By Guest Blogger Jobeda Khanum

Like many people, I feel lost and found in various degrees throughout the week, a working single mother with no living parents and a really dysfunctional family. If it wasn’t for my youngest brother and a group of close friends, I think a smile would rarely cross my face. Three things that I would like to share with you all today have helped me take that first step (of many) into making big changes to my life.

1) you never run out of time, time may run away from you.

I feel at 38 that I have accomplished so little, fulfilled so little of my potential, become an underachiever…this week I stopped myself and wondered what is all this achievement nonsense about? Is it nonsense? I’ve always worked hard, achieved academically, gained career ladder employment, and then found myself with two failed marriages, a work place harassment case and now in a one bed rental flat with a toddler wondering where did I go wrong? And have I run out of time? My lonely sad mind wanderings taking me to the blank white living room wall.

And then a strange thing occurred, my long dead parents appeared in a dream, I can’t remember what the dream was about but I awoke with a sense of feeling that my parents made so many mistakes but I love them still, that for all my mistakes I lived and am living, I am worthy of love.

Time is better spent doing, than lamenting, and in this vein I got myself up this week and made sure I applied for that Job, saw my neighbour and arranged some volunteering. I am a work in progress and my mistakes add flavour to the story of me, and in this story that I continue to live. The past is the past is the past…and I only have today and a whole bunch of tomorrows.

The questions I ask myself now are a) what do I like doing? b) who makes me feel well? c) what makes me feel good? And in answering these questions, none of it comes with a high profile business card, or that semi-detached house, its the simple every day pleasures that I now try to increase in my working week. We all have to pay our bills, however, life is also ours to be enjoyed, always find space in the day or the week or the month for things that move you and make you smile.

The writer Isabel Allende wrote that “nothing wears down inner strength as quickly as living from day to day…every place they had stopped, they had made a home with vigour and determination, even if only for a week or a month”; making plans and a home for oneself, a home where you can be, this is always a place to begin. [Quote taken from book: ‘Of love and Shadows’ by Isabel Allende, p286, publ. Black Swan]


2) family is what you make and find.

People surround you, reach out to those you feel a sense of caring from, and the saying ‘spend to accumulate’ is ever apt here. Go out, find a group, join a group online, volunteer, make that first step if you feel yourself in a rut with a limited number of people to speak with.

Loneliness is a sense of being we can overcome, and you’d be surprised at the many things going on in your local area and even online that make you feel connected.

I struggle with an overwhelming depression which glues with loneliness, to make me feel like there is no light in the world, and these moments can be so dark and foreboding that I send random texts to people to reach out and I push myself to go and walk out into the sunlight, even if its cloudy or rainy, walk and walk some more. And for those moments, that I stay rooted and stuck, I do not judge myself, I have this 50/50 rule, some days are ok and some are hard and its ok, its 50/50, and this is something I can do, and we all can do, admit that sometimes we feel sadness and its ok and let ourselves have that time but and here is the but, if you ever feel that the sadness takes more than the 50/50 share seek help.

At the start of this year, I found myself asking for help from my GP, and I was relieved to have been able to simply voice some of my mind, it was out there. And then I spoke to two very close friends, and the lightness seeped more in my heart. I am not alone, you are not alone. I give thanks at the end of the night for the people in my life who like or love me, I am grateful to these few.


3) Tidy up.

Yes, give yourself a day or half a day, tidy up and de-clutter, I live in a state of clutter and mess, that doesn’t make me happy, feeling that the more things I have the more I am, and yet I can hardly see things that I need. I have begun reading this book which illustrates the truth that ‘mess is often about unhappiness’ and that we should only keep things that give us joy.

My toddler doesn’t need or play with all her toys, and all those things that I cram on my shelves, why? I have started the task of decluttering my home, simply realising that what makes me happy is having the space to enjoy being with people I love. [book: The life-changing magic of tidying; A simple effective way to banish clutter forever by Marie Kondo]

I will continue writing, I will continue applying for work I want to do, and I will continue making that first step to always get out of the house everyday, we all need light, air, people and space to grow.

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