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Drop the dead weight


With the end of the summer holidays drawing near and our attention gradually turning to Ember months and the festive season, once again my thoughts turn to looking back, stocktaking and moving on into a new season. Much like farmers preparing for the harvest, in life, the old adage applies: As you reap, so you shall sow.

I turn my attention to almost a year ago when I felt I was stuck in a rut professionally, with the build-up of toxic energy in my work life, restricted to using just 20% of my mental capacity and forced to report to those who were capable of just a fraction of that. What was once a dream come true had all but suddenly turned into a daily nightmare.

The trouble with a rut is the longer you are in it the deeper you sink in, where you start second guessing your abilities, potential and even personality. I had never had another time in my life when I questioned myself as much – from the basic daily chores to crucial decisions to even my values and principles.

My personal life suffered too of course. I would spend every evening rehashing the events of the day, every morning bracing for the day ahead, and almost every weekend in bed with a migraine or aimlessly slouched on the couch. My daily commute was grinding, I had not an ounce of energy and to top it, my weight had shot up. I could barely fit into any of my clothes.

Almost a year ago it felt like I was living a nightmare from which I’d never be able to wake up. Then one day, just like that, it stopped. I found to courage to walk away from a place which was no longer serving me – mentally, spiritually and physically.

What followed was two months of idle mindfulness where I had to almost rewire my brain and shed of that old skin so I could thrive again. Six months on I couldn’t be any more different than the old me at the end of last year. Gone is the worrisome woman who had become a shadow of her old self, and in her place, is someone who truly enjoys life, where she is professionally, who knows her tribe and who has resuscitated her self-worth. I am now healthier, happier, with more than just one reason to wake up in the morning and live life like it’s golden.

What my experience has taught me that there is no condition so dire or desperate that it cannot be put to rest with a few steps in the right direction. That direction often involves opening a new door, crossing the threshold to new adventures and wherever life may take you and be open to new experiences. The easiest way to do so is to drop the dead weight.

Look back over the last few months of your life or even this time last year, think of all that was holding you down, leaving you too crippled to forge ahead; this may be a dead-end job, or toxic colleagues, or your friendly frenemy. Then look at your life today – if the momentum from then to now is not an upward curve, then it’s perhaps time to take a real good look at the relations and situations. What’s serving you? What’s holding you back? Who’s chipping at you?

Who’s cheering you on?
Taking stock at regular intervals is key to a happy, well-balanced life, and there is no better time than turn of the season to do just that. Take stock, shift gears when you have to, close doors that no longer welcome you, end journeys leading you to a dead end, cut loose the dead weight. It is only when you have the courage to do so you will realise that what once was a dream come true turned nightmare was just a blip in the grand scheme of things. Once stock taking is over, you’ll find weeds make way for a brighter journey and once the field is sown, it will make way for a richer harvest.

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