Back when I was in the trenches of early motherhood, the days with the demanding toddler, emotionally charged with raging emotions, and the tiny baby, the moving to a new country where I knew no one, those trenches, back in those days I used to look at women who had “stopped” having more kids and think to myself – what on earth do you do with your days?
I could not imagine my life any farther in the future than the next nappy change or feed, the next nightmare trip to the grocery store alone with the girls, or the next tantrum. It was like living in a haze.
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It’s been just under a month since we said our last goodbyes to mum.
Despite the boyfriends pleas that I don’t talk about it [ to the world that is ; he’s been a rock and is a great listener] apparently I am being morbid. I am single handily depressing and boring the blogosphere. I thought I’d go a head and do an update anyway .. on life.
Life after mum.
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Every now and then I read a quote and wish I’d thought of it. This is genius in simplicity and has a flawless execution.
In life we all have defining moments, experiences or levels of ability that can have a negative impact on us.
Or we can be a broken crayon; altered by the process but still a crayon of colour and delight. I guess how we handle the events or abilities is our decision and perhaps is more powerful than the event or ability itself.
When our little girl passed away just days after she was born, we became the new parents without the need to push a pram. We became people…
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I was on the bus this morning, on my way to work, so far, so boring. My journey to work is usually pretty uneventful unless I have a run in with a bus driver which can be quite common given my thoughts on First Bus. About 15 minutes into the journey the driver sticks his foot on the brakes and we’re all shunted forward, seconds later a woman appears in front of the windscreen, she’d fallen off of her bike in front of the bus. She was absolutely fine but I was the only person on the bus to make a very loud noise at seeing this – only slightly embarrassing.
Anyway, just after all this happened the song that should play on shuffle on my phone, is the aforementioned Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen). A song I have not heard in a long, long time and I found myself drifting away, listening to the words and my mind starting writing this little blog.
I was about 13 when the song was released and I remember thinking it was a really bloody boring song and wasn’t a patch on Britney Spears or Destiny’s Child and how could anyone want to listen to this drivel.
Fast forward 16 years (16 bloody years mind – makes me shudder at the very thought) and it’s a totally different story, I’m actually listening to this song and getting full on Goosebumps. Tears in my eyes and everything (what a sap eh?). It made me think about how advice is totally futile when we’re teenagers, because, let’s face it we know it all already don’t we?
How arrogant and totally misplaced eh?
I guess we just don’t realise how fast time goes at that point in our lives and how we really don’t know it all. We have such limited life experience but we’re at that really annoying age where we’re strong minded and stubborn all at the same time.
We don’t need some bloke we don’t know giving us advice, especially when he claims himself how it’s from his own meandering experience.
At 29 I now realise just how much sense is in the lyrics and it really hit home with me at that moment I was travelling on the Number 43 bus to work this morning.
There’s a lyric in the song that says ‘The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind
The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday’
Except for me, I was just totally blindsided by these lyrics at 7am on an idle Tuesday and how true they really are.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, oh, never mind
I think everyone would like to know when they were younger, what they know now. Benefit of hindsight and all that. Then I went deeper and thought, would I really change anything? Probably not, except I wish I’d travelled more. Not done the whole backpacking thing because that really wouldn’t suit me; I love my home comforts too much. However, I wish I’d seen a bit more of the wider world when I was younger.
Don’t worry about the future
Pointless. Focus on the here and now. Not what you said or didn’t say yesterday or whether or not something horrendous might happen tomorrow. You’ll only lose what’s happening right underneath your nose now.
Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts
Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours
Personally, I think this is something that needs to be experienced. I don’t think you realise when someone has been reckless with your heart until you actually go through such an experience and come out the other side. Without wanting to sound sanctimonious, I think only then do you learn from it and protect yourself in the future. *Cliché alert* but it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all and all that.
