CATS | ANECDOTE | PET OWNERSHIP

A mum states her case

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After a harrowing experience at the vet last week, I stumbled home and collapsed into an emotional heap. My partner took one look at me and asked if I was okay. I shook my head steadily, gathering my thoughts.


An intentional year seeking health brought profound learnings.

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‘Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you,’ according to Anne Lamott.


Anecdote | Perspective

A dog lover’s epiphany

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The very qualities that made me feel I could be a calm, Stoic first time cat parent have made me an obsessive, submissive wreck of a mother. My days are spent anticipating their needs and desperately trying to earn their love.


Building muscle not only for your physical health, but your brain health too.

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It is rare that an Instagram post has me sitting up in my chair feeling like I need to make a change.


Equipped with some kindness, I am making changes.

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I have always been wary of ‘self-love’ mottos, embracing my low self-esteem and rejecting calls for more self assurance. It became my personal brand, no harm to myself and a non-threatening gift to my family and friends. But over time, I noticed two destructive patterns:

  • As I bought into my negative self-talk, I let opportunities pass, thinking they were beyond me.
  • I was using self deprecation to side step accountability and avoid the challenge of self improvement. To my mind then, I was making a mockery of myself to the world; wasn’t that responsibility enough?

Some friends cared enough to…


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The power of realizing enough is enough.

Raised by a dynamic powerhouse of a mother, my siblings and I became accustomed to hearing her daily mantra, “Hard work always prevails!”. My mother trained as a nurse and often held down more than one job at a time to ensure she gave us as many opportunities as she could.


It’s toning my body, while toughening my mind.

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Running never interested me in my early days and it still doesn’t now in my late 40s, but I have discovered benefits that far outweigh my displeasure.


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A list of foods proven to benefit your overall strength and well-being.

When I was 11 years old, my mum and I were waiting at the checkout line of a popular pharmacy in South Africa, to pay for our vitamins. Just as we approached the counter, we paused to the sound of a frail voice from the back of the queue. An aged man with a distinguished colonial English accent summoned, ‘what is the natural herbal remedy for memory loss?’ The pharmacist answered in an unsurprised voice, ‘Gingko Biloba, sir’. A minute and a half later, the same voice with the same style came back and recited the question in the same…


Manage your days to reclaim your nights.

Photo by Abbie Bernet on Unsplash

My sleep troubles began in my early thirties. Nothing significant had happened beyond life’s normal trials and tribulations, so I ignored the newly developed habit and hoped it would pass. I was living in Spain when the sleep deprivation got out of hand, and I explored a range of local ‘treatments’. Whether with an extra glass of wine at night, a puff of my flatmate’s cannabis ‘nightcap’ or a mild sedative, I got through my 30s with sleep in the red.


Photo by Magnet.me on Unsplash

Don’t use work as the barometer for ‘worth’.

As a young, eager to impress, marketing executive in my early twenties, I recall my surprise when a senior manager announced he has never worked on a Sunday and never intends to.

Fiona

Storyteller, ‘midlifer’, underdog & guinea pig for second half well-being. Looking to build better physical, mental & emotional strength. strongsecondhalf.com

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