Since I started working for myself, I've learnt to pay attention to the markers that sign post I'm on the right path. The things that tell me that despite the struggles, despite the difficulty in finding a balance between pushing myself and being kind to myself, that I can pat myself on the back and gently say "good job".
I've been a fan of The Fresh Exchange for a good few years, and just before Rory was born I connected on Instagram with Megan and we started to chat. We were pregnant at the same time, and experienced a lot of the same things while we were navigating our changing bodies, lives and freelance careers. I have a lot of respect for the depth of thought Megan gives to every aspect of her life. I'm very much a wing it and go with my instinct kind of person, and I envy the amount of research, preparation and reflection that goes into all that she does. I try to assimilate a little bit of it through her words, using her as my online teacher of a class in how not to be quite so impulsive. There's beauty in both our approaches, of course, but as my beloved once famously said to me "Siobhan, it doesn't hurt to do a little bit of research".
When Megan reached out to me a few months ago about being a contributing writer, I felt very honoured. It's always wonderful when someone you admire lets you know they enjoy what you do, but when someone as conscious of quality as Megan asks you to be part of what she does, you know that she feels the time, the thought and the heart you put into what you do.
It's a challenge for me, to write for someone else and for their audience. I am so comfortable here, with you. I write like me, and for people who know who I am and what I'm about. But writing like me for people who don't know what I'm about? That's hard. It took me hours or writing, and even more hours of editing. I dreamt about it, I agonised over it, I re-wrote it until I was satisfied. It was published a few weeks ago, and I'd love for you to read it. I hope you enjoy it, and that my words resonate with you and encourage to find your own way of incorporating the practice of gratitude into your daily life. It has magic powers, I swear it.