Monday, 25 March 2013

It's never too late to make a change

So it's already April (almost) and I'm only now writing my first blog post.

It's been a busy year so far. But in a good way.

Last year (and the year prior) weren't so good.  They were tough.  Real tough.

A blurry haze of tiredness, anxiety, sadness and frustration, peppered, of course, with lashings of joy brought by my children, family and friends.

So when 2013 reared its head...  I decided this was the year to dedicate some time and energy to myself.

I made a decision to refocus on my health and wellbeing, both of which had suffered the effects of neglect.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I've always been a lazy eater (hello packaged goods) and a lazy exerciser (as in not doing any).

So I decided to begin with the food, starting with an increase in vegetables (I've eaten more fresh vegetables in the past two months than I have in the past year).  I also started cooking.  As opposed to, say, opening jars of pre-made sauce or popping frozen food on an oven tray.

The extra time required to cook and clean dishes was well worth it as I noticed increased energy within a month.

Despite being up multiple times a night with the kids I felt significantly less lethargic and tired, meaning I was more willing to play the sorts of games that little boys enjoy during the day.

But the difference wasn't just physical, I felt better mentally also - cheerful and happy and bouncy - like the old me, the real me.

With all the extra energy I decided to give exercise a go.  After always claiming I didn't have the time or energy, I now did have the energy - so decided to make the time too.  I began by doing it in the bathroom while the kids had their bath.

I'm proud to say I've stuck with it.  In fact, I've come to enjoy it.  I even bought a treadmill!

I feel so great that I've been desperate to share my newfound health and wellbeing equilibrium - and not wanting to be that person who updates their Facebook status with life-changing epiphanies, I thought here was the place to do just that.

The other decision I made this year was that finally, at 31 years of age, I would begin piano lessons.

With the encouragement of my parents, I stopped using my children or my husband's business travel or being too old as an excuse and found a teacher who could come to my home after 7.30pm to teach me on an old keyboard we bought for the kids.

I've told myself if I stick with it until my birthday in June, I'll reward myself with an actual piano.

And finally, there's books. Precious, precious books... I've returned to my favourite habit of reading before bed, inhaling so many books since Christmas the story lines began morphing into each other.

And the best bit for me is that none of this has interfered with time spent with my children, or my writing - in fact I'd say it's improved both.

I still have a ways to go in terms of improving unhealthy habits and learning new skills, but the most important lesson I've learnt is it's never too late to make a change!

Have you changed your lifestyle or habits in later life? Or taken on a new hobby as an adult?