During the past month, a lot has changed for me. I have started my eight-week placement in a primary school and life has got very busy to say the least! However, on Thursday, as I had been back at university for a week before placement commences again, I was sat down for a long tram journey. This gave me the time and the space to do some thinking about my life and I found myself reflecting and making an important decision about whether I had the time to do more writing in my life.

Perhaps you have been busy too and you may then be reluctant to slow down and feel unproductive. Yet it is in these periods that we can actually work out a lot about our lives if we use them wisely. In fact, I’ll give you another example. I was out doing my clothes washing today when I had what might seem like a bit of an epiphany for me: I realised that the times in my life when I have most suffered have been when I’ve either had too much or too little to do. It was only because I had slowed down for a bit that I had this revelation and the importance of balance in life came to the forefront of my mind.

Our minds can help guide us a lot, but it is only when we give them the freedom to do this once in a while that they can start working for us. On the tram, I concluded that I didn’t have time for more writing right now, but it helped me to think more long term and look at the bigger picture: I would have the whole summer to do it if I chose. Yet this also got me thinking about the amount of free time I would have if I took on primary school teaching as a career. Perhaps I could take an unconventional approach to my career or do something related instead. This was all food for thought and, although I don’t have all the answers, I do know it’s important to regularly ask yourself what is going well in your life and what you can improve on. Scott Smith, on his podcast, ‘The Daily Boost’ recommends doing this as ‘homework’ every Monday.

Perhaps if you are at Back on Track though, you might already be doing this regularly by sitting down with an advisor. I often find that the process of using somebody else as a sounding board and confidante when looking at and making decisions about your life can be very useful. Yet it is better to do your ‘homework’ first as then you have something to work with. An additional person can then help to put your ideas into perspective. Seeing a careers advisor has helped me with this same process recently.

If you are ever confused about or not paying attention to where your life is heading, take some time out to reflect. A walk in nature or long tram or train journeys have always given me the structure to do this. However, it is about finding out what helps you get into a pensive state.

Maysie Stott-Morrison