I don't see why...

posted on: Wednesday, 28 November 2012

I don't see why I can't be exactly like I was when I was 20, just a wiser version (with more disposable income).

I don't see why people need to convince you of their point of view to feel that a conversation has been worthwhile.

I don't see why quirkiness is not a more admired characteristic.



I don't see why I used to be so slovenly when I did not own my own home (my teenage bedroom = bomb shell hit).

I don't see why I am quite so influenced by what I see. Visual input is by far the most important for me. Images and words.


I don't see why every morning when I wake, it is a surprise to me that the sleep time is over.

I don't see why my puppy/dog still chases every bird he sees - even though they can fly and he can't.

I don't see why dropped toast always has to land jam-side down.



I don't see why some people are luckier than others - or do we make our own luck?


I don't see what on earth I did before I owned an iPhone. Single most important thing. Keys and phone. With those I can leave the house: invincible.



I don't see why sometimes it feels like Christmas went from being a fun, cool time with my family to a retail-frenzied marathon. Need to watch 'Polar Express' and re-engage!


I don't see why high thread count sheets aren't made available by some wonderful, benevolent welfare state ;-) They promote well being. I jest; what a third world problem.

I don't see why I can't eat chocolate every day!

Pretty...

posted on: Thursday, 15 November 2012

I wish I weren't quite so swayed by pretty. But I so am. As I arrived at my son's school the other afternoon, I saw three little girls, maybe five years old, skipping up to the main school house wearing pink tights, ballet skirts and their school blazers. With pigtails. So pretty.



My friend Dawn is a fan of pretty - on many shopping trips with her I recall her spying some item of clothing and exclaiming 'preeettttyyyy' as confirmation: yes she wanted to buy it. Bring on the guilt sweats.

Planning the Christmas stock for L'Apothecary (I know, I know; cutting it fine on timings but really trying hard; you live and learn in a new business). Pretty boxes and pretty ribbons and pretty tags and pretty bottles. Whilst there is a scientific core to what we make, for me there is so much about it that is to do with having something pretty on your dressing table.


I ask myself - should it all matter? As the sabbatical-induced soul search continues I find myself thinking about all sorts of things I never used to. I am, quite categorically, out of my comfort zone. I am used to corporate rigidity; rushing the school run to make my 9am conference call. Rushing to get every little action ticked off my list - they say if you need something done, give it to a working mother, the inference being that when you run at that pace, you are uber efficient. I now have the time to observe. And what I observe is that actually, pretty matters.

Without pretty I wonder whether Pinterest would even exist. It is an ode to pretty and those who 'pin' spend time searching for the most beautiful versions of everything to store up in case a hit of pretty is needed. I follow some 'pinners' whose repertoire is just breath-taking! What on earth did we do before Pinterest? Answer: cut stuff out of magazines, file them away in places that gathered dust. Can I just say that it is these kind of technological advances that I adore?



I spend a lot of time defending the march of technology to my contemporaries. Many of my very good friends don't 'do' social media, don't 'get' technology, don't want to try it out. I do understand this and frankly, without Pinterest one can still get through the day. However - why shun the advance? I can be heard at any point when this conversation comes up, with friends, peers, anyone, saying emphatically 'embrace the technology'! We must - or else it will pass us by. It is the future; our kids function through it and will continue to do so in ways we can't even imagine now. You just have to try.





Tuesday's thoughts...

posted on: Tuesday, 13 November 2012

I overslept this morning; in 'Home Alone' fashion, where the family wake up and have ten minutes to mobilise, I had that moment of disbelief when I focused on the clock. Can it really be 7.18am??! We have to leave at 7.30am. Anyway, in those precious 12 minutes I still managed to do my hair and put on some semblance of makeup. This makes me think: what on earth is the impetus to do that? What drives me to barely set foot out the door without something on my face? With brushed and pony-tailed hair.


This facade that I apply; it's not that it takes much time or even has that much effect (many would think I don't even wear make-up, it's that subtle) but the fact is I would never not do it. Something in me is hard-wired. I observe others who don't and wonder where the difference lies. When I have written about this before - these self-imposed base levels of how we present ourselves to others - a very wise friend of mine commented. She said (and this was in relation to clothes) that sometimes women just lose their way and they are not even sure they have until it's pointed out to them. I remember that resonating with me, as I think all of my efforts to stay 'together' visually (hair colouring, make-up, outfits) is to stop that 'loss' of oneself. I suppose it is also to do with getting older and not looking quite so fresh as when I was 25...

I think about ageing in a different way now, now that I have L'Apothecary. We spend time (a lot lately) researching and perfecting natural, chemical-free versions of products that claim to slow down the ageing process (new range ready in a matter of weeks I promise!) To me, looking young is not about ceasing to age; it's about looking the best you can for your age. This is all about skin. Having good, healthy, plumped skin is just about the main beauty wish I have.

The same wise friend, Simone who I speak of, has had a recent furore of activity on her blog. It stemmed from a rather scathing article written by a well-known journalist about blogging. That wise approach shines through in Simone's well-mannered response, where she outlines why she writes a blog. She is a voice for all of those who blog, so thank you Simone for putting our side so eloquently :-)

Introspection...

posted on: Tuesday, 6 November 2012

I've been thinking a lot. I guess this was bound to happen; I took a six month sabbatical in order to contemplate my navel, so what did I expect?!

This self-imposed self-regard may come across as banal to readers and I am acutely aware of that. Bear with me. I am taking the time to really think about the choices we have made in life and where they have taken us. People often comment that I think about stuff that most people just skip over. I can't help thinking; all the time thinking. An Olympian thinker.

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As a result of all of this thought, sometimes confusion rises up in me and I wonder where it came from? A complex and heady mix of upbringing, experience, values, self-awareness all converge and I want to come out fighting. Against what I am not sure! Should we have pursued such tough careers? Should money and the requirement to earn it outweigh the balance of pleasure and relaxation in life? When will it all be enough? Am I bringing up my children to strive for the whole exhausting rat-race in the same way as I did? What are these feelings I have, deep down, that make me wish for perfection? Even though I know it's not attainable?!

Bizarrely, despite the fact that my more recent choices (starting a new business, time off from the corporate world, new schools, big-time investment in making life purposeful and pleasurable) have been well-founded and beneficial, I am suffering I think, a confidence dip. This is perplexing and strange to me, but it is a fact nevertheless. Oh and not to mention: a third world problem.

What would I advise Boo to do? As frankly, when you have an eleven year old daughter almost every conversation turns into a life lesson; be it the purpose of modern democracy to the merits of wearing florals with stripes. I would tell her to believe in herself. To stay strong. To get on with it, shake it off, put it behind her - whatever 'it' was. So, that's what I am going to try to do. That, and to stop thinking so much!

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