A couple of months back, I blogged about becoming a ‘stay at home’ Mum. I’d just been made redundant while on maternity leave and I was mulling over what the future might look like for me now my work plans had changed. One of my big concerns about the transition was the risk of living life through my children. What I mean is, I didn’t want to only feel happiness when they are happy and only feel proud of their achievements – I wanted to continue owning these emotions for myself.
Well, I thought I’d post a little update, mostly to force myself to reflect on recent achievements.
Here are some of my proudest moments from the last few weeks:
1. I’ve stood up for myself in several tricky family situations. My Grandma is 86 years old and it is becoming hard to give her the support she needs without becoming involved with my estranged (and very strange) Mother. I’m proud that I’ve managed to hold my own, refuse to be belittled and still managed to advocate for my Grandma when I often doubt other people have her best interests at heart. I’ve also learned when to say ‘no’ and to recognise when I’m taking too much on and getting too involved.
2. I’ve started running. First I was proud because I managed to run a mile non-stop. Then I ran 5k non-stop. Then, last week, I ran 10k non-stop. It is incredible what you can do if you stick to something and make the effort. Three months ago I told someone I wasn’t a runner, and that I couldn’t run. I lied.
3. I look better. Combining running with the Slimming World ‘food optimising’ eating plan I have lost just over 15lb. I’ve dropped a dress size (and – annoyingly – a half!!) and I am so much more confident in my own skin now, I might even stick a bikini on for our UK seaside break next week. Believe me, things still sag way more than they probably should, but I’m making real progress, so why the hell not?!
4. I feel better. Not only are things looking better on the outside, but I’m confident that I’ve significantly improved my health and that’s what I was really aiming for: I want to be here, be healthy, be a positive role model and be able to chase around after my daughters for as long as possible.
5. I’ve created some gorgeous things. I’ve revamped an old cabinet to store my craft supplies, made some cute scrabble keepsake frames and sent out a few handmade birthday cards to friends and family, and I’ve cooked some truly delicious, healthy meals.
This might all sound like a giant brag, but I swear I don’t mean to be irritating. I still have a long way to go but I’m delighted I’ve managed to feel pride on so many occasions recently and I hope anyone reading this feels more inspiration than annoyance and that the urge to just be better takes hold of you too.
Do it now. Strive for brilliance. Work for happiness. Create. Do. Stop making excuses. I swear that when you do, the pride will beam out of you like rays of sunshine and you will be so, so happy you went for it. Life is simply too short not to make an effort.