As I sit here on the even of a milestone birthday, I have a hundred different thoughts running amok in my head.
How did I get here? How do I have three children growing up way too fast, when sometimes I feel like I’m still a child myself? How am I responsible for these three human lives? How on earth did I manage to find my soulmate (ma). What’s next for me and my family?
While I still try and get my head around these, and other mind-boggling, inexplicable and quite frankly, a little scary, thoughts, I thought I’d jot down some other things that come to mind before my big birthday…
Don’t get hung up on numbers… be it your age, your dress size, the number of instagram likes your last post received… they’re all, more or less, out of your control (hmm, maybe not the dress size, but that too can sometimes feel totally unmanageable). The point is, numbers are just… well, just numbers. They’ll go up and they’ll go down and you have no say, really. Well, apart from the age bit, but hey ho, at least there are no surprises there, so why stress about it?
No one is looking at you in the gym – they’re all too busy looking at themselves. So many friends of mine tell me they feel too self conscious to get into workout gear, that they’ll get the gym once they’ve lost a bit of weight. I’ve got news for you. No-one is looking. The ones that are bothered about image are too busy checking themselves (and their abs) out in the mirror to look at you, and the rest of us? We just feel the same way you do. Put on whatever feels comfortable (don’t be constrained by thinking you have to dress in a certain way in so-called workout gear) and do whatever you want to do.
Whatever was meant to be will be. I’m a list person and I’m a control freak, and I want everything ‘just so’ but even when you plan meticulously, it will inevitably all turn out exactly as it was meant to. Life has a way of doing that. The more you try to control the situations around you, the more you stress yourself out and set yourself up for failure. Plan, by all means, but be flexible and be prepared to go with the flow… you never know, it may all turn out better than you could have planned.
Don’t stress – your soulmate is out there, you just have to be open-minded to meeting people. I really believed I’d end up compromising when it came to finding my life partner – I’d had so many ‘introductions’ via my mother’s friends who had nothing else to do than match-make me with just about every single young man they could find. (I know it all came from a good place, but oh my! The stories I could tell about the blind dates they set me up on…. would you like to hear them another time?) And then bam! Just when I was least expecting it, when I felt and looked awful (ankle in a cast having torn the ligaments), along came my meant-to-be. And the same has happened for so many of my girlfriends too.
Treasure your health; the one thing that should be the most important thing to you. Without it, all the rest, everyone, everything is useless to you and you are useless to them.
Wear your best clothes, shoes, bags and makeup, all day, everyday, if that’s what makes you happy. What are you saving it for? I know so many who have a not-so-great foundation for the weekdays and then an expensive, luxurious one for Friday and Saturday nights out. What are you waiting for? The Queen’s not coming over any time soon, so just enjoy it just for yourself!
Live and Let Live: no matter how upbeat and positive you, are I defy anyone to deny they’ve had at least the odd fleeting pang of self doubt. The fab thing about getting into those 30s, 40s and beyond is that you care less and less about what other people think – so instead of worrying about ‘other people’s’ comments and opinions, live your life. As long as you live a kind life, you’re not hurting anyone and you treat others how you’d want to be treated, live life on your terms. So what if you want to get a body piercing at the age of 55? Or you want to dye your hair bright pink at the age of 60? My father brought me up to believe that the best way to live is to ‘Live and Let Live’. He always said ‘variety is the spice of life; if everyone was the same, the world would be a very boring place’ and I’ve lived by those two phrases my whole life.
Do you boo; if you don’t want to dye your greys, you don’t want to have any ‘age-defying’ treatments (who are we kidding?) or even go down the retinol route, then that’s your call. Likewise, if you want the Botox, the fillers, the face lifts, the £500 face creams, the weekly blow dries, then that’s fine too. The point is, do whatever makes you feel good in your own skin. Sod what anyone else says – only you see you in the mirror so do or don’t do whatever makes you happy. I’ve never yet met a woman who was truly 100% happy and content with her appearance (myself included) so don’t sweat the small stuff, do what makes you feel good about yourself and let the over-opinionated go vent their empty rants on twitter!
Finally, buy the bag, the shoes, the boots AND the dress – you can’t take it with you so you might as well go out in style.