Before I turned forty, I was really looking forward to it. I had heard a lot of people saying how much better it was than their thirties. I loved my thirties because they gave me my two babies! They’re not babies now and although that makes me sad, they are at a wonderful age where they are starting to find their independence and it makes me so proud of the people they are and who they are becoming (on a side note, I am a bit scared that this is the calm before the storm – teenagers – should I be scared?!).
Now that I am forty, I have found that I am not as productive as I would like to be. I seem to be overthinking things and avoiding life as a result. For example, I used to love creating content and sharing on social media but now, I will edit something I have written until it loses its meaning or essence. I will also hide behind the camera or avoid sharing a picture of myself because I have bags under my eyes or the light is unflattering or my hair looks too thin…
I guess the main point of writing this post today is that I have realised that since I have turned forty, I have become too self critical and I need to be like Elsa and, ‘Let it go!’. I have read a few books recently that have helped me in my journey to banish the negative thoughts and feelings. In particular, The Midnight Library by Matt Haig has made me realise that it is easy to carry regret around on your shoulders unnecessarily. It has made me self-censor because I have always been too scared to put myself out there. I always worry before I post something online that I will regret it later. I also berate myself for things I say or do when I create content. My daughter loves watching the YouTube videos I used to create and I’ve had to stop myself from telling her to turn it off.
Part of me blames the pandemic for making me feel so self-critical. In truth, I think I have always been too over-analytical. I have to learn how to stress less about the little things and focus more on the bigger picture.
Going forward, my blog and social media is going to change. I am going to try and shift the emphasis on to me. I need to stop hiding behind my children. There’s more to me than motherhood. I’m not entirely sure what I will write about as I’m passionate about makeup and fashion but sometimes I find it too superficial talking about it. I also want to avoid buying clothes and cosmetics for content. I might therefore need your help in sharing what you find enjoyable on my blog, YouTube and Instagram. Let me know and thanks for reading. Bx
P.S. How did you feel about turning forty? Has it made you more or less self-critical? Did you embrace it or were you worried at all?
It has definitely been a while since I have sat down and written a blog post. I wish I could say I missed it and maybe a small part of me did. A very small part. Possibly a teeny, teeny tiny part of me. Mostly however, I needed a break. I wanted time off writing and analysing and to just enjoy my babies being small.
For the most part, while I wasn’t blogging, I was feeling really sad, well I still am feeling really sad. Sad because my biggest is going to school in September. Of course, I am absolutely delighted for her but for me, there is this heavy feeling in my chest. It’s hard to describe and it sounds overly dramatic when I try to put it in to words but for me (if not anybody else), there is something heartbreaking about knowing that she won’t be a preschooler anymore. She isn’t the little girl who needs to hold my hand as we walk down the road. She’s the child who is turning in to a beautiful young person with an incredibly independent spirit. She tells me on a daily basis, ‘I can do it myself, Mummy’, and ‘I don’t need help!’. The Mummy part of me beams with pride that she has a forceful, determined personality. The emotional, irrational part of me wishes I could freeze time. To rewind the clock and relive these days all over again but with new adventures.
I think I am quite different to a lot of people in the sense that I hear friends and family saying that their school or University days were the best days of their lives when they were young and had fewer worries. Despite the stresses, the chores, all the bills and all the downs, I actually prefer this time of my life. This time where there is so much love, unconditional love. The sound of laughter. The giggles, oh the super cute giggles that come all the way from inside their bellies. These are the days that I will remember when I am old and grey with the most fondness.
I know that change is not necessarily a bad thing. Come September I might be happier that my baby girl is in school. It will mean that I have more time to spend one-on-one with Heath. I feel immense guilt for not having as much quality time with him. There will be more time to go to toddler groups and to take him swimming (he definitely needs to swim regularly as our recent holiday shows how petrified he is of being in the water). Generally though, I am looking forward to learning about life through his eyes. He is such a different soul to Annabelle. He doesn’t have her fearlessness in a lot of ways. He will climb and run and jump higher and faster than she ever did but he is a more reserved personality. Belle talks to anyone who will listen and if you engage in a conversation with her, good luck trying to get away! Heath on the other hand needs me for reassurance. He loves his cuddles and clings to whatever limb of mine he can grab first in most daily social encounters.
I guess going forward, I need to focus on what adventures are to come. I need to think of Dr. Seuss and remember, ‘Don’t cry because it is over, Smile because it happened’. Bx