At 40 years of age, after having had four gorgeous kids and having worked twenty-two years in the same industry, at the same location, I found myself completely mind-numbed and at a point in my life where I had to take charge and make change. In the lead up to this point, I had spent seventeen months in ‘hibernation’ after the birth of our twins and I was returning to work to different owners and a completely different management team. This change of ownership had seemingly brought about a change in the atmosphere of the workplace and was something I was not fully prepared for. My work role was now completely different and to add to that I felt like I had lost my social skills after a year and a half hidden away from the world. All in all, I felt like I was trapped in an unknown place, completely overwhelmed, failing and sinking fast. Worst of all, I felt like I had no one at work I could rely on to turn to.

In addition to my return to work, I was still trying to be supermum to my three youngest children, pressuring myself to breastfeed the twins for as long as I could, while working full time, all the while missing my loving partner who worked hospitality hours. I envied him so much as he still continued his social life, fitness and sporting commitments while I committed myself to giving my boys the best start in life that I could, beating myself up constantly about not spending enough time with my daughters or looking after the household. I often felt overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, out of control…I would eat uncontrollably, I’d get impatient, I was tired, I hated work to the point where I would cry and pressure Nick to get a more secure, better paying job. I worked ridiculously long hours and would sometimes leave home in the mornings without seeing the kids and return home at night having not seen them all day. The house was a constant mess, nothing was getting done, and we never went anywhere or did anything. I dreaded having visitors and I never went visiting. I suffered mummy guilt, partner guilt, friend guilt, employee guilt, guilt, guilt, guilt. I worried constantly about what others were thinking of me, and my messy home; it was heartbreaking, I was exhausted and it was taking its toll. My health, weight and fitness were out of control having put on 15kgs after having the twins and not making time for my health and fitness.

Something was about to give and I needed to get off the merry-go-round of seeming dreadfulness.

It was at this time, as if I had subconsciously drawn them to me, that two amazing opportunities presented themselves. Call it coincidence, call it luck, and call it whatever, both of these opportunities was exactly what I needed.

The first was an opportunity to improve my health and fitness. It wasn’t easy; it was hard physically, mentally, timewise and family wise. But with some organisation, support from Nick, my family and friends and a big boost of motivation from the second amazing opportunity to present itself, I took charge and wonderful things began to happen.

The second amazing opportunity that coincided and gave me the confidence to take charge was to be a part of the Career Change Happens Focus Group. From our very first get together I started to feel motivated, important and knew that I was embarking on an incredible journey that was going to be life changing and give me clarity on my future life direction.

My values became more clear, the things in my life that were holding me back were acknowledged and the things that I needed to motivate and encourage me were identified. I was made to feel important (and was able to make myself believe that I was important). Suddenly working out, eating properly and looking after myself was my priority and I saw that it was possible to make it work for me and my family. As a result everything else seemed to fall into place. Life became more organised, less stressful and happier. My hours at work were not as long and I found that I started enjoying my job with less concern about the ‘what ifs’ in life and more focus on the ‘here and now’ and my own well-being. I now get to spend more quality time with my family and I am setting fitness and personal goals that I have never set before. Things still go wrong, the house is still a mess, I still get tired and I still have a long way to go with my health but none of it overwhelms me like it did before I was given the skills to identify and deal with these situations.

Despite not having come out of the ‘Find Your Calling’ program with a clear ‘career change’ direction as such, it has certainly helped identify some desires for change and instilled the confidence in me to know that it is possible to change and that wonderful support for women like me is out there. CCH has helped to make me realise the positives that I get out of my current job and to feel satisfied and proud of the career and life that I have built. Most importantly it has helped me to understand the importance of me and the importance of those who surround and support me. It has also stirred up a desire in me to learn more about property development (on a relatively small scale at this stage) and has made me realise that I have an unfulfilled dream of living overseas that I believe really needs to be fulfilled in order to avoid any future regret. Although I am yet to know how I will pursue this dream and how it all fits into my jigsaw of life, CCH has given me the clarity to realise the dream, and the confidence to know it is possible.

Watch this space!

By Deanne

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