New Year, New Decade, Hello 2020
How has your Christmas been? It's a funny time of year for lots of people. I loved it when my three kids were little, it was such a magical time of year but this year saw my eldest two move out of the house and become independent adults so it as felt a little strange. I must confess to sitting down with Mark to watch Elf and ending up bursting into tears because they were all so grown up and things now feel so different. God knows what I will be like next September when my last child goes off to university!
Shock horror! I ate a donut for breakfast one morning between Christmas and New Year which is something I would never do at any other time of year. I have been much more aware of the guilt women are ladened with surrounding the whole of Christmas. It starts back in September with magazines and diet adverts showing how to drop a dress size ready for Christmas, then the shops are full of delicious food which are marketed in such a way that we simply must buy them to make the 'perfect' Christmas. Followed immediately on Boxing Day with the guilt laden gym membership and diet adverts on how to lose the excess weight so you can feel 'happy' again. It drives me insane. Firstly, from my own experience, I don't believe that happiness can be found on the weighing scales or a size label. Exercise is great but should be promoted in a different manner, not one from the guilt angle. How about promoting exercise because it's fun, good for our mental health and can be a great way to make new social connections, all year round not just January. Rant over.
Not just a new year, but a new decade. Wow, where did those ten years go? I'm turning 50 in May this year and with this new decade I have been reflecting on all that I have achieved in the last then years and what rollercoaster ride its been.
In the last ten years I have-
Moved house twice
Found new love and remarried
Stopped dying my hair and embraced the grey
Returned to studying and gained a 2.1 Education Studies degree
Tandem skydived twice for charity
Cycled 127 miles from Leeds to Liverpool in 2 days
Cycled London to Brighton (not been on a bike since!)
Travelled and volunteered in children's charities in Uganda and India 5 times (need to do this again)
Begun a new career as a model
Appeared in television commercials
Modelled swimwear in the Bahamas alongside Ashley Graham
Started my own podcast
Made a short film which appeared at Bradford's Get Smart Film Festival
Started working as an extra and now appear as a regular on Emmerdale
Made so many genuine new friendships and finally learnt to love myself
I have finally found that self belief which is liberating because without it, it can hold you back so much. I don't know what the next decade will bring but I know I'm in a stronger position to deal with anything life throws at me than I was ten years ago.
I'm looking forward to being 50, it feels like a marker in the sand where I can be proud of where I've got to so far but also to relish the new adventures ahead with a lot less worrying about what others think of me. I'm going to embrace this new year and 100% own my own goals and dreams. I hope you do too.
Look out here I come, walking in to 2020 like a boss!