Pushing past challenges & finding joy

Progress isn’t always easy, as I’m sure you know.  Sometimes the most satisfying type of progress is the kind you have to work at.  The kind that puts you outside of your comfort zone.

You might find you have to grow a bit in order to stop feeling overwhelmed.  Push past the discomfort and fear of failure and make things happen.

I’ve discovered that’s what’s happened to me over the winter months.  It was so easy to get overwhelmed with the move, a new rent rate, new city, new neighborhood.

A new budget to make my pay go further while Ben looked for a job.  Having to make sure I actually have a packed lunch and snack, instead of wandering into the kitchen while working from home.

A new morning routine to make sure I’m up and on the early train in to work in a new office environment.  New commute costs.  New car costs (we’ve never had a car while I’ve been in New Zealand).

On top of all that I’m certain that I suffer from SAD — seasonal affective disorder, so I felt really crappy for a lot of this time, and was very tense, which didn’t help my marriage any.  Ben and I fought a lot during the first few weeks we were here.  I think most of it was the stress from everything being so different, and all the adjustments we were having to make.  All of these new things to adjust to and new challenges to push past at once where a lot for us to take in.

I realize that with those new challenges came some amazing rewards to enjoy.

A new house to make into a home.   A new garden with new secrets and new plants to discover.  New sounds to enjoy as I work in the garden.

I’d never had the privilege of hearing a tui in person before moving up here. If you’ve never heard one before, you should check out this video of a tui singing:

On a quiet night with a gentle breeze, I can hear the waves crashing nearby.  It’s a wonderfully calming sound, and I hadn’t realized I actually missed living near the ocean.  It felt a bit like coming home when we moved here.

Ben really loves the area we moved to, and it makes me really happy that he does.  If he hated it I would feel horrible, because we moved here for my job.  He has luckily found some temporary work on a construction site not too far away, where a retirement village is being built.   I’m hopeful that he’ll find something he really enjoys soon, as I know it’s not what he really would like to do for work.

Spring has definitely given me a different outlook on everything.  More sunlight hours means more time for me to get things done.  The sun also helps me not feel so overwhelmed by things that would seem insurmountable during the dark & dreary months of winter.   I feel much happier about all the changes we’ve made now that things have settled down and we’re able to actually take time and enjoy the little things.

Do you ever notice you feel down or in a bit of a rut during winter months only to have the sun help you break through it all come spring?


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Madeleine @ NZ Ecochick
    Oct 07, 2012 @ 22:25:16

    Aww sweets, moving to a new pace is never easy!!! I also know what you mean about last winter. I found it super depressing as well and couldn’t bring myself to go out in the garden at all or do other things I normally enjoy. Have to say all this sunshine and new lush growth has cheered me up no end!!! Sounds like we need to go out for coffee really soon M x


  2. Amy Thorstad
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 09:10:20

    What a wonderful blog Gwen. It’s awesome that you are able to see though all of the ‘stuff’ and get to the heart of what really matters. Being aware of the reason why things are happening and knowing that change can be good is a huge step in adulthood. Some spend their whole lives unhappy because they can’t grasp the BIG picture. Makes me very proud of you. We are never promised an easy road but learning that bumps in the road aren’t always a bad thing does help us to grow. And with that growth comes an acceptance that our life is going on…with or without us. Being present in each moment is so important. At my office I have one picture over my desk with a quote that I read every day. “Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”

    Miss you. Love you. Sending hugs. :-)


    • gwen
      Oct 09, 2012 @ 09:58:32

      Thanks Amy! I think I realized it a long time ago, but need a reminder every once in a while. It seems like spring is usually when I take stock of everything and refresh my outlook…and tell myself to get more lamps for next winter (but never do).

      I did see that picture over your desk in one of your photos — it’s so hard sometimes to live in the now, but it’s something I always strive for. Miss you! <3


  3. Cathy
    Oct 13, 2012 @ 18:56:49

    Hi Gwen. Your post really speaks to me! I feel terrible in winter if I can’t get oudoors, so I really sympathise. I used to take our dogs on long, long walks – even in deep snow or rainstorms! – but last winter our older dog got sick and we have had to stop walking altogether… I’m dreading this winter! Little problems become so much bigger in the darker months. I’m not surprised you were down with all those changes in your life. I hope your spring comes really quickly now, as I know how much difference sunlight and flowers can make! :D


    • gwen
      Oct 13, 2012 @ 22:24:03

      Thanks for reading! Spring is here now, but this week has brought tremendous rain and wind! It’s our first spring in this location, so I’m eager to see how it will turn out :)


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