Happy New Year! What are your resolutions? Quit this… do more of that… eat a rainbow… I’m currently eating a salad with almost an entire pot of hummus on it to distract myself from the fact it’s JUST VEGETABLES. Uncooked ones too. My gastroenterologist better give me a flippin sticker the next time I see him.
Janurary 1st can be pretty daunting. Even if you love writing to-do lists and setting goals and targets that doesn’t mean you won’t suffer that pang of dread about: how am I really going to achieve all of this?! Or you might just not want to change anything and feel unduly pressured to pretend you do for the sake of not wanting to seem like a bad woman/mother/blogger/person. FFS don’t go changing too much. I really like you.
For me this year feels especially fraught with what-ifs and oh-fucks because I’ve got the triple threat of:
- Waiting for a camera up my bum
- Launching my own business
- Turning 30 in March
But what’s really been helpful for me is taking control of these quite overwhelming things. And that’s why New Years is great. Wipe the slate clean and draw a line under poor decisions effecting (mental and physical) health; disorganised use of nursery time; juggling too much; seeing people too little; watching too much TV; not reading enough; biting your nails; using unethical shampoo… etc etc you get the gist. As much as I’m up for self-love, self-care and generally being proud of what we do achieve, I’m realistic enough to know that we’ll still feel guilty about a shit load of dids and didn’ts over the course of a year. And that’s where New Years can actually be quite therapeutic, we get to forgive ourselves and move on. I don’t know about you but I exercise a lot of clemency in my personal relationships, but I’m rubbish at absolving myself. A trait I’m keen to not take into my 30s.
So, as I sit munching on gut friendly food and planning my hypnobirthing classes for 2018 – how will I make sure I can turn 30 with all of the pride and gumption of a middle-aged white man, as it were? I think the key to being a successful person is capitalising on what you’re already good at. I.e. I’m going to do more of the same, but I’m going to do it better. I think trying new things is great but if we’re setting SMART goals here, improving on what you already are and already have is going to be much more rewarding.
And the other thing I’m going to do, and this one is the real sanity-saver: I’m going to stop fetishising youth. Because we’re constantly inundated with the adulation of (especially female) youth: models barely into puberty; actors playing mothers when they barely look older than their on-screen children; older women hung out to dry, laughed at, berated as ‘barmy’ and ‘grumpy’ when they’re merely fucking angry at being thrown on the compost 20 years before they’re even able to consider retirement. I’m renouncing youth. Not in a horrible, Brexit, ‘let’s fuck over the next generation for the sake of making ourselves richer and comfier’ way. I’m renouncing the adulation of youth, the idea that we need to have achieved all of the cool stuff we wanted to achieve by 35 because otherwise, it didn’t count. If you didn’t do it with tits that don’t point at your toes, it didn’t count. Well that’s bollocks. To quote her royal highness:
“We live in a youth-obsessed culture that is constantly trying to tell us that if we are not young, and we’re not glowing, and we’re not hot, that we don’t matter. I refuse to let a system or a culture or a distorted view of reality tell me that I don’t matter. I know that only by owning who and what you are can you start to step into the fullness of life. Every year should be teaching us all something valuable. Whether you get the lesson is really up to you.”
(Thank you, Oprah. Love you xxxxx)
I see turning 30 as the beginning of my ‘proper’ life. To use the god awful ‘university of life’ analogy, (birthing and raising Cass aside) my twenties were all my undergrad: I don’t know why I chose the subjects I did but I gave it a shot, got a 2:1 and had a lot of fun while doing it. My thirties will be my masters: still learning, still working things out, but specialising and focusing my attentions. My forties will be my PHD and then when I turn 50 you will all have to call me Dr Charlie, OK? And I just saved myself another £50k worth of debt by not actually getting a masters or a PHD. MARTIN LEWIS!
Two of my favourite women on social, a one Candice Brathwaite and a one Susie Verrill are also turning 30 this year. Besides insisting we have a big joint party where Papa B and Greg both work as Butlers in the Buff, I’d love to get their take on the looming milestone. I turn 30 on International Women’s Day and I love that my birthday falls on this celebration. I got into the birthing business to help empower women, I’ll keep rocking until I’m 6 feet under to empower myself. So be gentle, forgive yourself, set goals, but never think it’s too late to get it all done. If not this year, then maybe the next.