They say to make changes something big has to impact your life. At the end of last year I was pumped with ideas on how and where I wanted my business as an image consultant to go, what I wanted for my family, the days out we were going to have, the new experiences we were going to share and the memories we were going to create. We’d made the decision a long time ago to only have one child and then bam, at the ripe old age of 41 I’m pregnant and I remember feeling like in that grotty M&S toilet as the lurid pink lines appeared in front of my eyes how my world had just been blown apart.
Looking back now I realise how over dramatic I’d been. There were rows, tears, words of hurt thrown around, but you have to give me a break here, I was so hormonal and then at 8 weeks I lost it. Just as I was coming to terms with being a new mum again and starting to feel excited about the little life we were going to love and care for, in the blink of an eye it was gone.
I’m not going to dwell on losing my baby, that’s not what this is about, it’s just a lead into my musings. It wasn’t fun, it was pure hell, full of heartache, pain and agony, but my blogs are light hearted and entertaining and they remain to be, but please don’t think for one second that I am OK with what happened, I am not, but they’re my dealings.
I was invited by a friend to join her on a 6 week course on Living a Happier Life, pah! and up until this point I’d been groundhogging (is that a word?), keeping the child alive, attempting to have my own business, bringing in pocket money working in a shop and having enough sex with my husband to keep him at bay. Turns out, I’m not that happy, but I didn’t realise this until asked the question – What does happiness look like?
Oh my god, what does happiness look like? It’s a harder question to answer than you first think. I mean my kid is happy and my husband is happy, so that’s great right, that should make me happy. And it does to a certain extent, but it doesn’t make me whole. So now we delve a little deeper and by jove it’s working.
I’d literally forgotten who I was, me, Alex, an independent woman who used to be high on life, always out, the last one off the dance floor, the first one to say yes to a night out. Now I’m lucky to see 10pm and I’ve swapped my dancing shoes for slippers or trainers. None of this makes me happy. OK, OK, so things change when you have a kid and get older, I know this, but I feel like I hit my rock bottom and now I’m on a delightful scenic railway around my life as I reach deep inside and find my happiness again.
I’ve pressed pause on everything whilst I’ve began to figure out what I want, what can I bring to the table and how. I’m not fucking superwoman and i’m accepting that. It never used to be OK, I used to give myself little goals at work like how quickly I can get out the online orders and if it’s not done I’ve failed. How quickly can I answer that text, to the point of pulling the car over if I was driving. That’s a lot of pressure to put on oneself and for what? All my ideas sit unread in Notes on my laptop, but now, slowly, I’m getting some wind in my sails again. I’ve started swimming once a week and have taken up Yoga in my lounge. Sometimes it’s not pleasant and I don’t want to do it, but I do and sometimes I have a 4 year old shouting Namaste at me or behaving like a puppy whilst I’m downward dogging underneath me, but for these things I’m starting to feel grateful. I’m doing them. I may be almost drowning as I hit length 10 and my feet are actually on the floor of the pool as I get to the shallow end, still breast stroking with my arms, but leisurely walking to the end to complete my length and I may be breathing in all the wrong places as I go from forward fold to mountain pose, but I’m doing them. It’s these little things that are starting to make me happy again.
We’re now 4 weeks into the happiness course (I can’t think or type this without imagining it comes with a scene of skipping through a meadow dressed as a Walton – if this is a look that entices you, get in touch, I’m an image consultant) and my perception of me and of life and what’s important to me has changed immensely. So although the notes on my laptop remain closed for now, the ideas are beginning to turn over again in my mind and the passion for what comes naturally to me when wanting to support women to feel confident in what they wear is coming back in. So my point is, sometimes shitty things happen for a reason and it’s OK to press pause and figure out a change in direction, a new way of thinking / behaving, not spending every spare second wishing for someone else’s life on social media. I’m a huge believer in fate and now I have to begin to create my own destiny!
I always feel I have so much to say and share, it’s one of the many adoring traits my husband fell for in the first place, gob on a stick he used to say, but who wants to hear this shit? Well, if I’m writing it then maybe some of you out there can relate to it to and hop on your own scenic railway to make sense of your happiness.