About Blue Sky Vitality
After many years of working in Construction in the UK, my family and I decided to emigrate to New Zealand to fulfil a long-held dream. It was a massive upheaval but as we sold up and quit our jobs we were excited for our new adventure and were glad to be following our dream. However, as the months went on, my husband and my children weren’t settling as easily as we had hoped. After nearly seven months, I reluctantly agreed to pack up and return to the UK. At least we had given it a go, right?
I went back to my old job, the children went back to their old school and life just slotted back into place. Almost. Within two and a half months of coming home, my husband was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. At the age of 46. I vividly remember standing in the dark car park of the hospital, making phone calls to our parents, crying in both disbelief and horror that our lives had been changed forever by this uninvited illness. We spent the next week or two in shock and then we both took different paths. During the next 18 months we supported each other but did not really pull together as we were on two totally separate journeys. That said, life was manageable. I concentrated on work which involved managing a team of design engineers for a Main Contractor in the construction industry and he concentrated on anything that he needed to do to make him feel he was in control of his life.
One Sunday morning, everything changed. I heard a thud and ran into the lounge. He was laying there, unresponsive on the floor. Two paramedics and a hospital visit later and things had changed irrevocably. He quickly needed round the clock care and before we knew it we had strangers in the house morning, noon and night but due to his complex needs I was always the primary caregiver. Somehow I carried on working at the same time. I was in a state of chronic stress, not that anyone had the time to identify it at the time.
Then one last traumatic day and he died. Overnight I had suddenly lost my purpose and my anchor. Of course I still had children to parent but we had got so used to the intense pace of getting through each day that I just felt lost. The next few weeks and months, I found it really difficult to concentrate on work, remember things, I was on auto pilot for parenting. Basic needs were met but I felt listless, disconnected, lost. We muddled through but I just couldn’t get my act together. Outwardly, I was coping. I turned up where and when I was supposed to, maintained my work commitments as best I could but I was crumbling inside and desperately needed a time out.
Someone suggested Reiki. I was at the point where I would try anything, feeling I had nothing to lose. I was a scientist by training and was sceptical of all this hippy stuff. I couldn’t have been more wrong. That first session set me on the path I walk now. Coincidentally, the Coronavirus pandemic hit and I was furloughed for five months. We used that time to reconnect as a family, work out how to walk as a three, we enjoyed the simple pleasures, I started running and I trained in Reiki. We came out of that time in a much better place as a strong and stable unit. I was stronger and more connected so consequently my children settled too. I began to realise that I was a different person but it would still be a while until I realised that was ok, so I continued to try and fit myself in my original ‘box’ never quite understanding why it didn’t feel comfortable any more. I still enjoyed Construction but it didn't satisfy me like it used to. The further I got from my original state, the more I was able to reflect and realise what wellbeing was, how it can affect your whole life and more importantly, how it can be changed. I realised I wanted to be the person to help other people like me. Those people going round and round who can’t see another way. Those people who’s life is passing them by as they get consumed with stress, grief and loss of identity. Suddenly, I wasn’t frustrated anymore. I was liberated at the realisation my ‘box’ had a different shape now and that was entirely OK.
So I trained as a Wellbeing Life Coach and created Blue Sky Vitality. The rest, as they say, is history.