Talking on a guest post can often be quite daunting…

Pick any subject they tell me… Any? Really? Well here goes; Firstly, my thanks must go to Gilda Evans for asking me along. I hope this will be worthwhile for your readers.

It’s a topic that’s close to home and looks at Life, Health, Love and Work. So, my first question to the reader is to look at your situation and ask yourself “Is that the correct order?” Now I’m no Doctor so this post is purely based upon my own experiences, learnings and subsequent changes to my personal life after what has been decades of getting it wrong!

For me this has worked in reverse for much of my life. A workaholic perhaps; that ‘work – life’ balance has always slanted in favour of the former. Well, until recently…

So, what does one do on finding oneself parted from family for several years; oozing responsibilities in the wrong part of a country, responsibilities which suck one dry of both energy and free time? Responsibilities that also caused, and continue to contribute to, all those countless sleepless nights. They are possibly even the key motivator for the most recent partner to ‘part’ company?! But that’s a story for another day.

Scarier still, what does one do having accepted that once again they’re on their own, heavily burdened, but now the wrong side of middle age?

For some it may seem glaringly obvious! But I am sure for some snarled up within that ‘box’ of circumstances solutions do not always seem so simple… Well, until one gets out of the box, takes several steps back, and re-evaluates peering from the outside in.

If one is going to self-evaluate their life they must be honest about it. Yes, it can be scary what might be revealed. But if there’s no honesty, well there’s no point in the exercise! I have been down the route of self-appraisal with total honesty and to be frank I really didn’t like what I saw…the results of which seek, create and embrace change in a big way!

Weighing up the positives and negatives of changing one’s situation can be a daunting task. Whilst serving in the armed forces we would employ a method called The Duke of Wellington test when evaluating change. It was named after one of our greatest leaders nicknamed ‘The Iron Duke’ after defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. The Duke of Wellington used to do exactly this test before waging war. He would make a list of the key elements related to his situation that needed to be changed in order to succeed at his task. Today this can be likened to; personal goals, tasks, career, relationship, debt etc. In his day, more often than not, it would be related to winning battles and waging war. He would evaluate and weight those items to reflect importance and if, once this task had been carried out, the list had more positives than negatives he would stick to his guns! If however, the negatives outweighed the positives he would saunter off living to fight another day! Hmmm, his success shows that change should be considered very carefully before being decided upon or implemented.

In today’s world perhaps this isn’t so easy. Times have changed dramatically since Wellington’s day but the principles remain the same. We are more inclined these days to pose the question; What are the knock on effects to others and how is the equilibrium of current life going to be effected once change has been exacted?

On a personal level I have exacted change, big change, and am being dazzled by the beauty of that green grass that lay on the other side on a daily basis for so many years. But everybody’s situation is different and often complex.

My history… Oh dear! Well, it was all going so very well until I realised that a full day and night has been capped by the Great Architect in the sky to 24 hours. Which let’s face it, seems rather inconsiderate to a person who often works 18-20 hours per day but also enjoys a good 8 hours sleep. The math simply doesn’t work and that in my mind is simply not cricket!

Sadly, I have an allergy with the word ‘NO!’ and as a result my to-do list rarely does anything other than grow. I am almost certain that any professionals or indeed mothers, housewives or domestic engineers (as they are sometimes referred to), will understand where I am coming from. Oh yes! I was a househusband to my eldest son for a couple of years many, many, moons ago and can empathise with how busy that ‘unpaid’ role can become!

People tend to resist change. There’s something to be said for the safety of routine. Often, even when it is not a healthy or even a safe place to be, people remain resistant to make that change! I am equally as guilty as anybody else stuck in a rut on that score and it took several months of serious health issues and soul searching before I woke up to smell the roses. Change hasn’t been easy; in fact it has taken several months of preparation to make a go of it. But folks; you only live once! Live happy!

Change does not have to be bad, quite the opposite. Whilst I have a couple of mantras, one of my favourites to consider (and forgive the colloquialism) before taking the plunge into the unknown was; “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” something that politicians and high-level corporate managers tend to forget on a frequent basis! Ha!

So, why am I imparting this to you all…

Perhaps, to give hope to those who believe their situation is hopeless. Maybe to assist those working through issues, but can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel…yet! It even may aid those of an impetuous nature to avoid making hasty and/or irrational decisions without thinking through the consequences first.

All things considered if just one person corrects a bad decision or can re-evaluate and recognise the need for change after reading my ramblings, perhaps then this post has been worthwhile.

I have learned from my own mistakes (there have been many) and if it had not been for the changes I had recently made I might not have been here today in order to impart what I have learned. That, I believe is worth sharing!

Life, Health, Love and Work is the new order for me. I had it so wrong for so many years! So, I challenge you to write down your issues, come up with some solutions/changes that will improve your situation and run with the Iron Duke’s test.

Give it a go. What do you have to lose?

I shall finish with a few words from one of the world’s greatest philosophers. If readers have related to a single sentence of this piece I have done well and thank you for reading!

Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence. Aristotle.



Simon Duringer – Bio

Simon Duringer is an Award winning blogger, interviewer, author, radio presenter, Treasurer of one of the UK’s most established writing organisations; The Lancashire Authors Association (Est. 1909) whose former members include the likes of Gracie Fields.

Member of The Chorley District Writers Circle, co-founder of a group for creative’s namely; The Chameleon Collective and also a member of a number of online writer’s groups including the Independent Author Network #IAN.

Also, Simon administrates a family friendly Facebook group; Book Lover’s with a membership of 20,000 plus. He is a promoter to indie authors and a consultant for those wishing to be self-published. Occasionally he can be persuaded to do a small amount of public speaking and when the chance arises; consultancy, both for self-publishing and general business consultancy, based upon 17 years of working within Operations.

For Interviews and/or further information, please contact Simon directly;


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Guest posts are the opinion of that author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Gilda Evans or others posted here.