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New home, new knee, new year, new blog

When life gets busy (when is it not!?) one of the things I enjoy that I don't find the time to do, is writing and creating. I love doing podcasts, writing articles and basically creating content that I enjoy doing, and that hopefully some people find either inspiring, informative or at the very least, funny.

A new year always brings increased motivation and new I am going to embrace this renewed vigour by writing some of my thoughts, ramblings and stories in a new regular blog.

The end of 2022 saw lots of change for myself and my family, firstly moving from Scotland (our home of 20+ years) to Harrogate, North Yorkshire. We are a bit odd, in that we quite enjoy change! We wanted to try something new whilst the kids were still young enough to move schools, and after looking at a variety of different things which are important to us, we opted on moving to North Yorkshire...which really is a lovely part of the world. We will miss living in Scotland, but we are excited about living somewhere new, doing new things and meeting new people. Personally and professionally we will still be in Scotland regularly, so I guess if we are lucky, we might have the best of both worlds!

Autumn trees in The Stray, Harrogate
The Stray, Harrogate

We may be new to the area, but I am already familiar with the local healthcare! Last month I had a knee operation - the legacy of numerous football injuries. This was my second ACL (the dreaded cruciate injury) reconstruction. This may sound strange, but I was very excited to have this operation! I know it is painful, and 4 weeks later, although I can now walk without crutches again, the rehab process is a long one. However, although the chance to play professional football at the age of 41 is unlikely, the chance to get back playing socially and maybe even competitively is something that I am so excited about. I think it is often true that we don't always appreciate what we have until it is gone, and the inability to play football these last circa 15 years due to injuries has had an impact on me. This now feels like a second chance. I may not be getting any younger, but I am hopefully not over the hill....yet! A big part of 2023 will be putting 100% in to my rehab and getting fitter and stronger than ever, to give myself the best possible chance to get back playing sport. There will no doubt be ups and downs along the way, and who knows, maybe even a few tears....but I am sure it will all be worth it. Will keep you posted.

When working with organisations and colleagues, I always talk about the importance of having 'non-negotiables' in your life which are just for you, and your own happiness and wellbeing. Life can be manic, it can be 24/7 with technology making it possible to always be accessible. Therefore, more than ever, it is crucial we make the time to do something on a regular basis which is just for us - whether that is a regular walk with a friend, a weekly yoga class or even just some quiet time listening to your favourite music. Our weekly plans will often change, and things happen, so we need to have some flexibility...but if possible, have at least one thing that you aren't flexible about, and that is your non-negotiable. We often put ourselves to the bottom of the list, and this is about carving out some time where we keep ourselves at the top of the list. This is so important for our mental health, and for our capacity to manage stress. For me, the best thing to achieve this was playing football. Having not been able to do this for a long time, this has without doubt impacted on my own mental (and physical) wellbeing. Focusing on my post knee operation rehab, will hopefully enable me to take my own advice!

Whatever you hope to achieve in 2023, I hope you find happiness and health in abundance.

Until next time...


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