It’s my last week in my 30’s so I’m doing a lot of reflecting on the past 10 years. I don’t really feel like I have done a great deal in that time but when you sit down and think about it there is quite a lot that I can be proud of. Here are some of my greatest achievements in that time:
1. I Got Married
Not much of an achievement I hear you say, perhaps not for some. I remember saying to my mum when in my late 20’s that I didn’t think I would ever get married because I didn’t think I would find someone who would love me enough. She told me not to be stupid and as always she was right. When my husband proposed to me on the eve of my 30th birthday, I was overwhelmed that he loved me enough to want to spend the rest of his life with me. I think that’s a great achievement and that we are still married after 9 years isn’t bad in the scale of things either. Marriage isn’t all moonlight and roses and I’m not the best wife in the world. Keeping it together is a huge challenge when you throw in the demands of young children, stressful jobs, working away and running a business, not to mention how much we change as individuals. I don’t know if we will make it through the next decade, it will be my greatest achievement in life if we do.
2. Had 3 Wonderful Children
There was a time when we thought we would only ever have one child. We tried for years to have a 2nd but suffered 2 miscarriages and felt it was our fate to only have one. My eldest is the most amazing child, clever, confident, beautiful, well behaved and sociable, you couldn’t ask for more in a child. We still used to feel sad when she was playing on her own and hoped that one day she would have a brother or sister. Now she has 2 sisters. My 2 year old can be hard work but is also clever like her sister, has a wonderful loving nature and frequently makes us laugh and the baby is a beautiful, happy, easy baby who smiles at everyone she meets. I am proud to be raising 3 such lovely girls and I’m sure they will make me even more proud as they grow up.
3. Got a Masters Degree
My husband always makes me think outside the box and when I was unhappy at work he helped me to see that I had the power to change things and to go back and study. I loved studying for my Masters and I found that I was surprisingly good at it. I’m so glad that I did it.
4. Played Maria in ‘The Sound of Music’
I have been involved in musical theatre since I was a child and it was such a buzz to play Maria at Cardiff’s New Theatre, playing to full houses of 1000+ every night. It was tinged with some sadness as it happened just after mum had died and I knew it would have made her so proud.
Getting to do any theatre since having children has been an achievement in itself but I have done fairly well by appearing in a few musicals, playing Jane Eyre , a cocktail waitress in Shakers and appearing in my first opera.
5. Finding 2 Jobs that I Loved and in Which I Could Make a Difference.
In my early 30’s I worked with families of pre-school children who were on the autistic spectrum. This was such an amazing job, I learned so much and met so many wonderful children and parents. Watching the children progress and the families become more able to cope, I feel that I really did make a difference and that is so satisfying .
Between my first and my second child I worked for the local authority as an early years consultant. Again I met some inspirational people, loved coming up with solutions to problems, learning about and sharing good practice and watching people grow in confidence and take on board suggestions.
I have been very lucky to have had such amazing experiences and the ability to feel I have made a difference has been so much more satisfying than financial reward.
6. Starting this Blog
Again inspired and encouraged by my husband I thought I would give it a go. I struggled with my sense of identity after having my middle daughter, having left a job that I loved, becoming a full time mum and watching my husband becoming ever more successful in his career. I worried that I would go that way again, but this has given me the perfect focus and sense of purpose. I have always found writing therapeutic, but this gives it a greater purpose and when I’m sitting alone in my living room at night, I can feel a connection with the wider world.
As in anyone’s life the past 10 years has been full of ups and downs, I’ve had moments of such intense joy that it almost took my breath away and others when it’s a struggle to get out of bed in the morning. My achievements may be humble, but they are mine. They are a tribute not only to myself , but to the people who have supported me through them, most notably my husband.