Best of Where the Light Plays 2016

Happy new year readers!

I sincerely hope it was a good one and you're looking forward to 2017. And, if it wasn't, or you're not, I hope you realise the construct of years is not such a big deal and you just keep going for today...

Looking back at the blog in 2016, I feel like I have learned a lot and am thankful to say, the posts full of those learnings were most popular with you readers.

From working on my negative thinking with Brooke Castillo's self coaching model, to continuing with intuitive eating (thanks Paige!), through to the eternal struggle of being super productive, while also making time for pleasure and relaxation - I'd say I've been working on it all. No wonder I needed this holiday break!

Enjoy revisiting your favourite posts below and thank you for coming by week after week to read my musings.

I truly love writing here and can't wait to connect with more of you in 2017. I'm taking a couple of weeks break, then will be back with more ideas for you to try out for the new year. 

I'd love to hear in the comments below or over on Facebook what posts you'd like to see in 2017.

Top 5 Posts on Where the Light Plays 2016


Are You Who You Have Always Been?

As people, we are all constantly evolving and (gulp) ageing. However, over the last couple of years I’ve had a realisation about this on three specific occasions:

  1. I had a conversation with my Grandma, who just turned 95
  2. I found the speech my friends made at my 21st birthday party
  3. I read this blog post from Kate Northrup

As Kate so eloquently puts it, the realisation is - we are who we have always been. We will change our tastes, our situations and our outlook over time but I do believe we’ll always be who we are at our core. 

During the conversation with my Grandma, we spoke about her life, her experiences and what it was like to be in her 90s.

As we spoke and she transported herself back to other times - as an 8 year old moving to Australia, having babies in her 20s and 30s, becoming a Grandma in her 50s, not only could I see her current personality shining through all of those experiences, but I could also see (and she confirmed for me) that she felt like the same person in her 90s as she felt back then.

Things had changed but her qualities and essence had not.  

A few months later my husband was clearing out those piles of papers we all have lying around the house one weekend, and came to find me on our balcony having a glass of pinot gris in the sun.

He started reading to me from a sheet of paper and I quickly realised he had found the speech my high school friends had given at my 21st birthday party. I had no idea I even had it.

The speech was full of funny stories from those times, very sweet sentiments about me as a person, and finished with a heap of immature sayings I was known for at the time.

As he read on, I felt it wash over me too - I was who I had always been. Sure, I don’t feel 21 anymore but I still carry those personality traits and I am still known for my love of immature humour all these years later. I don’t plan on becoming mature by the way...;)

Then came the post from Kate - she had a similar experience as the discovery of my speech, except hers was boxes of memories from her childhood.

I found the post very comforting - as life moves through different stages, we deal with getting older and the world around us changes - we can always count on ourselves and knowing we will, at our core, be who we have always been.

Do you feel you are who you have always been?

Are You Working A 'Second Shift' Each Day?

My love for author and time management researcher Laura Vanderkam runs deep. I’ve read her book 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think and I avidly follow her blog and any articles she writes that pop up on publications like Fast Company and the New York Times.

Laura has stacks more books you should check out and I have no doubt you’ll appreciate her mix of real data and realism. She doesn’t buy into people bemoaning they have no time but also doesn’t want us to fill every second with productivity - pleasure and creating memories are just as important.

The 'Second Shift'

I didn’t realise how long I’d been following Laura until I sat down to write this post. In 2009, Laura introduced me to the concept of the “second shift”:

“Back in 1990, sociologist Arlie Hochschild coined the phrase "second shift" to describe the household labor married women did once they came home from their paying jobs.”

I’m sure many of you can relate - you rush in the door from work with your to-do list for the evening already swirling in your mind - dinner, kids, housework, your side business - whatever it is, it’s crucially important and you’ve got to get going on it as soon as you get in the door.

I talked through this concept with one of my amazing coaching clients recently. Although this work can be seen as important and can make us feel positive about our homes and lives, if we’re running from one shift to the next, there’s not a lot of time for pleasure or down time or even some semblance of calm in our days.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure many of us collapse in a heap on the couch or in bed at the end of the night and call that ‘down time’, but how would it feel to enter the second shift feeling rejuvenated and with some fresh motivation?

My evening routine almost always includes rest when I get home and I’d like you to try this out too.

The Challenge

This week, when you get home from your day out or enter the evening in general, I want you to take 30 minutes to 1 hour between your shifts.

Do something that brings you pleasure - read a magazine in the backyard with a glass of wine, do some yoga stretches - whatever it is, do it just for you.

If you have a busy family life that doesn’t allow for much alone time, read stories to your kids, or watch them play in the backyard while you get that wine and magazine time in.

The world won’t end if things run a little bit later each evening and I’m sure the memory of these times will far outweigh the to-do list.

Let me know in the comments below - what will you do between your shifts this week?