The saying, 'life begins at 40', has never been more true as we continue to see exponential increases in how long people are living as well as the retirement age and a shift in what is considered to be 'old age'.
There is certainly a lot of truth in the idea that everything is better in moderation, but I speak for all the sensitive souls out there when I say that I am proud of my ability to be empathetic, compassionate and caring - and that I will not apologise for.
In speaking openly about Annie this week, I have noticed a few things. Some people, don't get it, and are probably my reason for writing this. Annie is convinced she wants everyone to know she is here. They love you and want you happy and carefree, and to them it looks like you are driving yourself mad, like this is a thing YOU do that YOU must stop. If only YOU could stop.
There's a physiological reason for this stress. There's a pleasure/pain war going on, partly exacerbated by modern technology. When we get messages and responses to our interactions, our brains reward us with lots of boosts of the pleasure hormone dopamine. Seeking these out often feels more rewarding than concentrating on a superficially dull task.
For as long as I can remember I've been going on holiday to Galloway. It's in the south west corner of Scotland - a part of the country that's often ignored as people power up the motorway to Glasgow or Edinburgh and beyond.
Respecting your body is an ordeal for most. Like myself there is always a part of my body that I wish could be better or improved. Ultimately we sho...
I rarely vocalise this. That's not to say I'm an outwardly gloomy person - I'd like to think I'm cheerful enough most of the time. I just don't ever feel that it's appropriate to bang on to my friends or colleagues about the great things in my life.
What is it that makes you happy? For many people, life satisfaction will be influenced by many different factors, including their family and education. For those working in the education world, the aim of achieving happiness for pupils once they leave school and become adults may be a motivating factor, but rarely something they can focus on day-to-day...
My tenth confession is a complete embracing of all my imperfections: I'm an idealistic yet pessimistic romantic. I'm a health conscious periodic binge eater. I think I'm so good but I'm super self critical. I'm sweet but I'm angry. I am a bundle of contradictions but again, I challenge anyone to say they are anything other.
In closing, by no means am I writing this to bash the staffing agency. I temped for a number of years, and have met my share of good recruiters out here working hard. This is just a listing of certain things people need to be mindful of when working a temp assignment..
The real problem is that we feel bad when we feel unhappy, we feel the need to hide our sadness because being positive is the in thing. As the adults perhaps we need to lead the way forward here, show young girls that feeling sad is not a bad thing, misery comes and goes and you don't have to smile at anyone if you don't want to.
Crikey - it's so easy to feel a failure isn't it - so easy to look at everyone else with their acts together (or so it appears)... in the gym, glowing faces, bouncing around all over the place - but really is that what's actually going on behind closed doors? Who really knows!?
I'm not dismissing making positive changes to your life; on the contrary, I'm all for learning, improving and evolving, but I find that change happens when you're mentally in the right place - not because society dictates that the first of January is the day on which we ditch all our bad habits and become mung bean-munching paragons of virtue. It's just not realistic.
That summer I said 'yes' to five music festivals and countless gigs. Highlights were Glastonbury - #lifegoal - and The Big Chill - with a girl I'd just met at a gig who asked me!
I wanted to share what I feel has really helped me turn a corner and hopefully, if you suffer with depression and anxiety too, you may find some of these ideas helpful. Remember, just like anything else, you have to put them into practice to see results.
Short term happiness is easy to come by, but can leave us feeling miserable and exhausted. My little list of happy makers will not bring you instant gratification like a glass of wine or slice of cake would, but trust me, as a person who has survived two mental breakdowns, these are tried and tested long-term happiness boosters!