Forever young

This was a week of reflection on the last four weeks of Wake Up challenges and how they have affected us

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I am so glad I picked up the Psychologies magazine on that blustery December day. I’d not read it for some time and buying a magazine is a kind of indulgence for me not only in money but in time too.

However, I did make the time and I'm so glad I did, for each article spoke to me. I was thinking yes, yes, yes, this makes so much sense to me. So in a rare moment of ‘ Why the hell not’ thinking I sent an email to Chris – presenting my case as a potential Wake Up Blogger. I felt I was reaching some kind of crossroads in life with some big decisions to make and I was hoping being part of the experiment would be just what I needed. Sadly I have been taught by life experience in order to not feel disappointed- ‘expect nothing’ which is quite sad when I reflect on it and has maybe stopped me achieving as much as I would have liked. So I didn't really expect to hear anything back.

Fast forward two weeks and imagine my disbelief and then joy when I received an email from Chris letting me know he’d picked me to take part. I’d just finished work for the Christmas holidays and this was like an unexpected Christmas present. Someone had heard me amongst others and thought I had something to say. I felt a little glow inside and I couldn’t wait to get started.

For the last three months I’ve come to love reading my fellow bloggers on the Wake Up journey. I’m intrigued to read each new post in my mail box and I feel I have made some new friends on this journey although I have never met any of you in the flesh. I love the way each and everyone one of us tackles the experiment differently; it has given me a great deal of food for thought. I have also loved the way this process has helped me understand myself a little better. The process helps me focus my mind about why I feel the way I do about everything and how we are all similar but all different at the same time. I think I am growing with this experience and with age too to become a better person, not to judge and see everything in black and white and realise there is always two sides to every story. I think I have more patience, I am a better listener and I am allowing myself to think perhaps anything is possible.

Some other factors have come into play in the last couple of weeks too. I have had some bad news about someone who means the world to me, we don’t know what that may bring. Also, I bumped into an ex love. He has had a devastating stroke which has left him suicidal locked in a body that no longer responds to him. My heart weeps for this poor man, this vital, intelligent, complicated, funny man who took me dancing in Havana, who introduced me to red wine, radio four, who took me to gigs and with who I would have mini discos with every Saturday night. These two things not only sadden me to my core but makes me angry at the unfairness of life, it is a lottery, and it matters not if you live a good life, we don’t know what’s around the corner. It makes me angry at myself too for wasting precious time when my low moods prevent me from moving forward. So I’ve made a couple of big decisions, I’ve put my house on the market, I’m going to move in with my man. So fearful was I of losing my independence which I have built around myself like a fortress for 16 years that I couldn’t see this was blocking my way forward. My son will be 18 soon and he has grown into an caring, hard working and well balanced young man. Soon he will go his own way and so must I. Living between two houses is exhausting too and a waste of energy. Once we have moved in together, we can set a day for the wedding and with my overheads halved I may be able to return to college. I’m not sure this would have happened if I wasn’t taking part in this challenge. I'm going to meet the college tomorrow to see what is possible.

I owe it to my Dad to live my life better, stronger and to find my Elvis! He’s gone but not forgotten, always a force of nature, and to my Mam who is inspirational in her love. I owe it to my ex who has a long way to recovery. I owe it to those poor Syrian refugees sailing on those flimsy boats from Turkey only to be told they might have to go back, and I owe it to those poor people in Brussels who have been murdered yesterday by suicide bombers. I can’t promise to be great everyday but I am bloody well going to try my best to be the best me I can be and to let people in and with it the light.

Waking up won’t be easy, I foresee issues and scary times – it is far easier to plod along in our daily routines. i'm sure the road will be rockier and steeper but on it I will feel more alive and hopefully I will meet my Elvis on the way even if he is an impersonator. Love and light Fi x

Fiona Dolben

Acupuncturist, holistic therapist, content creator., Hemp Holisitics

I'm a single parent of ONE lovely lanky teenager.. I live in deepest rural Wales . My 'proper' job is in marketing and events but I am also a trained reflexologist, masseur and reiki giver (go figure!) I also look after my Mum who is in her late 80's, my dog Ted, my cat Black and my hens and dream is to have a small holding and offer people holidays in my teepee and maybe the odd therapy as you can see I am a mass of contradictions.... I like to walk, do yoga, eat salad and visit new places but I also like to drive fast, Feast ice lollies, vodka on Friday's with friends(, which leads to dancing in my kitchen) my coffee , and staying up late... I can be outgoing but also extremely shy so like the rest of you I am still trying to figure it out one day at a time...


Go to the profile of Mark Cuddy
over 5 years ago
Amazing blog. To bare your deep thoughts and soul - beautiful . I can relate to so much in the blog and so much of what you say is absolute truth. I hope everything, plans and all, work out in a beautiful way for you. You are clearly enjoying 'wake up' which is superb and you are a deep thinker like myself, ahem. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences, it's a pleasure to read them (every time). Mark
Go to the profile of Vicki
over 5 years ago
Hi Fi,
Like Mark, I really enjoyed this post. The bit about being heard amongst others really resonated with me and it is amazing how these little challenges can spark such big changes in our lives. It shows just how on 'auto pilot' we all were before. Best of luck with the move and the wedding, lots of planning and maybe some stress but it will all be worth it.
Go to the profile of Jacqui
over 5 years ago
Oh Fi what a few weeks you have had. So pleased for you that you are moving forward and grasping hold of your life. Lots of heart felt love.
Go to the profile of Chris Baréz-Brown
over 5 years ago
Blown away by that Fi. Thank you for sharing and such beautiful words. I feel honoured to be on this journey with you and it means so much to me that you are shifting things in your life. Hugest love, Chris X
Go to the profile of Fiona Dolben
over 5 years ago
Thank you all :) its so lovely to get this feedback and encouragement x