ZEN TIP TUESDAY #4
Welcome to ZTT #4 which is coming to us from Gemma Johnstone. I met Gemma in my computer! Isn’t that the way these days? I’ve met so many incredible people in my computer. Gemma is a member of a Facebook Group I’m in where I put out the call for contributors for this new Zen Tip Tuesday series. She was quick to put her hand up and I’m so glad. What a brave and inspirational lady she is, as you’re about to see. Links to Gemma’s blog and social media are available in her bio at the end of this post. Enjoy!
P.S. If you’re linking up with our #ZTT Link-up #002, welcome!
After what was, for me, a very unexpected divorce a couple of years back I was left very shaken. I had always felt I coasted through life. I had been very fortunate and lucky to have a supportive family and friends network and a vocational career that I truly loved. I was in a contented little bubble and felt I had always had a positive outlook on life.
When I separated from my husband my bubble burst. I perhaps unwisely chose to let him hold onto the business I had built up over ten years and then I decided I needed to make some major changes to stop me from slipping into the depression that I could feel was starting to envelop me.
I was frustrated with myself and, in my desperation, I floundered from one hair-brained scheme to the next. I was not managing to find work opportunities that ignited a spark in me as I had in my previous business. I then had to say goodbye to my elderly dog who had been my constant companion for 14 years and a real support to me over the last year or so. Struggling to cope with the loss, I realised that I really had to take back control and make a major change to shake me out of my torpor.
I decided to take the opportunity to pack up my life and go on an adventure that I hoped would give me back my positivity and sense of self. So, along with my fantastic new rescue dog ‘Annie’, we headed over to mainland Europe. After a couple of months of travelling, we decided to settle for a bit in Courmayeur in the Italian Alps. I love the mountains and being out in the fresh air. The Alpine Village has a friendly community and a keen focus on the great outdoors. We rented an apartment at the top of the Village and it means we walk directly out onto the trails every day.
It was, perhaps, a slightly foolhardy move to head off with no plan but it turned out to be the best thing for me.
Being out in the mountains every day, just my dog and I, is so good for the soul. The fresh air, exercise, and focus on just powering up the steep slopes have been a real tonic and gives me a sense of peace, perspective and well-being that I had not felt since before my separation. My anxieties and deep sadness have lifted and it has helped me to truly start looking forward rather than being caught in an unhealthy state of going over the past.
The area is truly spectacular and waking up to mountain views in a tranquil environment reminds me just how fortunate I am.
Annie and I are out hiking every day and my fitness levels have increased dramatically which I think also helps with maintaining a positive frame of mind.
I had always been a really sound sleeper but during the last couple of years, I began to suffer from insomnia. Since arriving in Courmayeur this has lifted completely and I am back to being able to enjoy a peaceful deep slumber. What a difference getting a good night’s sleep makes!
We are now enjoying the arrival of the snow and are looking forward to a spot of cross-country skiing too!
Who knows what the future will hold but at least I can move towards it with enthusiasm again.
So, on the surface, Gemma may be a walking cliché. The girl in her 40s that, after an unexpected divorce, left behind her established business to travel and find herself….
Hopefully, it is not quite as clichéd as it sounds. Gemma likes to think of it more as pushing herself out of her comfort zone to gain new and exciting experiences.
So, in the Summer of 2018, she packed up her things and headed off into the great unknown with her fantastic little rescue dog Annie.
ZTT LINK-UP #002