Today is my birthday. My 39th birthday. So I am now officially on the countdown to the big 4 0. It also coincides with the realisation that I have put a lot of things on hold since I had children. Not so much after Logan was born, but as Aria and then Bo was born and the responsibilities got bigger and I also struggled with Aria’s cow’s milk allergy at first. Slowly a lot of the things I did for me, other than this blog, kind of slipped away. And it was in that sort of slow way that you don’t even notice it at first. You don’t notice until things have changed a lot more than you ever realised.
Don’t get me wrong, I have so much in my life that I am ever so grateful for. For a woman who was told she wouldn’t be able to conceive naturally to have 3 beautiful children is such a blessing and I wouldn’t change it for the world. But I want to do a little more for me now.
I’ve seen quite a few posts where people have written 40 things to do before you’re 40, but given that I have a year to go, this felt quite unrealistic. So I decided to go with 14 instead – it still has a 4 in it after all. Some of these are more serious, some of them a little more frivolous – I’m looking at you Irregular Choice shoes. Some are just for me and some are things I would like for us to do as a family.
- Have a professional photo shoot done with the family. It made me really sad at Christmas to realise there was not one photo of me with Bo on his first ever Christmas. I am often the one taking the photos, but I can also feel uncomfortable in front of the camera. I have been actively trying to be in photos more since then. But we only have one family photo of us all and I would love to change this.
- Knuckle down with writing my book. This has been my dream forever. I’ve got a blog post I wrote when I was 35 explaining how I’ve always wanted to do it, and yet 4 years later I still haven’t. I started writing my first book in my teens, I did creative writing as part of my degree, I’ve did a novel writing course with the author Julie Cohen when Logan was a baby. I have floppy discs, folders and email folders full of started projects. But I never finish them. So I have had a good think about this and even if it means reducing my blog work a little, I want to do this, because this has been my dream as long as I can remember – to be a published author. As the saying goes, if not now, when?
- Have a make up lesson. I love to wear make up pretty much everyday, but time and trends move on. I love Bare Minerals products, but have taught myself to use them and the whole contouring thing seems to have passed me by. I’d love a make up lesson to show me how to wear make-up that suits me.
- Start pilates classes. I regularly have lower back and hip problems, which seem to have got progressively worse with each pregnancy. A friend suggested Pilates class and this was something my old singing teacher used to say to me regularly as my posture isn’t great. So I want to do something to help myself and to make me stronger.
- Look after myself better and make more time for me. This one probably seems a bit vague, but a couple of weeks ago I had a kidney and bladder infection that brought home the fact I just wasn’t drinking enough. I want to take time to drink water, to make myself decent lunches other than just sandwiches, to take some time and read a book if I need to and not feel guilty. To increase my activity levels and reduce my sugar intake a little too.
- Go to, or at least have booked for the family to go on holiday to Lapland. This is would be my dream holiday and something I really, really want to do with my children. Forget Disney, for me Santa, husky rides, snow and the Northern Lights is where it’s at. But I am also conscious that time is running out on this one, as there is a time where Logan is no longer going to believe, especially given he’s 8 in October. So I think next Christmas – 2020, when Logan is 9 is probably the oldest we’re going to get away with and I so desperately want to do this while the children are small.
- Have my ear(s) pierced again. I have a thing for multiple ear piercings, I love the curated ear trend and I am going to totally grow old disgracefully. I have 4 studs on each side and I would like to add this a little.
- Buy a pair of irregular choice shoes. I’ve got very sensible with my shoe choices lately, for the most part I am just totally over wearing shoes that hurt my feet. But I have also loved Irregular Choice shoes, so I would like a pair of these just because.
- De-clutter our home and get it organised. I think this has been on my New Year’s Resolutions forever and there is part of me that is letting go of the fact with 3 small children, a dog, cat and a husband that works from home our house is never going to be perfect. But when it gets unruly it actually stresses me out. So I just want to organise things more and clear out.
- Take time to meditate daily. This is something that has been suggested to me to help with anxiety I have been feeling since Bo was born. So I have downloaded the Headspace App and have started doing a small amount of meditation everyday. How amazing would it be next year to have completed a year’s worth of daily meditation?
- Learn to do some gardening. I am absolutely terrible at gardening, half the time I don’t know if a plant is a weed or not. But when we moved house, we also gained a very large garden. As I was very ill after Bo was born and then Ben had an inguinal hernia any plans for the garden fell by the wayside. It looks pretty unruly to be honest, so I want to try and tidy it up a bit and learn as I go along, it’s also going to be a task for me to learn how to keep plants alive!
- Do something outside of my comfort zone. I don’t know what this will be yet, but there have been times where I get blog opportunities – one that springs to mind is radio, that I have been too chicken to do it. So this year I want to say yes to at least one!
- Become more comfortable in my own skin. I was having a conversation with my husband last week, I saw this swimsuit I really liked. He said to me – you’d look great in that, but you’d never buy it. Or you’ll order it, chicken out and return it. He didn’t mean it unkindly, and he was right. I am very self conscious of my body being a size 18 and like most women would love to be smaller. But after a life of yo-yo dieting nearly 3 years ago I said enough was enough and decided to focus on being healthy and accepting myself for who I am. But there are some plus size women on Instagram who are just so brave and amazing and look fantastic too. I would love to have just a fraction of their confidence and wear clothes that I love and not feel so self conscious and apologetic.
- Improve my photography skills. Photography is a skill I didn’t expect to fall in love with. But after my husband bought me a camera for my birthday 3 years ago I really have. I love to take pictures of people in particular. I went on a course in April to learn to shoot manually and get off auto settings which has really improved my photos, so I want to learn more and get better. I have asked for a new lens for my birthday too, so watch this space.
So that’s my 14 before 40 list. I’ve love to be writing a post next year and telling you how I have achieved all of my goals and how it has affected my life. Wouldn’t that be amazing? Have you done a similar list? What items are on yours?