I TURNED 37 on Monday.
It was the most wonderful day. I ate cake (lots of the really sweet, sickly stuff), went for a pregnancy massage and facial (yep, I totally pushed the pampering boat out) and all in all, was totally and utterly spoilt rotten.
Birthdays are rather nice aren’t they?!
They’re also a great opportunity I think to look back on stuff and think about where we’re heading in the future.
I came across this lovely little personal interview idea on Oprah.com a few weeks ago and today I thought it’s as good a time as any to give it a shot and share it with you all.
So here you go.
11 Things About Me (and where I am in my life right now.) Who knows you might even want to have a go yourself and share your own story…
1. What Younger You Would Like About Present You
(What would make 14-year-old you delighted, if not disbelieving?)
I’m not sure my younger ‘me’ would recognise me so much these days. There’s no doubt about it, I’ve changed over the years and in a big (and hopefully, damn site better) way!
But I know she would love the fact that I’m writing for a living and doing something that I love. Reading and writing were always my two favourite things to do, so I think she’d be pretty chuffed and astonished to know that’s how her life panned out.
I think she’d be a little shocked to discover that I’m a mum now ( to one and one on the way) but also secretly delighted too and I know that she’d be very proud of me for turning my life around after many challenging teenage years.
Although not as proud as I am of her, for surviving them.
2. The Watched/Read It List
(Right now, write down the name of the book you’re reading and the last movie you saw.)
The last movie I saw was the ‘The Light Between Oceans’ – a heartbreaker of a film if ever I’ve seen one! I wept buckets throughout this beautiful but incredibly emotive film which is a must see for most, but absolutely not for anyone who may be feeling a little raw about motherhood.
Book wise, I’m just about to sit down later tonight with a trilogy of books by Maya Angelou, which have literally been dropped off by a courier this morning and I cannot wait to get stuck in!
3. The Mistake You Never Want to Make
(Maybe yours is a life-level whoops you never want to commit…)
I never want to be a mother who is not there for her children.
Parenting is the toughest, most exhausting job in the world at times. It can be fraught, overwhelming and feel damn near impossible, yet as so many of us understand, it’s also the biggest privilege in the world.
I pride myself on being a hands on mum and hope that I will always be willingly and lovingly there for my children, even when they’re adults or have children of their own.
To be loved and supported unconditionally is every person’s birth right and yet sadly, we don’t all get what we deserve.
4. Your Ideal Outfit
(In your perfect world, what are you wearing right now? Why aren’t you actually wearing it?)
In a perfect world, I would be swanning around in a glamorous, long evening gown. Something elegant, classy and incredibly sexy. I’d have champagne in my hand and amazing heels on my feet.
And I’m not wearing it now because well, I’d look a bit daft doing the school run in it and let’s be honest, there’s a time and a place for a frock like that. Plus I’m not quite sure I’d fit my bump into such a gown these days!
But one day folks. One day.
5. A Deep, Dark—Shhh—Secret
(What’s the secret no one would suspect about you?)
That I’m often afraid.
I think most people who meet me or know me would probably say that I’m confident and self assured and take things in my stride. However the truth is, whilst I am these things (hopefully) I’m also often afraid.
I have dark days and dark thoughts that I have to battle and I’m often anxious or fearful. Even with my confident hat on.
Right now I could list you one hundred things I’m afraid of. But here’s just a few off the top of my head to give you an idea…
I’m afraid that you’ll hate this blog post. I’m afraid of giving birth again soon. I’m afraid that we won’t be organised for the baby’s arrival. I’m afraid I’m not a good writer. I’m afraid that my body will never recover from childbirth. I’m afraid that something dreadful may happen to my baby etc etc.
You get the gist.
6. The Most Unexpected Compliment You Ever Got
I will never forget when somebody once said to me, “Do you know what I really like about you? Your accent. You really don’t sound like the way I expected you to sound and I absolutely love that.”
That was said to me a couple of years ago and in the space of about six months, a number of other people said similar things!
I’d been embarrassed about my Northern accent for years and yet with that one compliment, it literally vanished immediately.
I’m a Northern woman with a Northern accent and I’m happy to say that I’m pretty proud of that now.
7. That One Quote
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” Anais Nin.
8. The Best Surprise You’ve Ever Had
Definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, seeing two lines pop up on a pregnancy test. Both times! With Elsie and with baby no. 2 who’s ‘cooking away’ as I type.
I never ever thought I would be a mum. Particularly as it took us a long time, both times, to conceive. So seeing those two little lines will always be the best surprise I’ve ever, ever had.
9. Your True Happiness
(Without thinking too much about it, describe in as much detail as possible your perfect happiness.)
Walking on a deserted beach,with the wind whipping my hair and the sun warming my skin, hand in hand with my husband and children. Life really doesn’t get much better than that.
10. Your Favourite Failure
It left me in the darkest of places for a very long time, but also made me appreciate the light when it began to shine through again. Painful? Incredibly. But it was also a huge blessing (albeit disguised!) because it turned out to be the making of me.
11. An Amendment to the Bucket List
Well I haven’t created one yet, so no amendment to be made. (Have you?!)
It is however probably about time I knuckled down and came up with one, if nothing else than to remind me that life whizzes by all too quickly and there’s still so much I want to do and see and experience!
It’s three years until I’m forty, so yep, I should probably get cracking. Let’s see now, forty things to do before I’m forty. Hmmm.
Now where on earth should I begin…