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It’s 4.30 am, I am fully awake, an anxious rumble in my stomach, a worry I cannot quite pinpoint.

So, I get up, make tea, let the dogs out, light the fire and write.

It’s the perfect time, everyone else is asleep, I finally have the silence I crave and the headspace to think.

Once the day starts, with 3 kids needing to be home schooled, fed, the house looked after and the animals cared for (including having to find a way to keep our ducks and chickens in now we also have bird flu to deal with, ffs), the day somewhat runs away with me — and yes I do get frustrated and resentful because I am left with little or no time to do the things that really make my heart sing, including trying to work out what the hell I am going to do, to enable me to work in a more sustainable way, to keep all of the balls in the air, use my intellect and make a difference, no matter how small, in this world. And no it’s not because my husband does not share the load with me — he absolutely does, at the same time as providing the bulk of our income. It’s simply because circumstances are far from ideal and we can each only do so much. …

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We are all agreed, we cannot wait to see the back of 2020 — it’s been pretty sh*t to say the least and we have all had enough.

The start of a New Year brings new hope, new vaccines, mass testing and dare I say a new dawn. But what have we learnt from our year of adversity, that will stay in our minds and serve us well in the years to come? Because the honest answer is not as much as we think — much of what we say now will be forgotten, as our memories fade and we become consumed by the manic world of distractions once again. …

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I’m one of the missing statistics from the workplace — the army of women who disappeared to raise families, make homes and try to stay sane, whilst balancing all of the demands and expectations of them.

My career break turned into more of a retirement, the years passed and something else more important always came along — recovering from PND, juggling the needs of 3 young children, supporting my sister as her husband battled MND and died, absorbing every precious minute with my dad before cancer took his last breath and embarking on a ridiculously sh*t menopause.

And so eventually my career break became a way of life. A life that was full of really important stuff, like helping out at my kids school because they liked it, making a home that I loved, spending time with myself without any distractions, learning to be innovative to make the money go further, discovering my creative streak, having the time to get good at my favourite sports again and perhaps most importantly, not having to ram everything into the weekend before work beckoned on a Monday morning. …

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I was asked to do a short vlog on hope. Thus far I have failed. I have failed because hope is perhaps the biggest word in the world and I cannot seem to find the right words to truly express its scope, impact and true meaning.

So, I turn to the dictionary for inspiration and what I find is this:

As a noun ‘a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen’ — my god this is even more inadequate than even I could have imagined.

As a verb ‘want something to happen or be the case.’ …

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It’s all so intense, so pressurised, so transactional. It feels like we have become robots in pursuit of purpose, meaning and ultimately humanity. Isn’t that a ridiculously huge paradox? We are losing the very thing we seek.

So, you may ask what the f*ck am I actually talking about. I’m talking about us, the way we live, the way we work, the way we connect, the way we distract ourselves, the way we see ourselves. It’s all got so out of balance. We wear our ‘busyness’ like a badge of honour, rather than the shackle it actually is. We are not robots, or machines built to be utilised for every available hour. …

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My frustration is so great, I’ve re-written this intro 3 times already. It’s either too angry, too sad, or too tired. None of those words are particularly inspiring it has to be said, so it’s a good job there is a deep seated, primal drive within me that fuels me to action each day. …

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“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new” -Socrates

The line between the individual and the organisation is becoming increasingly blurred, as organisations move away from a mechanistic, bureaucratic structure, towards a living community and individuals strive, for a balanced life, where they feel that what they do matters and that they matter too.

The skills required in our brave new world are changing — we are living in unpredictable, volatile and unprecedented times of change, disruption and opportunity. …

This is me the other night going for a belated wedding anniversary dinner with my lovely husband — we’ve been married for 15 years now, after a whirlwind romance that started 10 months before we tied the knot.

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During that time, I’ve had 3 children, suffered from depression numerous times, given up a career, put on 2.5 stone in weight, accumulated a significant number of wrinkles and grey hair, gone up 4 bra sizes, lost my battle with gravity and entered an early and fairly severe menopause.

I’m not particularly high maintenance from a beauty perspective — I don’t have facials or fillers, I shave my legs (well sometimes ), paint my own nails, pluck my own eyebrows, very often dye my own hair and yes do succumb to St Tropez false tan, as quite honestly, my fat always look better tanned. …

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I keep an on-line diary — I’m not terribly disciplined with it, the entries are random and short. I simply pop things down, when and if the mood takes me.

I purposely keep it to a very short word count for 3 reasons a) to force me to cut through the bullsh*t and say what’s really on my mind b) if they were any longer, I would not write them as I’d loose interest and c) I’ve got the memory and concentration span of a gnat, so it’s best to say what’s on my mind quickly, before I completely forget.

To be honest, I don’t actually find it that useful in the moment — because I’m writing what I feel and know at that moment in time. But sometimes we forget and it’s only when I look back at the entries, that I am reminded of something, someone, sometime that made me feel a certain way. …

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It’s only Tuesday, it’s only the second week of the school holidays and it’s only 7am. Already I can feel my body aching and a feeling of acute stress, as I lie in bed trying to summon the motivation to get out of it. Eventually, I persuade myself to move — just to make a cup of tea. And then when I’ve made the tea, I find the energy to make some breakfast, sort the kitchen and put the washing on. …

About

Nik Davis

Nik has a mission - to be brave, challenge the norm and tell it how it is. To share her failings and challenges, to help manage this mad thing called life.

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