I am ready…

So here I am, on the eve of my 40th birthday, writing for the first time on this special little gift to myself, my new blog.

It’s been a long time coming. The morphing of Tuesday’s Child Photography into this. Just Tuesday’s Child, a little piece of me. A platform to write and to blend my words with my photos, for special projects, my occasional client work and just the day to day beauty that is this life. A space for me to record this journey for me, for my children and for anyone else who would like to travel with me a little while.

Words and photography. My two loves. I think perhaps, if pushed, photography is my second love, a no-less genuine love, a good and beautiful creative life that brings me a gentle happiness when I am at my best, when I am capturing what is between people. It comes easily, naturally and it feels safe to me. I can just do it. Writing is a different, wilder beast. It frightens me, challenges me, brings up my every insecurity and lays them out in front of me, taunting me. So months, sometimes years, go by before I feel brave enough to return to it. But I’m back, again, because it makes me come alive, it makes my heart beat. Faster, louder, stronger. My secret, passionate love affair.  I’ve missed it. And I got to wondering if perhaps I could have both?  If this, the two of them together, not one or the other, was it, what I was born to do. And so here I am, writing and filling the empty spaces with photographs. Or perhaps taking photographs and filling the empty spaces with words? I wonder if they’ll dance around each other for a while, competing for glory, I wonder which will be prettier. It doesn’t matter. Somehow, one day, they will just blend and I will create something beautiful, with my two loves and it will make my heart sing.

So 40 (almost). Am I where I thought I would be? Hoped I would be? I’m not sure. Did I reach my goal weight? Ah no. Am I exercising daily, yelling never, eating sensibly, living to a schedule, being more organised, less chaotic, living within budget, setting goals, remembering who needs to be where, when? Well no, actually, no. Epic fail on oh.so.many.counts. But am I happy? I am. I am happy. I am loved.

I have tiny hands wrapped around my face and a little piece of heaven whispering,  ’wook me mum, wook at me, I wuv you mum’. I have the same boys I yelled at that morning tell me I’m the most awesome mum, ever, that night. I am forgiven. And I forgive myself. And I just breath them in.  I share my life with a gentle, beautiful man I love, passionately, and who, by strange happy fate, feels the same away about me. My door opens often to the gorgeous faces of friends and my kitchen bench is a happy home for long talks and the familiar sound of champagne glasses and laughter. When my house is empty and my phone is quiet, my heart is filled with love for the friends I don’t see as often but who are no less precious and real to me and who have helped shape this beautiful life, helped shape me.

My darling parents, my sisters, my brother are still important, beautiful parts of my life, 40 years after I completed our family. I love that, love them.  Love that we’ve grown from 6 to 21 and that our children have cousins to share their childhood with. I have loved this journey, from my farmyard babyhood to the bright lights of London, from the madness of Egypt to the stillness of the Himalayas, from the carefree backpacker to overwhelmed mother of three, from a thousand journeys to the quiet of my own backyard. The adventures, the travels, the loves, the extraordinary transition from child to parent, the day to day, the dizzying highs and the desperate lows that have all brought me right to this moment, to this feeling. An overwhelming gratitude, a contentment, and yet a quiet determination to make it even better.  My list of goals keeps growing and I love that. So I will push on, keep striving, but gently, more gently. I am learning to remember the joy is in the journey itself, to not lose sight of who is walking beside me, of the tiny hands so quickly losing their warm baby squishiness in mine, of the beautiful boys whose strides will soon be long enough to outrun me. I want to slow my pace down to match theirs, not teach them to rush to keep up with me. I just want them beside me as long as I can have them, before they walk away from me in their own direction, to their own adventures. So I am making time to stop and play along the way, to breathe, to love, to be gentle, to nurture, to be.

So 40, I am ready for you.  30 may have a prettier ring to it,  but you’ll grow on me I’m sure.

I am happy to be here. I am happy.

And I will leave you with my four loves. The four people who made my heart expand beyond recognition and made us this family of our own. Captured by my beautiful Angie, the kind of friend everyone should be so lucky to have at least once in a lifetime.