The Wheel of Life…Over Time

I love the ‘Wheel of Life’ concept as a bit of  a health-check to make sure there’s some sort of balance in my lifestyle. Here’s a snapshot of my wheel over the years.

*cue 70s style wibble wobble screen effect*

Today: July 2013 – age 36

Home is a two bedroom apartment in Melbourne, Australia. Around the corner from good coffee, the beach and a multitude of drinking and eating options. I rent with Flatmate for a song. It’s a bit shabby but homely and suits my purpose…for now.

Relationship/Love One year and counting with Posh Boy. I swing from blissfully happy to immensely frustrated at his great non-committal boyness – depending on what time of the month it is. He is stuck in his ways but then so am I, we’re not sure what the future holds, but for now we’re rolling with it.

Health/Fitness Could do better. Healthier mentally than I’ve been in years, but weight still yo-yo-ing but I know what I need to do – currently waddling around 10kgs heavier than in Jan! Hate running, love cycling and my classes, Pump, Combat, PT etc I miss the gym when I don’t go.

Growth/Learning  Back at uni studying psychology and loving it – even the essays once I stop procrastinating. Also ‘studying’ to be a wedding celebrant. Adding strings to my bow as I don’t really know what direction to turn in.

Work/Career Kinda on the back burner for now until perfect job sweeps me off my feet. I’m contracting, it’s all temporary but loving the lack of politics.

Money You can never have enough can you? I’m doing OK, as in the wolf is from the door and I have my investment property to fall back on. Savings what saving?

Friends/Social Circle Got my crew here by my side and a smattering of besties back home. Have a nice little network here in Melbourne and at home. What more can I ask?

What does community look like? Farmer’s markets once a month, brunch with the girls at least once a month, Twitter daily and a good old fundraiser at least every quarter.

What does fun look like? Fun is chatting over a bottle of wine or two with friends with some damn good food. A comedy night or an arthouse movie or going to a talk. Long drives out to the country or down the coast looking at houses. Believe it or not, I’m enjoying cooking up a storm in the kitchen at weekend.

Spirituality Very lapsed catholic in that I haven’t been to church for over 2 years now. Like to believe in God when it suits me, firmly believe Grandma is watching over me especially after a clairvoyant said she was and described her to a T.

5 years ago: July 2008 – age 31

Home is a one bed flat – with garden – in Streatham, south London. I will alone with Mixie the cat, although at 16, she’s on her last legs and will die of undetected cancer later this month. I love my flat, it’s my sanctuary but now I’ve completed my renovation, I’m restless and looking for the next project.

Relationship/Love Er what’s that then? Miserably failing in this area and as single as single gets. Apart from a one night stand last month, it’s been a dry 2 years since the ex. I don’t know what to do about it, get paralysed with panic and think I’m going to die alone and unhappy and don’t think I’ll ever meet anyone like the ex. Completely blame myself of the break up but not entirely sure what I did wrong.

Health/Fitness Not bad since moving into the flat, I’m vegetarian and don’t really miss meat at all. Hit the gym twice a week and run around Tooting Bec Common every Saturday morning. Job means I’m constantly running in 5k events throughout the summer.

Growth/Learning I’m bored. Didn’t really learn much new with the renovation as I’ve done it all before.

Work/Career I’ve moved side ways in my role at work and bored already. I’ve started putting feelers out for new roles but there’s nothing inspiring. Have an overwhelming urge to run away and start again (Next month I’ll resign and book a flight to Australia).

Money is tight. I’ve a little buffer of savings which is burning a hole in my pocket especially following my tripette to Thailand. There’ s no sign of a promotion or salary jump in the near future and it feels like everything is expensive.

Friends/Social Circle London Buddy #1 and #2 are my saviours as are the only single ones left – which adds more pressure. Work colleagues are also my surrogate family given my long hours and weekend working in events. But apart from a select few, work colleagues really are becoming like family as you can’t choose them and my patience is running thin with them. Working weekends means I’m not getting to spend time with my real friends and family.

What does community look like? I visit Balham farmer’s market when I’m home on a Sunday and constantly at local fundraising events. I’m known by the locals in the pub across the road and can name all my neighbours. Streatham feels like a village within a metropolis which makes me happy.

What does fun look like? I can’t remember, I don’t seem to have much time but when I do, it’s generally in a pub over a few beers/lunch with real friends.

Spirituality: Hmmm still not talking to God. Me and him are gonna have words, but not just yet. I’m still sulking.

10 years ago: July 2003 – age 26

Home: Home is a one bedroom flat in Surbiton, Surrey. I rent with the one I thought was the one and we’re blissfully happy, optimistic and arrogant as two professional 20 somethings can be. We have a communal garden, walking distance to the Thames and everything including London on our doorstep.