Don’t waste your time on jealousy
Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind
The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself
There’s been many a time I’ve been hit by the jealousy stick and turned a horrible shade of green but looking back, the only person I was in a race with was myself, I just wanted to shine and was frightened someone else might steal the spotlight. There’s been times I’ve been way behind but times I’ve been out at the front too – that’s life. You win some, you lose some and if I’ve learnt something this year, it’s just to keep putting one foot in front of the other and carry on. Dust yourself off and pick yourself back up again because life carries on regardless.
Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults, if you succeed in doing this, tell me how
Easier said than done eh? I know I always remember the insult or dig, no matter how much of a throwaway comment it was.
Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements
Yep, I deffo did this. What’s the point in keeping your old bank statements? You’ll only ever need to keep a maximum of 6 if you apply for a mortgage and what do you want to look back on? The only time I’ve ever really used a bank statement was to piece together the whereabouts of a lost Saturday night.
Old love letters are great – especially if you find the ones you wrote yourself and cringe hard at just how much you were in love with that crush from school. Yep, I’m cringing hard.
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life.
The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives
Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t
I’ve never really known, I had this misplaced dream from when I was little that I could be a journalist but hey, I never got the grades and didn’t have the drive. Quite sad really as my Nan told me the other day how my dear late Grandad told her once that he thought I’d go far in life if I became a journalist. Never mind, it wasn’t meant to be. Don’t muck about in school kids!
Be kind to your knees
You’ll miss them when they’re gone
At this point I started regretting doing all those slut drops in nightclubs back in the day. My poor old knees make a creaky noise now and I wonder if my best mate was right when she said “you can’t get down like you used to”.
Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much
Or berate yourself either
Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s
I like this bit, it makes me think that whatever we decide to do in life, what ever decisions we have to make, no matter how small or big, we have a 50/50 chance of getting it right.
I’m one to always berate myself about everything, my therapist told me I should be more of a friend to myself, but it’s easy to be a friend to your friends who you love and hard to be a friend to yourself. Well, that’s how I feel anyway.
Enjoy your body, use it every way you can
Don’t be afraid of it or what other people think of it
It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own
I found this bit really powerful and never thought of my body being like that before. I’m always looking at my stomach and wishing it was as flat as it used to be or wondering where this extra layer of fat has come from on my hips and back that I didn’t ask for.
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your own living room
I have absolutely no shame in admitting I do this. It’s a great feeling. I do it most days, except now I have an almost 2 year old to join in the fun.
Understand that friends come and go
But a precious few, who should hold on
Think we can all relate to this. I’ve had friends come and go but the ones who were meant to stick around have and for that I’m grateful. I’ve got some bloody brilliant friends who have put up with me and my silly ways over the years. Cheers loves.
Live in New York City once but leave before it makes you hard
Never been. Wes knows this is what I want for my 30th next year so hopefully he’s already booked this. Well, a girl can dream can’t she!
Accept certain inalienable truths
Prices will rise, politicians will philander, you, too, will get old
And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young
Prices were reasonable, politicians were noble
And children respected their elders
Prices have bloody risen haven’t they. A Freddo was 10p back in the day, it’ll probably be £1 by the time my son has kids.
Were politicians ever noble? Probably, but all I can remember is Tony Blair and he was far from that.
Don’t mess too much with your hair
Or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85
True story, that’s why I’ve had to have it all cut off cus it was in such a mess.
Be careful whose advice you buy but be patient with those who supply it
Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past
From the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts
And recycling it for more than it’s worth
Never thought of advice being like that before. I hate being told what to do but having listened to this song, I’ve realised it’s actually a form of nostalgia for the person who dispenses it, so I think I’ll be a little more receptive when my mum advises me against putting something on my credit card. She’s seen far too many times what happens when I put that top on my credit card.
But trust me on the sunscreen
He’s right there isn’t he. Sunbeds were never a good idea, I’m quite glad I gave up on them in my late teens and discovered the fake stuff.
Here’s a link to the great song itself. I think it’s now catapulted itself into my Top 10 all time favourite songs. Which leads me quite nicely on to my next post….
PS. Once this song came to an end, the song that should come on next was “Hustle” which was the song my son & I were dancing round the living room to on Saturday night. Pensive mood long gone, replaced with a huge smile on my face. It’s a great song!