Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Out With The Old, In With The New

I recently saw a picture of myself that was a really good photo. Good in the way that it didn't look like the real me. It was taken at a wedding where I had been spray tanned, make-up'd and styled within an inch of my life even though I didn't know until five minutes before the ceremony what I was wearing. I was too preoccupied with making sure that The Tomboy didn't wear a football kit. It's a very flattering photo and I don't honestly look like this, especially not at 8.45am when I am trying to get three children out of the door. Okay, so here it is:

Me as I would like to be

This photo made me feel sad for a number of reasons. Mainly because I wish I was that person - the girl in that photo looks so carefree and happy with her lot and not like the moany bag that I have turned in to. In fact that girl looks like the old me.

It's not the only time recently that I have glimpsed the old me. I went for an eye test on Sunday after deciding that I am in desperate need of new glasses. Confirmed by every mum in the playground when I wore my dog-chewed, toddler-twisted, wonky-eyed, current spectacles the other week. The optician, surprisingly, was very sweet and funny so we had a laugh. He had recently become a father and had very cute clothes. Since I had no children with me and was wearing my Ugg hat, I was on top form. I was flirting and being hilarious and overall good fun - just like I used to be.

Then things took a turn. My friend's husband came over to fix a pipe for us and we got chatting about children. He has five. I was about to launch into my "isn't having children rubbish" stand-up comedian routine when he stopped me dead in my (kind of funny) tracks. He actually made a very good case for the other side of the coin. He put a fantastically positive view on life as a family unit. He made me feel like an idiot. Basically, his philosophy was that everything before was shallow and what did I honestly want to do, go out and get pissed every night? As we chatted, I thought YES I am so very very lucky and isn't my life fantastically great. It is true to say that it was one of those moments in life where your eyes are opened.

This lasted about ten minutes. I went back inside the house and looked at the photo then looked in the mirror. It was an easy game of Spot The Difference. The Tomboy & The Tweenager were playing their new game of wrestling which involves a great deal of hitting and crying. I said: "If you hurt each other I am going to kill you", and once again things were back to normal in the Smith household.

I have decided, as a compromise to myself, to put the photo away and not look at it again until I am sixty. That way hopefully the children will be all moved out and I will be back to my real self, head held high and happy.

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