Hello May

I can’t believe it is the 1st day of the 5th month of the year. Where has this year gone too?!? It some ways it feels like only a week or two has passed since I wrote my post about my word of the year, and in other ways it feels like a year has passed since then. When I wrote the post on focussing on me, I had all the intentions of doing things better this year – eating better, gyming more, focussing on me more and dealing with my stress levels, anxiety and depression. I started off well in January and was really focussed. I felt amazing again and energized and slowly the wheels started falling off in February.

In the beginning of February I was sick AGAIN and I had a cervical cancer scare. My stress levels hit a record high and I really struggled with anxiety. Getting sick again was really a knock for me and deflated all the happy and energised energy from inside of me. I became demotivated and went straight back to my old habits which involved binging on coca-cola and chocolate because I couldn’t gym and find my happy place. The cervical scare happened when I went for a routine check-up at my GP, which had definitely not been routine in a few years, and I felt like my world was collapsing around me when she said to me that she had found abnormal cells and I needed to see a gynae. As soon as that diagnosis was given to me I immediately started firing off questions about “What if I have cancer? What is the next step?”. Immediately my brain went into crisis mode and I remember driving into the parking lot of Nicolway and crying. I then began scolding myself for not going for pap smears annually because I felt I didn’t need them cos I was healthy – big mistake. You ALWAYS need to have them done annually. A week later I went to the gynae and had biopsies done and again my questions of “What’s next if I have cancer” started. Dr Naidoo calmed me down and assured me I was in good hands. (If you are looking for an amazing gynae in JHB, I can totally recommend Dr Anusha Naidoo at Sandton Medi Clinic.) I waited a few days for the results and I felt like my whole world was ending which was a terrible headspace to be in. One evening after 19:00 I had a missed call and a voicemail from the doctor where she said my results came back clear and I was okay. I felt like a massive weight had been lifted off my shoulders that night and I couldn’t wait to let my family and loved ones know.

After that rough patch I decided to get my head right again and focus on my health and wellness. A scare like that really lets you put everying into perspective and reiterates the importance of work-life balance which is a challenge I never seem to get right for more than a few days a year. I felt focussed again and then I got sick AGAIN. This time so bad that I ended up at the doctor and she booked me off for 2 days and told me she was concerned that my blood pressure was through the roof – especially since I have suffered from low blood pressure my whole life. I slept for a few days and again reevaluated how I had ended up sick again and how I had not created a sustainable lifestyle change with balance.

I reached a point where I felt so tired and overwhelmed from everything that I resigned from my job. My health was so poor, my hair was falling out and I was desperate to find change and get my life on track again. I’m not going to go into the nitty gritty, but after 3 days of talking to my CEO who is my mentor, and really being honest with him and with myself, I retracted my resignation and decided to keep moving forward with a different lens instead of only seeing things through my lens.

Then one afternoon, while out with friends at Tiger’s Milk (which I absolutely love and recommend), I looked for something on my blog and found out it had been hacked. The panic and anxiety I felt while sitting at that table was unreal. Who would hack my blog and why? I’m not a top blogger with tons of followers and posts? I hadn’t blogged much in a while and yet this still affected me deeply. The thought of losing everything was horrifying. A friend tried to help me out and I spent many hours reading online how to fix a hack and sort things out with Google Search Console. I could do a few things but needed an expert to really help me fix things. After panicking more and more I reached out to Tech Girl to see if she was able to help me out. She was and together with her brother they managed to fix the hack and sort things out for me. I am so incredibly grateful for their help! One thing I realised when I almost lost my blog was that even though I am not able to blog as often as I like, I really do want my blog and don’t want to lose it. I want to try harder to work on it and spend more time sharing posts with those of you who read them. When I am overwhelmed at work and tired, all I would do in the past is come home and sleep or play Candy Crush for hours. Super unproductive!

So, now I have made a few changes in my life:

  1. I deleted Candy Crush off all my devices, and have limited the time that I watch series so that I can read more and be creative. I find myself spending ages on Pinterest but that’s okay, because I get a lot of my inspiration from there.
  2. I am reading 4 books at the moment and sitting for almost a full day while reading a new Robin Cook book called Cure, I remembered why I love reading so much! Getting lost in the suspense and the characters lives is exhilarating. I’m also listening to an audiobook called Scrum and even though I prefer to have the book or Kindle in my hand, I’m actually enjoying listening to the book and thinking through what the author is saying. I am a person that hates change and am very comfortable with my habits so switching from a printed book to a Kindle book was hard (but worth the change) and now switching to an audiobook was the next step for me.
  3. I am back in the gym and enjoying it a lot! I have a long way to go to get fit again but at least I have started. I have started a new class at Virgin Active called Pound and it is amazing! You use weighted Ripstix in the class and do choreographed drumming to rock songs and pop rock. It’s an exhausting workout but so much fun!
  4. I have started crafting again and made some cool mugs the other day which I am going to sell at a market next weekend. My mom and I have a small business called Mum & Plum and we sell our products at markets and from Facebook.
  5. I also started painting again and sat for hours with my mom outside yesterday. I am dying for some jungle themed pillows for my room and refuse to pay the exorbitant prices in the stores, so I decided to paint my own. I also want to paint some canvasses.
  6. I now leave work on time and very often leave my laptop at the office. I work flat out all day and need to switch off when I walk out of there.
  7. I created a Pinterest board called Me Time where I save tips on how to care for myself better. These tips might sound obvious, but very often when I am super stressed, I don’t think of them and end up climbing in bed and sleeping so that I can escape everything. These tips are great reminders of what I can do.

I haven’t got the eating part right yet, but plan on doing so from tomorrow. I emptied the rubbish out my fridge and have done some meal prep. I’m starting Reboot tomorrow and even though I’m going to have sugar withdrawal for a few days and will be super grumpy, it will be worth it.

In a month and a half I will be 34 and I want to be in a better space mentally and physically again like I was when I turned 31. I need to care for myself more and have fun in life. I want to create more and blog more and explore more.

So May, I am ready for you. Let’s do this!