Growing up I loved the Susan Coolidge novels, “What Katy Did” , “What Katy Did At School” and What Katy Did Next”.
Katy had way too many good ideas, which generally got her into trouble, but things always worked out well in the end. There was definitely always a morale to the story.
I think the reason why these books have stayed in my memory is because they were full of life. Full of never giving up on new ideas and no matter how many times Katy got knocked down, she would dust herself off and start again.
There was always a sense of adventure and risk. All of these plot twists appealed to me but the author made me feel safe as a child. I felt safe in her hands, knowing she would manage to find a path for Katy that would bring the best out of her. Katy would grow and develop and always be ready to take on the next chapter of her life.
My Own Story….A Life of Faith
As many of my readers know, I grew up in a Christian home, not in name only but a home full of real faith. I was taught to believe God would always find a way for me through the trials and challenges of life if I looked to Him for answers. I wasn’t taught to expect everything to be given to me on a silver platter but I understood there would be opportunities to learn and grow from the plots, the twists and turns that would become my story.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faithHebrews 12 v 2 (NIV)
As you also know if you have followed my blog or read my Book, the twists and turns of my life have definitely been complex, confronting and at times full of chaos. I have however always felt safe placing my life in God’s hands and knowing I would climb the mountain, cross the murky waters, stronger and ready for the next chapter of my life….just like Katy did.
So when I come to a bit of a cross road, I know it’s time to step back a little and work through my next steps. I feel I’m at this point of my life again. I’ve been here before. On the precipice of a new chapter.
When you own a shop you need to do regular stock takes. What stock do you have, what’s profitable, what’s not selling, what new products are available that would add value to your business?
It’s a similar process when reviewing our lives. The questions will be slightly different but it’s the same concept. If I have finished a particular chapter of my life, I like to ask myself a few simple stock taking questions to see what, if anything, I should do next.
My Life Stock Taking Questions
- What’s working in my life?
- What am I enjoying?
- What is mostly draining my energy?
- Are there new opportunities I would like to persue?
- Should I cease or change any of my existing commitments/initiatives?
These questions need to be given time to answer. If you truly want to re-evaluate your current workload and commitments and make significant and necessary changes, you shouldn’t rush the process. Unless of course you clearly know you need to pursue a new opportunity, or perhaps extract yourself quickly from something that’s become toxic or harmful to you in some way.
I need to take a bit of time to sort through my existing priorities and decide if I need to make improvements, or change my direction slightly.
My main “working” and medical priorities are:
- Medical Musings with Friends– my FB Support Group
- My Medical Musings- My blog
- Medical Musings with Sam- My Podcast
- My Book Promotion – “My Medical Musings, A Story of Love, Laughter, Faith and Hope, Living With A Rare Disease”
- Volunteer Online Work – Arthritis Queensland and Church
- Other Writing Opportunities- The Mighty and other Publications, plus Creative Content Blogging for a Publishing Organisation
- My Medical Team – ensuring I have the right Specialists and healthcare team supporting me. I feel I need to take a little more control in this area. There is no cure or treatment so regular appointments only really need to continue with one Specialist and my GP plus my OT and Physio. Others can be called in to consult as required.
My above workload is huge, especially given I’m supposed to be medically retired. I’m getting more and more exhausted as my disease progresses. Something has to give. Something has to change and I’d rather choose the changes, rather than the choice being made for me.
So What Did Sam Do Next?
My first step in taking stock was pretty simple…..I needed time to rest and re-evaluate. I couldn’t do that while trying to maintain a crazy workload.
So, what did Sam do next?
I’ve taken leave from most of my commitments for the month of August.
I’m giving myself time to breathe and think without rushing the process. I want to get the next chapter of my life heading in the right direction.
Writing my book was a major life long goal for me. Having achieved such a monumental goal has been the catalyst to make me want to take stock in terms of life’s next steps.
There are some things I will not walk away from as they are working, I enjoy them and they give my life amazing purpose.
Medical Musings with Friends is definitely one of those. My support forum continues to remain my passion and I don’t want new opportunities to take anything away from time spent with this amazing group of people.
Writing will also remain a passion so, at the very least, my blog will continue.
Volunteering for Arthritis Queensland has been a huge focus for me for 7 years and I love working with the wonderful staff and volunteers. It is an absolute honour to be a Moderator for the Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis forum. This will always remain a priority for me for as long as I’m able.
Family and Friends will always be important to me, especially my husband. Peter is my world and is about to turn 80. I’m so aware life is short and I don’t want to miss out on spending as much quality time as possible with the love of my life.
Everything else is up for negotiation in my stock take review. Change is never easy but it can be exciting and invigorating when the changes made are the right ones.
So the answer to “What Did Sam Do Next?” won’t be fully answered in this blog post.
It will be answered though in coming weeks and I will definitely share with you the changes, improvements and plans for the next chapter of my life.
If any of you are feeling more exhausted than usual, perhaps a little flat or disappointed with current working relationships, or your medical team, it might be time for you to stock take.
I hope my approach helps to give you some guidance in your own journey towards change and working out “what you will do next”.
If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding & friendship, you are so welcome to join my closed Facebook support forum, Medical Musings with Friends . It’s a safe place to connect with others living with chronic & complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.
If you would like an audible version of my blog, please check out my Podcast, Medical Musings With Sam
I’m also a Contributor at “The Mighty”. You can check out my published articles at My Author Page
I also write @ Blogs by Christian Women