…no, really I am!
Today is the day I turn 28 (FUN FACT: This is past Anna typing because I tend to write my posts about a week in advance because it makes me feel like I have my s**t together). 28 years ago today my parents were presented with a child that looked like it had been born with a Simon Cowell wig glued on it’s head. My Dad said that I was a nightmare child who only slept if one of them laid down next to the crib on the floor with one hand on my back. My parents also tell me of the one time that they visited IKEA and I had a tantrum that shook the walls. They have never returned. It’s tales like this that concern me that karma will eventually come to bite me on the ass when we decide to have children. The idea of a mini me both sounds terribly cute and horrifying.
These days I’d say that I have calmed down on the tantrum front (although when Mark snoozes his alarm in the morning for the 18th time I do feel that IKEA roar boiling up again) and if we’re going to compare years of my life, I’d say that the transition from 27 to 28 has been a pretty decent one. I got married to a man who despite the snoozing, is really a rather lovely egg and have reached a place where I’m really, truly happy. In fact when I was wandering out to a lunchtime Pilates class the other day I had a little whimper because I thought of how truly lucky I am (lame, but true – feel free to have a little vom). Our friends and family are happy and healthy, I love the life we have down here, our home, my job, our Sunday brunches with our best mates who live 5 minutes down the road – I try and soak up the goodness like a sponge because we all have peaks and troughs, so right now I’m storing up all the goodness like a contestant seriously acing Dale’s Supermarket Sweep.
Aside from the obvious highlights from the past year, I feel like there have been some personal ones that I’ve achieved too. One thing that comes with age, (aside from nostril hairs that seem to increase in length by at least a centimetre each year), is that you really start to work yourself out. You begin to truly tap into your loves and dislikes, what makes you tick, what makes you feel really f-ing stressed, your strengths and weaknesses, your goals and purpose and why five year plans are completely bollocks because no one really knows what’s going to happen, even tomorrow.
You also learn that no one has got everything 100% pinned down and under control at all times. We all have moments where we’re just faking it till we make it, and are doubting our abilities or have just momentarily lost that dialogue with our gut feelings. And you know what? THAT’S TOTALLY OK. We all make mistakes and fudge up, often on a daily basis. As long as we own up, apologise where needed, learn from it and then dust it off, it’s time to move on.
Being 27 meant I tried some new things – the new blog design had just gone live, Lily and I gave podcasting a go, I’ve tried my hand at newsletters and behind the scenes there a couple of new ‘OMG I NEVER THOUGHT I’D DO THIS!?’ things going on too. This injection of new ways of working has really done wonders in terms of my creativity and my happiness. It’s been nice to mix up my weekly schedule a bit and has made me use the time that I do have sitting at my desk, more effectively – which means less ‘cute cats playing with boxes’ video compilations and more firing through a to-do list.
I’m a notoriously agreeable person who avoids confrontation like the plague because the thought of an awkward conversation turns my armpits into a waterfall. Sometimes though, there’s a not-so-nice conversation to be had and during my year of being 27, I’ve definitely spoken up more. I’ve learnt that travelling up to London makes me grumpy and is a real zapper of my time, so unless I’m travelling up to spend time with my bestie LP, for a work obligation or for an event that truly makes the overspilling inbox worth it, then I’ll politely decline. The power of saying ‘no’ has been a huge lesson for me this year and has meant that I haven’t stretched myself so thin, giving me more time at my desk and allowing me to really pump quality time into my content.
I’ve also put time into me. I’ve turned in early in the evenings to finish off a good book, have carved time out of my schedule to do exercise that I actually enjoy doing (Reformer Pilates, because of the lying down), have cleared out a whole Sunday just so I can organise my wardrobe and have the world’s longest bath. These are all things that allow me to recharge my beans and in turn be a better wife, sister, daughter, friend, blogger and just generally a nicer person to be around.
So 27, it’s been a good one, but 28 I’m ready for ya. What have you got in store for me then? More happy tears on the way to Pilates? We’ll see..
Photos by Lauren Shipley
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