered all the time yet felt I had to be on top of my game. I was finding it so hard but there wasn’t an option to fail because my life, my visa, was tied to the new job. I was so scared I’d fuck it up and lose the option to live in New Zealand, and I just wasn’t in a place to deal with that.
Hence the year of self-nurture; I knew I had to slowly try and help myself recover while still trying to get through life. The option of taking a few months off (what I really wanted to do) wasn’t an option. Well, it didn’t seem like an option. I actually spoke to my boss recently about how I actually felt last year, and he told me if I’d said something back then, he was sure we could have worked something out. He made me promise that if I ever felt like that again to talk to him about it.
Lesson learnt; honesty is always a good call (and people are kind).
This final month before I turn 41 next week has been about reflecting back over the year, seeing what’s resonated, and thinking about what I might want to carry on doing. It’s been good to remind myself of the things that are already meaningful to me, as well as remembering how important it is to me that I keeping trying new things, so I don’t stagnate.
Putting myself first has been necessary, and I’ve enjoyed leaning into slowing down. I feel a lot more grounded and chilled now than I did a year ago. I’m comfortable with where I’m at in myself and life.
But oh do I want some fun now. I want to laugh. I want to play. I want to leave the serious stuff behind for a bit, or it at least be in the background rather than taking centre stage.
May my 40’s be fun, carefree, a bit wild, meaningful, creative and on my own terms. Just not necessarily at a million miles an hour, like my 30’s. I’m wiser (and older) now.