Tomorrow is 1st September and this is a big day for me. Not only is it the beginning of autumn, which is my very favourite season, it marks a year since I started to move out and go it alone.

Financially, I gave myself a year to dip into savings and keep life afloat. From tomorrow, I am on a strict budget and one which I must stick to. I’ve never been great with money or budgets, I’m the sort that stuffs unopened credit card statements into a drawer and who flinches every time I get cash out, just in case it won’t let me. Anyway, it’s time to grow up and take responsibility. Waitrose will be swapped for Lidl, cards for cash and one huge financial plus will be that I am giving up wine. We have a volatile relationship and it’s not my friend.

I have led a much healthier lifestyle over the past few months with daily yoga, trips to the gym and eating few carbs (another enemy of my body) and lots of veggies and fruit. This, I need to maintain (although this past week has been v unhealthy and, as a result, I feel like a big blob and lethargic and just…ugh). I have also just started meditating and I plan to continue with 5 mins a day, building up to 10 and longer etc. Just the regular practice of it (like the yoga) I think will help my general well-being.

I had a huge panic attack recently, out of the blue, and it really shook me. I refuse to let anxiety get the better of me and aim very much to live a holistically healthy lifestyle. Although not one part of my life is secure at the moment (which is where I think, perhaps, it stemmed from), I feel really positive about moving forward. I have made some big and difficult personal decisions, including ending a relationship that is doing me no good, even though I desperately want it. I have also forced myself to get extra work to supplement my part-time wages and acknowledged that I need to take responsibility for myself and my decisions, especially those that affect my children. I think, with the separation and everything, I had allowed myself too much rope, become too self-centred and had forgotten what really matters. As I said, I’ve had a lot of small ‘epiphanies’ over this summer and I am ready to make September the start of a better me; a healthier, kinder, more assertive me. No magic wands, no knights in shining armour (am reluctantly realising, after 44 years, that they don’t exist) — just day-by-day, little-by-little changes for the better. Mentally, finding more strength; physically, tightening up (habits and body fat!) and emotionally, giving myself some care and protection.

I’m looking forward to it; I feel more positive than I have in a very long time. I have good friends to support me and a lifetime of possibilities ahead. That’s what I want to focus on.

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