A week of firsts

Last Monday I got up at the glorious time of 4am, packed up the car and set off for a week in sunny Scotland. Yes, sunny! We didn’t have a single drop of rain the entire week! Also we being, me and my parents. It was to be a week of firsts; my first sober holiday, my first sober birthday and my first long distance drive in over a year.

So, how was it? In a word; perfect. I honestly have nothing whatsoever to moan about. I wouldn’t change any of it…well except for maybe the amount of cake I ate. But what’s a birthday week without three kinds of cake hey? Gym workouts will be resuming tomorrow!

Aside from the stunning cottage we stayed in (Boltholecottage – highly recommend) the week was spent in the most beautiful of surroundings. We were literally staying at the top off what I can only describe as a very steep dirt track and there didn’t seem to be anything around us except fields and sheep. We didn’t do much while we were there. Seriously, we really didn’t. We went out for lunch a few times in nearby towns and I went for a walk one of the afternoons. That was it. The rest of the time was sat relaxing in front of the log fire and just enjoying our time together. And you know what? It was perfect.

My birthday lunch was a slightly fancy affair as we dined in the Clubhouse at Gleneagles golf resort. Funnily enough though as lovely as that meal was our other two lunches were just as good if not a bit better and I got to wear my converse and hoody, so you know…comfort over everything. 🤷🏽‍♀️😂

A few years ago I always imagined I’d be on holiday for my 40th. Somewhere sunny, a wine glass next to me for most of the day that mysteriously never found itself empty. With friends or if I couldnt find any friends, on my own. For the last few birthdays I am ashamed to admit that I did whatever I could to not spend too much of my birthday with my parents. Why? So I could drink as much as I wanted to without the glaring eyes of disappointment and judgment. Sad, isn’t it?

It was around April that I knew this time sobriety was not a phase. I thought about my birthday and how I would celebrate the big 4-0. The thought of not being able to drink did not bother me as much as I had thought it would. I had accepted that an alcohol free life was what lay ahead so if I’m honest I didn’t really make any big plans. At the time I did not foresee that the pandemic was still going to be playing such a part in our daily lives so I just thought I would do something low key with my friends or maybe just hang out with my parents.

Then sometime in June we were discussing holidays and how we’d had such a nice week at my friend’s caravan in Abersoch last year. My Dad started talking about how he really enjoyed previous visits to Scotland and had always wanted to go back; only now he didn’t think he was capable of doing such a long drive. So I said to him, ‘why don’t we go and I can drive?’. Nothing was set in stone and the subject just faded into the background for a few weeks until my Mum asked me if I had thought about what I wanted to do for my birthday. With us only just coming out of lockdown I told her I wasn’t too bothered about it and we could do something just the three of us. So she suggested that we look at going to Scotland for it if that was something I would like to do. Well, obviously I loved the idea and wasted no time at all in finding accommodation for us.

After that life just got busy for a few months. I had a lot going on with my business, training courses and voluntary work. And then all of a sudden holiday week came around and we were tootling along the M6 bound for Scotland.

My Dad started the drive but I took over around around Preston and drove the rest of the way. We of course stopped off a couple of time; once for breakfast and then again in Lockerbie. It wasn’t until we were a good 50 odd miles into Scottish roads that I realised I hadn’t driven for more than half an hour in almost a year. Not only that but I hadn’t been on the motorway for even longer than that AND I was now driving my parents new car. This probably doesn’t sound like a big deal and to be honest it wasn’t in the general sense. But for me it was about trusting myself behind the wheel, knowing there was no way I was over the limit and for the first time in so long I was just able to enjoy the drive.

So there you have it, my week of sober and hangover free firsts. A holiday, a birthday and a very long drive; survived and unscathed. Next up, Christmas!

Time’s Up Babe

People: What do you want to do later in life?

Me: I don’t really see myself as the career type. I just want to have lots of kids, maybe 5 and be an awesome Mum!

That really was my answer, because that’s what I wanted. I thought it’d be much easier than climbing the career ladder…clearly I was wrong. But at the time I thought having a successful career was a nice idea but it just didn’t feel right for me and felt like a lot of hard work which I frankly could not be fucked with. Saying that, I still went to university, got a degree and a masters, even landed myself a pretty decent grad job but my heart was never in all of that kinda stuff. I did it…well, because everyone else was doing it.

And I continued doing it, it being faking the career woman life. I mean the job part sucked ass but I lived and worked in some cool places and experienced some pretty awesome stuff so I just carried on. And if I’m honest I just thought I’d meet THE ONE at some point along the way and then I could reveal my true self and just be a baby making machine, you know?

But alas, it didn’t happen. My guy hasn’t come along yet, I say yet because one should always remain optimistic and the universe is always listening. A lesson I’ve only learned in recent months hence why my life thus far has been some what of a shit show. Anyway many of you might be thinking that I should stop moaning and there’s plenty of time. But you see, that’s the tea…my time is almost up.

I had an inkling for about a month or so but last week I spoke to the Doctor and my suspicions were right…menopause looms. I’m not quite there yet but it’s probably just around the corner.

So now what? Well, I don’t know really. Mother Nature is telling me I probably won’t be birthing a child so I guess that’s that. I mean I could go and find some random guy to knock me up but at this stage I very much doubt a one nighter is going to do it. And of course, that’s not the way I would want it to happen in an ideal world so…

I think I’m still processing. Up until now I’ve never really cared too much about my age. Since leaving university many moons ago I’ve always been the oldest in most of my friendship circles. But I didn’t feel much older than most of my friends and having been blessed with good genes I definitely didn’t look it either. But now, yeah now I guess I do feel kinda old.

The closer to 40 I got the conversations I had with myself about babies changed. There were times when I thought I didn’t want kids anymore. I’d gotten so used to being by myself and having that single gal freedom, did I even have time for a child? I mean, of course that was absolute bollocks. It’s not like I was living a glamorous life full of adventures. I was sat at home most of the time watching Netflix, drinking my feelings and talking to my dog.

Oh and you know what was really annoying and sometimes fairly soul crushing? The people who were somewhat lacking in tact and the ability to keep their nose out. My favourite lines were ‘you’re a natural, you’d make an excellent mother’ or ‘when are you going to have children?’. Ugh!

Anyway I guess for the most part I was trying to convince myself that maybe motherhood wasn’t for me. Maybe it isn’t. Who knows?! But what I do know is that the ability to make that choice for myself is fading. And that makes me really sad.