Monthly review – a harder month

August was a tough month for me. Work reached a peak, my sleeping hours reduced and I found the cold of Melbourne winter unbearable. I had to try really, really, really hard not to complain about the cold. I know complaining is completely unhelpful and my daily practicing of gratitude was a saviour.

This month I found it by far the hardest to note down what I was grateful for and some days it took me a whole lot longer than 5 minutes! But the process of having to dig deep and bring to the surface the many good, great and wonderful things in my life was key to staying positive through a harder month.

It is often in these hard months that we learn lots and August was like that for me. This is what I have learnt over the last month:

When you don’t do things, the whole world may not fall apart

Sometimes I work so hard and push myself to not letting anything be missed. I am learning to let go of this a little. These are small in the scheme of things I realise, but making small steps is progress!

  • My blogging schedule was all over the place throughout August, but the blog is still here and you lovely readers are still reading it, for which I am both appreciative and grateful.
  • When having book group over, I had grand plans to have savoury hot food as well as the sweet treats I had made. I chose sleep over the savoury options and the book group meeting was still lots of fun and there was lots of food.
  • A missed load of washing meant no clean uniform for master 6, who happily put on his uniform from the day before and all was ok.
  • I didn’t go to an annual school fundraiser for a wonderful international initiative. I knew that weekend would be incredibly busy with kids’ activities and I needed time at home to feel grounded.

Having faith in yourself and your kids is super important

I wrote about this in last week’s newsletter, but it is something I am really trying to embrace so want to include it in this list too.

I need to have faith in my parenting skills and how I have nurtured my son over the past 16 years. I need to show him that I have faith in him, despite the many instances when he has made less than stellar decisions. My faith in him is important for him to be able to grow into his own person.

In terms of professional decisions, I have let go of a role that I loved doing and where I had the opportunity to work with amazing people. I needed to free up the time to work on other projects. Projects that are currently outlines on paper only and take me completely out of my comfort zone. Sometimes I catch my breath when I think about what I have done, but it is faith in myself that is keeping me forging ahead on this very unknown path.

Quiet and slowing down is important

I talk a lot, I do a lot. Sometimes I need to stop doing and stop talking, especially if the talking is inside my head. There were moments across the month, where I did simple things like sit in the brief flash of morning sun on my own, in silence. I chose to move away from chatter of others that was setting off chatter inside my head. I chose to think more before I spoke and often ending up choosing to say nothing.

I have questions I need to answer for myself, but I am finding that I can’t answer them if there is constant noise and constant activity. I am hoping to have a quieter and slower September to help me with this.

Giving to others makes me feel good

There were a number of opportunities over the month where I was able to give to others, without them asking and for me to receive nothing in return. It feels good to give without expectation and I need to do this more and for people who need it more. I am currently working out what that means for me.

How was August for you? Did you learn anything about yourself?