Relationship/Love: Engaged. Blissfully loved up and live in each other pockets. We’ve been together for 5 years now and been engaged for 2. We talk of getting married next year but we still feel too young and both want to focus on our careers. Next year he will be diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkins Lymphoma and our lives will turn upside down.

Health/Fitness: I’m very unhealthy. Eat too much takeaway and drink too much alcohol. I’ve stopped playing netball after falling in a match and breaking my wrist. Haven’t been to the gym since I joined and my clothes size is slowly creeping up. I know I should do something about it but I can’t be arsed.

Growth/Learning: Career career career. That’s all that matters at the moment. Learning lots at work. Thinking about learning Spanish or Italian or something but don’t really have time.

Work/Career: I’ve just been promoted to marketing manager at British Gas. I fly business class to Newcastle every month and think I’m the dog’s bollocks. I love my job and gaining a solid reputation. I’m the youngest marketing manager in the team and got lots to learn but I’m keen and willing. The downside is my 2hr commute. I’m learning to drive which will make it easier but a normal day is over 12 hours.

Money: We’re both on good money, we’re frantically saving to buy a riverside apartment in Kingston but the prices are jumping up faster than we can save. Also having half serious talks about a few business opportunities namely: a bar in Kingston (we’ve even inquire about a site and visited the bank), a record shop/cafe (but we’ve just watch High Fidelity too many times) and loads of others depending how many beers we’ve had.

Friends/Social Circle: We’ve got a great network in London. I have my girls (from work), he has his boys (from work) and we have our mutual friends (from when I lived here on my internship). Family visits every now and again but we’ve imposed a 3 day rule. I only venture up north at Christmas.

What does community look like? A pub garden. And the local Sainsburys.

What does fun look like? A pub garden.

Spirituality: What? Oh I suppose I want to get married in a church and he doesn’t but I’m not really that bothered.

15 years ago: July 1998 age 21

Home: I’m just packing up my room in a house share in Leicester, ready to move to London and start work at a cigarette company on an internship for a year. I’m going to be a business analyst and I get to smoke at my desk and got to smoke in my interview – I think this is very cool. I’ve no idea where I’m going to live and who with (and Dad is driving me batty shouting at me to sort it out) but it will work out. I will learn only too quickly the downfalls of being niave and trusting in London (it wasn’t even real London, I move to Surbiton) when I find a room only to discover the woman is an alcoholic and steals my stuff. I move out after 3 weeks into a house share with 3 boys – and make one of my best friends ever.

Relationship/Love: I met a guy (the one I think it the one) a few months ago. A friend of a friend and we’ve been pretty inseparable since. He’s going to work in Portsmouth for a year so we’re going to do the whole long distance thing and see how it pans out. I quite like this one…I think it’s shocked my mates how hard I’ve fallen.

Health/Fitness: I’m a size 12 (the smallest I’ll ever be) and pretty fit – apart from the booze and the fags of course but I’m only a social smoker (whilst working at the cigarette company I will grow to a 20 a day habit!). I run, cycle everywhere. I play netball whenever I can. Swim, Gym whatevers going I’ll give it a bash.

Growth/Learning: Well I think I’ve finally learnt my lesson after failing economics this term. Turns out I’m supposed to turn up to lectures and do stuff like read and research assignment instead of just hope for the best. Looking forward to actually working and earning some dosh. Uni is OK but I’m getting a bit bored of the routine.

Work/Career: Half way through a Business Studies degree.

Money: I work in a pub and supermarket after me and Dad fell out and he refuses to fund me anymore (he wanted me to stick with Law but I hated it), I get a grant which pays my rent and I’ve maxed out on student loans. Mum sends me secret tenners in the post bless her. Money is tight, that’s why I’m so skinny, I only eat one meal a day – can’t wait to start earning proper money.

Friends/Social Circle: I’ve my netball girls, my course buddies, the boy and his buddies and my mates from halls. I love uni – I’ve met and formed some life long friendships. Family life is testy. Dad and I barely speak without winding each other up and I only go back to see Mum and sister and have a good night out with old friends up north.

What does community look like? The tin shed that is De Montfort University student’s union and the surrounding pubs and clubs. Also the sports centre.

What does fun look like? 3 empty pint glasses of ‘Clare Specials’ i.e. snakebite and black with a vodka floater and The Big Cheese (Saturday night down the Union)

Spiritality: Vodka. Turns out gin doesn’t agree with me. I either cry lots of get angry and row with everyone. Also can’t touch tequila after drinking a bottle on my 21st from the locals in the pub I work in. Threw up all night and had to run out of my 9am french exam to throw up again….turns out I’ll never be able to stomach tequila again.


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