It’s been 360 days since my last birthday – which means it’s been 360 days since I ate these too-good-to-be-true macrons from my little sister, mom and dad. Beautiful macrons that they went to extraordinary lengths to get for me after I actually crushed my own macrons from the Dordogne into crumbs [embarrassing story right there]. Which means that it’s taken me a whole year to post these photos. Awesome! However, it does mean that when I was sorting though my drafts folder that I had the loveliest surprise when I found them in an unnamed post.
Today I’ve spent hours re-categorising every.single.post on our blog to make things easier to find – and whilst I was doing it, I reflected over the past five and a bit years of memories. Having written quite a bit of our lives into these digital pages, I learned quite a bit about me that I think I should probably take on board as I’m days away from my next birthday. In the spirit of trying to become wiser as I become older, here are five things I need to tell myself.
1. You are never happy with your weight, whatever it is. You have photographs in here of yourself at 9 stone and gaunt, and 17 stone and heavily pregnant – and everywhere in between – and yet you don’t remember a time [bedsides your wedding day] when you’ve felt happy about the way you’ve looked in real life at that time.
However…you actually like the way you look in every single photograph on here, looking back. Yes, you’ve cringed posting them and hated the way you’ve appeared to yourself at that time – but now in retrospect, you cherish every memory posted. So take the photograph – they show the love in life, not the lbs.
Following on, that fat is not inferior – and neither is lack of make up or fancy clothes. You’ve never let your boys hear you speak about feeling unhappy with the way you look, and you wouldn’t tolerate them judging someone by their size – but you fully judge yourself, and let others judge you too.
2. Since getting married and having the three boys, you’re five stone heavier than you were. You’re also not one of those people who manages to find time to make their face up beautifully or dress immaculately for the school runs – the only times of day you generally encounter other grown ups throughout the week – and it’s hard not to feel like a bag of potatoes when you’re stood on the playground with a quick ponytail tied up and anorak and jeans on. You tell yourself that you’re a very well educated woman and a dedicated mom, and that should be enough. You need to believe that – and if you don’t like the way you look, you need to change that.
3. Your brain is still capable of learning, despite your fears over baby brain when it struck. Over the last few years you’ve learned a lot about photography – and there’s still so much you want to understand. In two years you’ll look back over the photographs you’re creating now and feel the same about them as you do about those which were posted two years ago. Even though you wish you’d done a better job with the macron photographs here in this post, you remember how much you loved them when you took them. Know that you’re incredibly lucky to have a hobby that you love so passionately.
4. Perfection is not possible – or necessary, in any part of your life. You’re terrifically competitive – something you joke about, but which you’ve had to really work to come to terms with about yourself – and the need to have a project perfected before entering it into whatever arena you feel you’re competing in does more than hold you back, it stops you participating in things completely. Just getting started with the best you can do at that point, and then improving is what you actually need to do, and what you wish you could do. Let go of the need for perfect.
5. You over think things far too much. Everything. You’re even over thinking whether you should be writing or posting this – and worrying that including this point makes six things in your list instead of five. You’re over thinking that maybe you should cut number six and leave this as number five, in case people think you’re smug about being happy with how you are as a mom. Haha.6. Finally, you’re doing a great job. Sometimes it’s hard to feel like that when all three are arguing, crying about something or when you’re on your last legs/nerve of the day. No one tells you this, but you know what? You really, truly are fantastic. You have three healthy, happy little boys who love you because you’re a brilliant mom to them. You used to look at Jensen when he was teeny tiny and not sleeping [at all] and wonder how you would ever make it out alive to toddlerhood, let alone to the soundly sleeping seven year old he is now. You prepared to feel the same when Lyoto was born – and then when Hero was born you pretty much felt like a professional and could handle everything thrown at you. If it hadn’t been for the unpredictable blindness and terrifyingly constant fear that your brain was going to haemorrhage like your mom’s, or that you were going to stroke out like my granny, and leave your boys and Gavin behind, you’d have had the best pregnancies and baby years ever, too.
Happy birthday 🙂