Monday, 26 January 2015

When one door closes...

Years ago, I made a New Year's resolution to give up up making any New Year's resolutions. This has been one resolution that I've found easy to keep; up until now that is. In my last blog, 'The best laid plans', I included this list of New Year's resolutions that had been shared as a picture on Facebook by Life Coach, Lydia Field. This is a list of resolutions designed to help people to take care of their physical and mental well being. As I read the list I began to realise that, somewhere along the line, I'd forgotten to do just that and as a result had ended up in a situation that was affecting my health. I decided to take on board these resolutions and I can't believe how quickly things have changed for the better.

Having taken our house of the market, life did become a bit less stressful. But, due to my having been in hospital with pneumonia, I was quite badly behind in my Open University studies. In an effort to catch up, I spent every minute reading, or should I say , trying to read. But the more I looked at the words, the less sense they seemed to make and the more convinced I became that I wasn't taking any of it in. The more I tried, the more stressed I became. On top of this, I also found that I was continuing to get out of breath very easily. A visit to the doctor, combined with a chest x-ray, confirmed that my lungs hadn't yet fully recovered from the effects of the pneumonia, and being stressed wasn't helping.

During this time, I had several conversations with my hubby, during which I complained that I felt that doing the course had taken over my life and was preventing me from doing what I really wanted to do, i.e. do more writing and take up the opportunity to become a Downton Abbey tour guide at Cogges, a position that I'd recently been offered. It took several such conversations with my hubby, plus a couple of friends, but I finally took the decision to defer my studies until the Autumn. The relief I felt having made this decision was instantaneous.

But this was nothing compared to what happened next. 

Lady Mary, Tom and Farmer Drewe at 'Yew Tree farm.

The same day I made this decision, I was invited to a meeting to discuss the Downton Abbey tour guide position and, asked by the Director of Cogges, if I would be interested in helping to write a new guide book for them, as the old one is very out of date. Talk about 'when one door closes...'. Not only will I be able to show people the locations around the site where some of the scenes from series 4 and 5 of Downton Abbey were filmed, Cogges being the location of Yew Tree farm in the drama, but I'm also getting the opportunity to write about the filming for the guide book. I'm currently spending my time watching DVDs of series 4 and 5, as part of my research, and as the doctor has told me that I need to 'take it easy' until my lungs get back to normal, this is just perfect for me at this time.

I also have the date for my first official tour.

I haven't given up on my studies, just decided to take some time out. We still want to sell our house and there are still other ongoing situations which are in themselves stressful. But being able to take control and manage that stress is helping me a lot.

It wasn't an easy decision to make. But I'm really glad that, in the end, I had enough sense to listen to what my body was telling me and take my own advice.

So by:- 'Taking a risk', (no.6), 'being kind to myself', (no.8), and 'letting myself of the hook', (no. 4), I'm, 'able to relax more', (no. 3) and as a result 'keep my sense of humour', (no. 9).  I like to think that I was already doing no. 10, and 'appreciating all I have'.

Now to follow no. 7 and 'take my dreams seriously'. That's quite a challenge, but hopefully an enjoyable one. Another step along the path of my New Beginnings.


Timing is everything photo courtesey of:-

Resolutions picture courtesy of:-

Yew Tree farm from ITV series.

It's never too late courtesy of :-

Isabel Johnstone 2015 ©

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