Judy DixonBehavioural Consultant - Retired
Judy's Story :
I am a 66 year old woman who is blessed with wonderful supportive friends and two extraordinary daughters; each of whom have created interesting careers and lives for themselves. I have also recently become a grandma to little Clare, the love of my life. I am retired from working in social services as a behavioural consultant. I worked primarily with children diagnosed with Autism and their families. It was a very challenging but rewarding job and I felt privileged to have been able to enter the lives of families dealing with many challenging issues. They taught me a great deal.
In 2015 after a trip to India, a viral infection and severe UTI I was diagnosed with Chronic fatigue and had to go on disability. I was never able to return to work and had to retire from my job when I turned 65. My life changed completely. Although I am still significantly affected I am slowly making progress. I know many who become seriously ill may say that their illness was a gift, which might sound trite. it is, nonetheless, true for me.
10 years ago I started meditating as a means to find balance in my life–the job was causing much stress and my 8 year relationship was ending. It was the beginning of a journey I could never have imagined. My meditation practice has bouyed me through the often challenging obstacles I have come up against over the past 5 years and given me strength I didn’t think I had. I have had the opportunity to grow well beyond what I might have done without this illness and I am grateful for that. My friends and family have been there for me every step of the way and our relationships are stronger for it.
Part of this illness prevents me from reading and affects my executive functioning so I rely on my book club to keep me up to date when I am able to join in our monthly meetings. So I thought I would simply go with what spontaneously comes to mind when I think of my top 3 reads. There are so many books I have enjoyed but I go back to university days for “To the Lighthouse” by Virginia Woolf and much later to “Fugitive Pieces” by Anne Michaels and finally Rudyard Kipling’s poem “if” that I was reminded of last week.
I am humbled and inspired by the resilience of humanity; of those who face much greater challenges than I.
My advice to young girls in these times; be fearless, take healthy risks, make mistakes and take joy in everything that comes your way. Be present in your life and be kind to everyone