Second Half Blog
In an attempt to build up some strength, physically and mentally I am constantly looking into ways to lay down a stronger foundation for my second half. These articles are a reflection of my learnings and discoveries made from trying various new exercises, ways of thinking and trends. Some I have loved and some I won’t be doing again. Join me on my journey, I hope you can take away some tips, find some observations enriching-maybe even enlightening(?)… But hopefully at least entertaining.
Equipped with a fitness watch, yoga mat and new running shoes, I downloaded a running app as Step One into the physical fitness world. I also began each morning with at least three sun salutations and a chapter of Deepak Chopra’s ‘Seven Spiritual Laws of Success’.
As a cognitive boot camp, I signed up for a course with a business school, began writing in the evenings and took up Jim Kwik’s advice to read a book a week.
The very qualities that made me feel I could be a calm, Stoic first time cat parent have made me an obsessive, submissive wreck of a mother. My days are spent anticipating their needs and desperately trying to earn their love.
I first heard Scott Dinsmore’s TED talk a few years ago, and it remains one of my favourite and most inspiring talks. Titled: ‘How to find work you love’ introduced to me life changing perspectives. Not only applicable to the workplace, as the heading might suggest, but beneficial to my life and how I approach it. Other than being relieved to learn I wasn’t alone, he offered an easy to understand framework, as well as three take-aways that brought about positive change to my life.
Working hard meant putting the time in which proved itself in one way: “more”. More promotions, more money, more achievements, more homes, more holidays… more worries. As I put the idea of ‘less’ into action, I am starting with three areas in my life that can certainly benefit (myself and others) from less!
With a little openness and some research into the matter, I realise there is a great deal to look forward to in the second half, no achievement required! Becoming comfortable in my skin and accepting myself for who I am is certainly something to get excited about. Decades of being consumed by what others thought of me got in the way of me being myself. It has been tiring, to say the least.
I was never very good at managing strong, intimate friendships when growing up. I was the girl that popped into your life for short periods and promptly popped out the other side. Fickle Fee is what I was nicknamed. Later in life, I discovered not only the root cause of my behaviour, but the effect it had on others and went about making a concerted effort on the friendships and relationships that were important to me.
This leaves the last step: self-compassion. Taking ownership of your mistakes, intending not to repeat them, but treating yourself with the same kindness you would show to a friend who shared with you.
Exercise with achievable goals is a great place to start for those of us, especially that feel a little behind on the achievement platform. Knowing I can comfortably run 5 km has had a far greater effect on my emotional health than I ever imagined. I feel a winner!
I care about my physical health, but I care even more about my cerebral health, and as I watch older folks battling with dementia, I am very aware how real the disease is. If I am going to live longer, I would like to put in the work to keep cognitive decline at bay.
I felt the icy water bled into every inch of my scalp, excruciatingly covering the entire circumference of my head. It followed with an agonizing trickle down the back of my neck, along my spine, jarring my body into a frozen spasm. Time stood still. I wondered how I had found myself at the hands of such a torturous act, a deliberate infliction of intense suffering.