Apologies for what seems like the longest delay ever in writing this next blog.

Life. Gets. Busy.

Quick update; I have been through what seems like a never-ending rollercoaster lately, I feel sick and tired from this ride but it just will not stop. I did finally see a good specialist who listened to me and treated my ‘issues’ very sensitively. This is extremely different from the previous awful experience I had. So what I am saying to you is, do not let one bad experience affect others you may have, you may miss something good. Reluctantly I have started HRT, it is early days. The risks are pretty high, something I now have to accept, which brings me nicely onto what this blog is about;

Change, choices and acceptance.

When you really think about it, change happens all of the time. There are unexpected changes, planned changes, unwanted changes, nice changes and just changes! A lot of the time though, change is unwanted or unexpected and this can be very hard. I certainly found that the changes I have faced through this menopause so far are just that, unwanted and unexpected. Usually with change comes choice. I have been taking HRT now for two weeks, a change I did not really want but strongly advised to do due to my age, therefore I had to make a choice. A choice to accept that it will make me feel better but it is risky business. My plan is to live my life in the here and now rather than waste my worries on the future which is unknown anyway!

If someone you love dies, it is a change and you have to make a choice how you deal with this. Making choices isn’t always easy, whether it is what you fancy from the Chinese that evening, to whether or not to start chemo to treat cancer. Obviously some choices are completely different to others, but nevertheless, still a choice to make.

But what if these choices are taken from you, then what? I suppose it then turns into making another choice of how you deal with having no choice at all. It can take true courage to make a choice to change the way you think and feel about your life, especially when it may go against what you believe and what you have worked to achieve.

For me, the hardest change comes with acceptance. Accepting that you are wrong, you are unhappy, you are right or you are simply YOU. Acceptance can take a long time to happen, it can take a long time to accept acceptance. I feel I am accepting parts of me but not everything. Sometimes people accept that they like their body but hate their personality. They like that they are kind but hate how they feel when they are wrong etc. Personally, I dislike my appearance, it has been an ongoing battle for years. But in the last 12 months I have been more self-aware than ever. More aware that I feel I do the right thing, treat people well and more importantly look after my well-being. This is not selfishness, this is self preservation. Of course I still have a mountain to climb and I know this won’t be easy. It has taken a long time to learn the word ‘no’ but I do feel I am nearly there. Sometimes saying no to myself is harder than saying it to anyone else. I understand and accept that yes, I can do too much. But I also accept that this is the way I choose to live my life right now and this may change, either because I want it to or unexpectedly. People say it far too often but it is true…….

“You never know what is around the corner…..”

What I am still working on, is knowing what changes I want and acting on them. For example, losing weight has always been a massive struggle for me, but it is something I want to achieve. So why have I not done it? People say, if it is something you really want, you will do it regardless of what life throws at you. Whilst I agree that when you want something you have to work for it, changes and choices can block your path. What also stops you from doing something is self sabotage.

“Oh, I have lost 3 pounds, go on then I will have that cake….” – Why do we do this? Why do we reward ourselves with the habits and behaviours that we are trying to CHANGE.

Trouble is, in the moment, these changes and choices we make seem like a good idea, even when we know they are a bad idea we still pursue them. We spend so much time causing anxieties for ourselves and punishing ourselves, that we forget we have been in control the whole time.

If you know you are an emotional eater, accept it and change.

If you know you do not have long to live and you want to make the best of your last living days, accept it and change.

If you know you are in the wrong relationship for you, accept it and change.

Not everyone is your friend, wherever you go there is always a snake in the grass, accept it and change.

Whatever it may be that you are unhappy with or want to do differently, accept it and change. Even if it is that you have to change your thought process about something, you have a choice, you can do this. When we reach an age or situation in our lives where we are facing the end of our time on earth, we talk less about what we regret we did do and more about our regrets of what we didn’t do. This is a real shame.

Do you let it destroy you or use it to make you stronger? I know that I am facing/have faced so many changes that I did and did not ask for. I have accepted most of them, I have changed the way I look at them and myself and I am making better choices which make me happier. You should only ever want to change for yourself. Sure you can change to save a relationship or friendship, but if you aren’t being true to yourself then chances are it isn’t going to work anyway.

Nobody is perfect but we can at least try.

“If you change nothing, nothing can change.”

Much love

Steph Xx