So it’s the last week in January already, and the first week of my 50th year. Not sure how that happened – less than one year until the big five-oh. If you’d asked me at 16 – or even 21 – what I would have accomplished or be doing by the time I hit my half century I doubt it would bear much resemblance to the life I’m living.
I suspect I would have predicted husband, kids, career (perhaps in writing), a decent-sized house and a foreign holiday or two each year. In other words, I would have been the stereotypical, suburban, middle-aged woman – a “stepford wife” if you like. Nothing wrong with that, however that’s not what’s happened. Not yet anyway.
I’m a single lady (even that’s debatable some days…), no kids (but I have acquired 9 godchildren along the way), just given up my career to start afresh (never did write that novel), and trying to limit myself to just five festivals a year. Spending time in British fields listening to music, come rain or shine, rather than lazing on far-flung beaches. I do have a little house of my own and a grumpy cat for company though. Not to mention a fantastic network of amazing friends who I appreciate more with each passing year.
The support I’ve received while setting up my new business has been humbling. People are genuinely interested, and want to talk to me about it, even if they do secretly think I’ve lost my senses! Two of my friends have signed up with me to lose weight, which is brilliant and they are both doing well. I’m so proud of them!
Prior to becoming self-employed I worked primarily in the public sector after graduating from university, which was my preference at the time. However after being made redundant in 2009 I spent a couple of years working in the private sector for a premium skin care company, which I really enjoyed. Getting discounted products was a perk not to be sniffed at too! However financial pressures dictated I needed to earn a little more and so I returned to the public sector again.
A week or so ago I met up with one of my former skincare colleagues, and posted on social media about how I missed working there, along with a picture of some samples I’d been gifted – I’m a sucker for a freebie! A uni friend who runs a beauty industry magazine contacted me after seeing that post and offered me a freelance job writing a weekly column. This would be flexible enough to fit around my diet plan clients and keep me out of mischief while I established my business.
So, reader, of course I said yes. Another new chapter has opened. I’m finally writing for a living (well, expenses and free products) – my 16 year-old self would be proud.