So today is my birthday. I try not to make a big deal about it tbh but this year I feel that I had to impart some wisdom to go along with my advancing years 😉
Today I feel as if I have officially reached that middle age milestone. I don’t particularly feel 45, not in the slightest, although the way my body ceases up on occasion would probably disagree with me. I sometimes look in the mirror and think the person staring back at me couldn’t possible be me as there is no way I look that old 😉 Internally I still feel the same as I did when I was 25 but with a lot more life experience to call upon. I love the song below even though I feel as if I am going to cry every time I hear it – yes life really does move that quickly.
Have I changed as a person in the last 20 years. Yes, I like to think I have FINALLY discovered the real me under all the expectations and pressures exerted from external forces for most of my life. I am no longer afraid to be myself, this probably doesn’t seem like a big thing to you but growing up I always felt as if I didn’t fit, now I’ve found my own path that makes me happy and I like to think it doesn’t really matter what others think as long as I am happy.
Is my life where I thought it would be when I pictured it as a 25-year-old about to get married. NO, again not in the slightest. I would never have imagined the direction my life would take with the alcohol addiction of my ex-husband and subsequent separation and debt incurred due to his alcoholism. Yet, I can honestly say I am far more content than I would have expected. It really hit home the difference between being alone and being lonely. Even though I was part of a couple and later a family, I always felt it was a struggle and wasn’t a true reflection of the things I wanted. A large part probably due to capitulating to the ex; there was always a part of me that still didn’t feel as if I fit and I made myself very miserable trying to be the person I thought I should be for other people.
It took the break-up of my marriage for me to realise that I was a lot stronger than I had previously given myself credit for. Don’t get me wrong, things are still tought especially financially BUT emotionally they are so much better than I would have hoped for. I am hugely grateful for my three girls, another thing I could never have pictured 20 years ago ♥
So the wisdom I wanted to impart:
- Things really do happen for a reason even if you can’t see it at the time.
- BE YOURSELF!!!!
- You don’t realise how strong you are until you have to be.
- Celebrate every little achievement – this was huge for me – even down to emptying the rubbish or cooking a full meal. Some days are HARD and celebrating the little things rather than the things that didn’t get done makes all the difference.
- Be POSITIVE – it sounds like hooky but it really does work. Positivity generates positive things and the opposite is also true so don’t take the chance.
- Use moisturizer and body lotion. I know it probably sounds shallow but it makes your skin so much better and it’s a small way of helping your self-confidence/self-esteem.
- Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and a natural anti-depressant. Something I forgot for a while and paid a high price for with increased incidents of depression and low self-esteem as well as the physical price of weight gain.
- DO NOT USE SUNBEDS!!!!
- Always use sunscreen. If you want to look tanned, and let’s be honest we all look better/slimmer with a tan, then use self tan. Again it’s a great and cheap way to boost self-confidence.
- As much as possible avoid toxic people and eliminate them from your live if you can – see previous information regarding ex 😉
- Ladies take the time to shave your legs even in the winter 😉 You never know when you want to wear a skirt and again it boosts self-confidence 😀
- I know you don’t want to believe it but all the junk you eat in your teens/twenties really will make you pay when your in your forties.
- ENJOY EVERY MOMENT ♥
I always feel a bit short-changed with Mothers Day in the UK as it is always really close to my birthday *sigh* Guess I could always celebrate twice by adopting the US day in May : D
Any who I thought it a fantastic idea *you know what I’m like* so I put together a list of the Best Mothers In YA
I don’t normally like using my blog to get on my soapbox or in fact expressing said soapbox views but the time has come to air a small part of the things that continue to irk me with no reprieve in sight.
You all already know I live in Wales. I love living in Wales, I am proud to be Welsh, mostly. However, I do feel as if Wales is England’s poorer cousin. Although we have a terrific arts scene, especially in Cardiff, there is a huge divide in the provision for reading and the promotion of reading for pleasure in my local area.
For me, I truly believe school librarians fill a large hole in the provision for reading for pleasure and unfortunately, the way the school budgets are rapidly diminishing it looks as if this role will soon be a thing of the past.
Anyway I digress with school budget issues, probably the topic of future random rambles. The discussion for today I would like to focus on is the divide between the provision of resources to encourage reading for pleasure between England and Wales. Starting with the children’s Laureate. You probably all know Malorie Blackman was the previous children’s Laureate succeeded by Chris Riddell and both doing amazing jobs of brining reading for pleasure into the spotlight for children and teenagers across the country. What you probably didn’t realise is that Malorie Blackman and now Chris Riddell are the children’s Laureate for ENGLAND. That’s it ENGLAND. I am a huge supporter of the work they have both done in promoting reading for pleasure. I would love to get involved with the many projects available through agencies in England such as The Reading Agency and Booktrust. Although I do find incentives are generally geared toward primary school children instead of continuing onto secondary school children (that’s another ramble for another day).
Apologies as my ADD kicks in and I go off on a tangent. The point I am trying to make is that you probably weren’t aware that Wales has its own Young Peoples Laureate. Anyone actually know that???? No thought not, neither do any of my students or the pupils in my children’s schools for that matter. As nice as it is to have our own Young Peoples Laureate, what good is it if a) no-one knows there is one and b) no-one has actually heard of this person before. I’m not trying to diminish the achievement or downplay the work they do BUT it would be nice to have a person with a high-profile to promote the benefits of reading for pleasure. At this point I’d even settle for a rugby player, at least people actually know who they are and in the most part they are respected enough their opinion would matter to the students. Why can’t we just share the same one as England and be included in any/all of the promotions/events/incentives that our English counterparts have available to them.
While we do have an Arts Council in Wales as well as Literature Wales, I feel as if the focus is on writng and dramatisations (the umbrella is huge when you put it under the title ARTS so we can give them that) as opposed to the promotion of reading. Even with the fantastic Cardiff Children’s Literature Festival only a small percentage of students are able to attend with the focus being the schools within Cardiff itself. As much as I try to promote local events, it may also be done to timing and cost preventing attendence. I can attest to this personally, events are held within the school day and therefore, cannot be attended OR and it is a big issue for me, with the price of attendence at approxiamately £5 a ticket I would need to spend £20 for each session to be able to attend with my children. It may not seem a lot to most people but when £20 means getting electricity or putting fuel in the car it can be HUGE.
While there are dedicated Childrens Librarians within each of our local authorities, the remit again covers primary school children more than teens. Personally, I would love to see the provisions for all aurthorites overseen by a central body ensuring the same level of resources without regard to which area you live in. So what I am really wondering is if there is a way of bridging the gap. Can we forget the postcode lottery and work together through all agencies to promote reading for pleasure OR am I being idealistic in my thinking.
I have previously tried to contact The Reading Agency and Booktrust with the hope of finding local representatives with which to collaberate in the promotion of reading for pleasure. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any in Wales or if there are they are so overrun they are unable to tackle further responsibilities.
Please, please, please if you have any suggestions or contacts who would be invaluable in promoting reading for pleasure leave me a comment and I will give you my eternal grattitude.