Firstly I must say a big thank for all the supportive and encouraging comments on my last post - New year, new decade - welcome to 2020 - I wasn't sure about being so honest but I feel reassured to hear that many of you are thinking the same and good to hear that so many of us want to start moving towards more conscious shopping and less fast fashion. I am hoping you will see the change reflected in my blog posts - keep commenting and letting me know how you are getting on.
Another blogger I follow was sharing her plans on her blog today, three of her main goals were so similar to my thoughts - buy less, buy better, shop more on the high street and less online and finally less social media but more real blogging. As the weeks/months go on I will keep revisiting this and update you how I am getting on.
Anyway, back to this post, which is the sort of post I love writing, just something that pops into my head and I can record to look back on, my blog is as much a personal history as it is a place to help and share ideas with others. So I started thinking what did I do during the last ten years - 2009 to 2019?
My children in 2009 were 12 and 9, now they are grown up and independent. The photos below were taken in France in 2009.
I was working more in our family business, now I just oversee the financial stuff, but I was very proud to have taught myself how to run a small business and how to do the bookkeeping.
We had some amazing holidays. Earlier in the decade we still had our touring caravan and had some wonderful trips - places like Dorset, Somerset, Battle in East Sussex and Sandringham were all highlights. The children used to love taking their bikes and having the freedom to explore the caravan sites in relative safety.
We visited our family in France loads. We went skiing a lot, mostly in Morzine in the French Alps but also to Austria. We had a wonderful week in Normandy visiting the Normandy Landing Beaches with my parents and we stayed in a very old, loads of character French farmhouse and saw a calf being born - I decided to alert the farmer to the impending birth but as my French is rubbish that didn't go too well!
I took both the children to Paris for some one on one time - first my son, we had quite an adventure hiring velib bikes and getting lost, turned out he had a better sense of direction than me even at 14! Then I took my daughter, we didn't hire bikes as she is way too petite to reach the pedals but we had a lot of girly giggles and fun. I definitely recommend doing things just with one child if you can, all good bonding.
I had three trips to Turkey. My sister introduced us to Kalkan and we loved it, that was our last 'family of four' summer holiday The following year my son was independent and visited Colorado to see friends, he actually went twice, the first time he flew out to take his good friend to the prom as a surprise. We also had a girls holiday staying near Fethiye so my two sisters and all the children, I would love to do that again but they are all too grown up now, may be we can sort something out one day.
We had two school proms when my son then my daughter left at 16, in fact my son won 'best entrance to a prom' at his!
We took the children to Amsterdam, that was a great weekend - and if anyone ever says they are going I always recommend getting the train out of Amsterdam for an afternoon and heading to Haarlem, it isn't far but it is quieter and less touristy. Look up Corrie Ten Boon's house (read her book The Hiding Place) - it is similar to Anne Franks but less queues and you get a private tour.
We had some grown up weekends away too - Prague and Krakow with friends and a trip to Venice to celebrate our 25 years together and my husbands 50th birthday.
We had a big holiday to Sri Lanka, that was amazing, took me totally out of my comfort zone but really surprised me to find I could do it and I loved it. In fact I think I coped better than my husband and daughter. It is a 'milder India' and such a welcoming, friendly country. I would happily return to see more. I wrote about it on my blog here.
We also had two 18th birthdays, one 21st, my 50th of course, and my dad's 80th.
And so many days out and family occasions. I have loved seeing all the nieces and nephews grow up and succeed and I can't wait to see what they all do next. My son couldn't wait to leave full time education and landed his dream job and is still working for the same music tech company as a videographer and buying his first flat and of course my daughter is studying to be a Norland Nanny in Bath. I didn't imagine that 10 years ago!
I had to look back over photos to properly remember my highlights!
It was also the decade I gained weight - I hit 10 stone which was big for me - but lost it again and learnt that as long as you are sensible and take an 'everything in moderation' approach it is possible to maintain and find a sustainable solution (see my blog post here). You don't need a 'diet plan' or drastic new year goals (which are forgotten by February). Just keep doing something consistently but remember it is as much about mindset as it is about what you are eating.
It was feeling a bit rubbish about myself and my health that inspired me to start my blog, originally for some accountability as I approached my 50th birthday and I wanted to lose weight and get fitter.
I also finally recovered from the anxiety I suffered from having a phobia but then had to navigate menopause!
Oh and writing this it struck me that what I remember are the outings, the holidays, the achievements - not what I was wearing or what was my favourite outfit, a bit pf perspective there! Making memories is far more important. Although it was interesting looking back at photos and seeing how my style evolved.
So my children are mostly grown up and I'm well into the empty nesting process.
And I found that midlife confidence that gets talked about so often! It really is true, post menopause, post children you can find a new way.
But my biggest achievement? Raising two amazing young adults, I am beyond proud of the people they have become. They are happy, confident, sensible, have so much common sense and I totally trust them to make good decisions. They are not influenced by peer pressure and have the confidence to step back from social media and others expectations and go their own way. And we talk, we communicate, a lot. Always listen to your children and never judge, that way they will tell you things and my philosophy is I'd always rather know what is going on. And the best bit - they have become really good friends too.
What about you? Is there one big highlight or lots of amazing memories?
I link up with:
Is This Mutton
Not Dressed as Lamb
Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog celebrating women. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about style, beauty, health and fitness with a focus on the over 50's. I am based in Marlow but work across London and the South East.
Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
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