Welcome to The Midlife ToolBox, a very special series of guest posts written by Midlife Bloggers from all over the world. We are unique women, and even though we are all getting older, our perspective, challenges, and ways we see life are definitely unique! I hope you enjoy these wise words and gain some insight from them. I know I will.
This week we have the pleasure of a guest post from my Australian blogger friend, Leanne Le Cras, founder of Cresting the Hill.
When Leanne writes, I always know that her perspective will be honest, direct and intelligently thought out. She’s experienced a significant change in her life and will tell us about the midlife tools she has used, and continues to use, as her adventure through life continues.
Let’s hear from Leanne as she talks about living her best life:
First of all, I’d like to say thanks so much to Candi for inviting me to be part of her series on the tools we use for living our best life – this is my story and my tools.
A Little History
Lately, I’ve been in the process of recreating my life from scratch after leaving a toxic work situation that had brought me so low that I was teary at the thought of going into work each week.
I was dealing with a very disturbed workmate who over-shared every dramatic and upsetting aspect of her life. There was no way that she was going to leave her position and no way that she was going to stop pouring her drama out on me (despite repeated promises to change).
Ultimately, for my own mental and emotional health I resigned, but unfortunately, that wasn’t the end. The situation had drained me dry, and I felt quite lost and rudderless.
Living Your Best Life: It’s a Process
All that happened 4 months ago, and it’s been a process of recovery and renewal for me ever since. I’ve had to tackle it on many levels, as I work my way up from rock bottom to being in a place of acceptance and contentment – and back to joy.
To get to this point I’ve used a few tools and I’d like to share a little about each one below:
Choosing my thoughts – at first my thinking revolved around all that had happened, the injustice of it, the loss, the what if’s, the could have’s and should have’s. Slowly I began to replace those negative thoughts with positive, affirmative thinking.
I reminded myself of what I’d done to try to work through things, that I hadn’t resigned on a whim, that this co-worker was too damaged for me to deal with, and that it was completely outside my role to be constantly trying to prop her up and understand her irrational behaviour.
This was a big one for me – the ability to talk it through with my husband (over, and over again) until I could reason my way through it all. To have supportive friends who listened to me, to be able to blog about it and share relevant quotes on Facebook, and to receive really helpful support from those who commented.
Many Midlife women had similar stories to tell and I found it so reassuring to know that I wasn’t alone in what had happened in this job that had seemed so perfect and had turned out to be so awful.
I’ve used the last few months to focus on my physical health by eating healthy, walking daily, joining an exercise class, and practicing Tai Chi. I get to do these things in my own time, and I find walking outside in the fresh air and sunshine definitely improves my mood. Removing myself from the drama and stress means that the constant headaches I was dealing with have also disappeared and I don’t feel tired or flat anymore.
Mentally and emotionally I’m focusing on the positives, enjoying the flexibility and freedom of not being in a 9-5 job and not dealing with the whims of my boss. I’m feeling so much lighter and happier as I choose my thoughts and move past all that happened over the last few years.
Read more posts from the Midlife Tool Box Series
My belief that God’s in control and that He sees the big picture has also been really helpful. As I walk in the mornings, I use the time to pray and to hand things over to Him.
I’m a big believer in “God helps those who help themselves” so I’m not sitting around waiting for a miracle to arrive, but I do feel reassured and comforted to know that things are in His control and I can trust He knows the ultimate outcome.
I don’t know what the future holds at this stage. I’m not sure if I’m now officially retired or if I want to return to work, but I do know that I’ll be choosing my next moves carefully and wisely.
I’ve learned that not everything is as it initially appears to be, and that good people can have all sorts of bad stuff happening under the surface, but I also now know that I have the courage to move on and to move forward, and I am the captain of my own destiny.
I’ve survived a work nightmare and come out stronger, so who knows what’s next? Onward and upward – whether it’s in the workforce or at home, I’m confident that the future looks bright.
Leanne Le Cras, founder, Cresting the Hill
Leanne lives in the beautiful SW of Western Australia. She has two adult children who have grown and flown, married and settled in the city. Her empty nest consolation prize is two delightful grandgirls to keep her young and on her toes. Other than that, she spends way too much of her spare time blogging about the highlights of Midlife at Cresting the Hill and shares the rest of her leisure time with her husband and two cats.
Be sure to visit Leanne here:
Blog: Cresting the Hill
Are you interested in submitting a guest post for this series? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and include your blog or website URL. We’ll have a chat! Thanks.