As it is the festive season I have decided it is time to turn my attention to exploring how to feel grateful for the events that have occurred this year. It is time to move on and stop dwelling on what has happened and some of the injustices that befell me. I have been determined not to be a victim of circumstances but is has been a challenge as I fluctuate between anger and anticipation of an exciting and unconventional future.
The future is very different to the one I envisaged a year ago but actually it feels very liberating.
So what have I to be grateful for?
1. Confirming my moral compass and helping me realise that it matters a very great deal and I won’t compromise it for anything, even a monthly salary.
2. Looking after my mental health above all other considerations and realising that being a sane mother and wife is more important than a monthly salary.
3. Being clear that emotional displays in the workplace are not a sign of weakness but a cry for help and often an indication that something is not “quite right” with the culture and that much needs attention. Staying in such a culture is often not an option and that leaving is the only answer even if it means no monthly salary.
4. That self compassion is more than an intellectual ideal and actually more challenging that one might expect but ultimately the answer to how we can be more tolerant and understanding of others. Facing adversity may be the way to fully comprehend this and my collection of books has proven to be essential in helping me to explore these issues.
5. That creativity and poetry have been essential ingredients in my life and central to maintaining a sense of purpose and direction. Having the time and space to explore both has been wonderful and I am proud of myself that I have plucked up the courage to go to art classes and admit what I don’t know and don’t understand .
6. The love and support of my family have been amazing and I have realised that there is much more to life than a career and status. Being calmer and more present for my family has been one of the best gifts this last 6 months has given me. Walking the dog has also been a solution to rumination and victimhood.
7 I have learnt to live on a great deal less money and have become less bothered about image and new clothes.
The most important lesson has been about honesty, integrity, authenticity and courage. All four are crucial to my future work and I am now more confident in being able to spot fakes, liars, cowards and the untrustworthy. I can spot them quite quickly, I find it really distressing and my emotional response will now be what I use as my moral barometer. I will not tolerate, I will not ignore, I will tell it for what it is and I will walk away.