Everything I do in my life I tend to go at with total and complete enthusiasm. For about a month or two. Sometimes longer but in the words of Joan Armatrading – the passion fades. So it is rather refreshing that the slightly strange and unintended ‘self-improvement’ programme I seem to have undertaken has, in part at least, stuck. In part because some of it hasn’t. I mean giving up drinking was never going to be a long term option for me, no matter how healthy and good it may have felt. Green tea is nice but I’m partial to a cup of builders and there’s something deeply comforting about a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit that green tea and an apple just can’t hold a candle to. It all started because I was just tired of being tired. Tired of feeling just a bit crap and always needing more energy than I had.
So some of stuff has remained. Yoga for example. Mostly due to the inspirational and down and earth teacher who understands and advocates a very healthy approach to bendiness (if you can’t bend double and put your chest on your thighs don’t worry about it, not many people can). Although it is deeply un-yogic to be competitive, I can’t help being competitive with myself. Like anything in life it’s always nice to know that you’re improving. For someone who couldn’t touch her toes, being able to do that now is an achievement. It’s the little things that make you keep going after all. It’s a very mindful practice, there’s no point thinking about too much whilst you’re trying to balance in a Tree Pose or The Crow as you’ll just fall over.
After a hiatus I am running again. You reach a certain age and just figure out that some things work well for you, some things keep the black dog at bay and make life better. So you do them. It’s not a difficult formula really is it?
This all adds up to giving me more energy and a better sense of what matters in life. My business is doing well and it has been built of principles of doing the best work we can, treating people with respect and making sure we retain a balance in our lives. This in itself has significantly impacted my view on the world. It is possible to run a successful business and use a variety of metrics to measure that success. We’re not going to be buying a yacht any time soon, but I do have a sense of pride and a deep emotional fulfilment from getting results for our clients. I am able to spend more time being a present mother and whilst that has its own challenges (let’s face it it’s not an easy job is it?) it’s what I am here to do now.
My girls are growing up. Eliza was 9 this year. I had a feeling on her birthday of being a real mum. That is a ridiculous thing to say of course, but I looked at him indoors and just thought ‘gosh we are parents, proper parents. We argue about parent-y things, we try hard to do the right thing for our kids. We have taken a back seat in this life.” I think that’s basically what you’re supposed to do. I think we do it pretty well, but then again if you read anything on parenting these days you’ll realise very quickly that you’re doing it all entirely wrong and there’s simply no point bothering any more. But you have to bother, so bother in your way.
I wanted to share as well a brief review of these lovely products. Wide-Eye is a brand created by a very old school friend of mine and her partner. I love it because it’s all entirely natural, no parabens, no nasties. They make a variety of face creams and body lotions, gorgeous scented candles and beautiful lip balms. But my favourite is the muscle rub. When you’re the wrong side of 40 and like doing Yoga and running, sore limbs go hand in hand with feeling smug, so this rub has made a huge difference to me.
You can find the products at their website or at their lovely shop in Rye in Sussex.