In the words of the song: “It’s a new dawn. It’s a new day.” I’ve treated myself to over two weeks off work this Christmas/New Year, and I’m feeling relaxed, happy and full of ambition.
I spent a fair bit of time in the last few months of 2013 feeling sorry for myself. The charity I loved working for had merged with another. I felt sad, hard done-by and (honestly) pretty pissed off with it all.
Always look on the bright side of life
I make no secret of the fact that I have suffered with depression. It was the year off work with this disease that led me to the charity sector and fundraising, where I have had the joy of finding the career for me. I’ve worked with some amazing people, and made some wonderful friends. But for a little while I allowed myself to fall out of love with it and start to wallow in self-pity.
In all seriousness, I needed to get some perspective. After all, I have my health. I have a roof over my head. I can pay my bills. I can live my life. I have my amazing friends and family. And, I do love fundraising. It fires me up.
So, in 2014 I am going to remember all the lessons I learned in my ‘wilderness year.’ I am going to focus on the positive and list three good things that happen every day.
Don’t be backwards in coming forwards
I’ve heard this phrase a lot over my life. From my family, at school, from friends, at work. I’ve always been a little bit proud of the fact that I’m happy to challenge things. Or to be the one to speak up if needed. Or to have the discussions needed to make change happen.
However, the last few months of 2013 knocked my confidence. I let myself lose my voice. It might not have been obvious, but I could feel the difference. I allowed things to happen to me rather than being in control. Whilst accepting there are things I cannot change, where I can I will certainly try.
I’m entering 2014 with a renewed feeling of vigour. The voice is back. I’m feeling powerful and strong. So, I’m going to harness this and use it to push me forwards in doing what I want to do – raising money for an amazing cause.
And I’m also going to take time for the little things I enjoy about work. Reading fundraising social media, blogs and websites. Getting involved with the Institute of Fundraising. Writing blog posts on Charity Chicks about whatever takes my fancy. Making time to meet with fundraising friends.
After all, as Eleanor Roosevelt said: “Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be.”