It occurred to me after posting last week that I haven’t really updated the going on in my life for a while, and there are some new readers I haven’t yet introduced myself to. You can brief yourself on the short version of me here, but for the updated version, here you go!!
I’m Alison (just in case you hadn’t guessed!!), I live in the south of South Australia, in what is a large-ish town in Australia (approx 27,000), and I love living in a rural area that’s not too far from the beach. I’m a sort-of wife (it’s a long story….), mum to 3 kids aged 17, 13 and nearly 12, and a Registered Nurse, and currently working as a return to work consultant, helping people get back to work after an injury. I love my church and our family there, and get to serve as a worship leader and the missions and evangelism co-ordinator (how I got there is another whole story in itself!!).
Right now? I’m working part time from home, along with a few hours a week at church as a relief secretary, working on fixing up my house to sell (so we can all live under one roof as a family again), and recovering after a hard and heavy year in 2014 (which didn’t not turn out to be as awesome as I’d anticipated), which left me feeling more than just a little battered and worn. The year started with having to deal with some health issues, and then in February I lost my job, a job that was supposed to last for as long as I wanted to work there. A couple of months later I had a hysterectomy and some other surgery, and spent the next couple of months resting and recovering, as well as trying to work out what on earth I was going to do now. Fun times!!!!
I started my current job at the beginning of July, and continued to deal with ongoing health issues, along with all the ups and downs of life in general, especially life with kids. And people. And pets. And you know how it goes…..
And here I am now. Working part-time, being who I need to be for my family full-time, and just trying to figure out this whole life shebang. Still.
I could really do with a crystal ball and a magic wand right about now.
Not really. Fortunately for me, I’m ok with change, and I’m very much used to dealing with the unexpected in life. That doesn’t translate to being prepared, but I’m used to suddenly having to change gears and work things out and just keep going. And as I get older, and learn to trust God more with the big and little details of my life, I am more and more comfortable and less anxious with not knowing what the future holds. Because if there’s one thing that has become absolutely crystal clear in the last year, it’s that the ability to control my life is a complete illusion, and life is a lot less stressful when I just focus on one day at a time. I’m still working on that, trust me.
One thing that has become even more apparent to me in the events of 2014 – something I knew but hadn’t really given much thought to – is that I’ve always tended to live my life reactively, as opposed to proactively, which explains a lot about why I’m in the middle of the state of affairs I am right now. I don’t want to live like that anymore. I know I can’t be prepared for any and every eventuality, but I can learn to be organised and prepared where I need to be, and to not be constantly chasing my tail. Or putting out fires (figuratively). Or yelling at a child. I’ve been doing Whole30 since January 1, and this time around has shown me just how much better things go when I plan and prepare – when I have food cut up and cooked and frozen, I’m ready for every meal and am not left thinking ‘it’s too hard, I’ll just grab (xyz), even though I know that ultimately, I’ll feel terrible’.
Whole30 takes planning and discipline and limits, and I want to take these principles I’m learning and apply them to the rest of my life. I’ve already put on my big girl pants and faced the reality of my financial situation, and it’s not the only area of life where I need a decent reality bite. But one thing at a time for now, because I know from past history just how likely I am to crash and burn at implementing any positive changes in my life when I try to do it all at once – and of course it doesn’t turn out perfect, and of course I give up, and of course feel like I’ve failed (again). And rinse and repeat.
So my snapshot of life today? I am loved by God, I’m a sort-of wife to the love of my life and mum to three infuriatingly wonderful kids, trying to get through life one day at a time, and learning how to look at life with new eyes, eyes that see the joy and beauty in every day, and not the pain and weariness and hardship. God has shown me some of what is in store for me in the months to come, some very exciting changes and new paths to walk down, but the rest? The rest will reveal itself in each new day, and it will be beauty-full.
I’ve been asking myself as I’m writing this, ‘Why? Why am I writing all this all-about-me stuff, which really isn’t interesting to anyone (not really even me to be perfectly honest), but I know I need to, here and now, and I really want to lean into that, to lean into the vulnerability, and it’s kind of awkward, and embarrassing, and, and……..’ And the answer is really very simple. Because I know I’m not alone. I know I’m not the only one feeling like this, living this version of life, dealing with these issues. And as I’ve said before, to anyone reading these words, you’re not alone. So if you find even an ounce of encouragement and support in my ramblings and word vomit, and I leave you thinking ‘It’s not just me’, then it’s all worth the risk.
How about you? What does your life look like right now? Is it where you thought you’d be? Or is life taking you on a completely different adventure?