“Life, it’s a bumpy ride – but I love it,” says Carol Vorderman
Take it from me, it’s about time!
As a woman in my 50’s there’s not much I haven’t done. But up until now, most of those things have generally been for other people. I’m a mum of two children (now young adults) and a loving daughter and carer to my mother (she’s 88 now!). Until quite recently my main focus in life has been them; my family, friends and loved ones. As a single parent and provider, I’ve done everything possible to make sure they have been healthy, safe, supported… you name it, I’ve done it… often the hard way. But now I am at a time in my life when I have more free time, the school runs are over and I can finally spread my wings, and I’m determined I’m not going to miss out on anything.
New goals for a new chapter in my life
I know our bodies change, the hangovers get worse, and we have to adjust our rhythms slightly, but I have a zest for life now which I’ve rarely had before. It’s like the fog has lifted and I skip with happiness. I honestly believe that it’s never too late to turn a page and start a new chapter of your own story - just take a leaf out of our new Prime Minister Theresa May’s book. Whatever your stance, there is no denying she is making headlines around the world. A recent iconic picture that really inspired me showed 59 year old Mrs May and the 90 year old Queen together, setting the course for a new Government. Whatever your politics may be, that photograph was about empowering women of a CERTAIN age!
Being a bit selfish isn’t a bad thing. The happier and more fulfilled you are, the more equipped you are to inspire others. I know that when I have had a day to do the things I love, whether it’s going out on a flight or just taking some much deserved time out at home, not only do I go to sleep happier and more fulfilled but I am better placed to help others. I wake up smiling, properly smiling.
Here are a few of my top tips to help you prioritise YOU:
- Don’t put others first at all costs: It’s incredibly important to look after your loved ones, support them and champion their best efforts, but this shouldn’t be at a cost to you. You are always going to be your best if you have taken the time to make sure you are fit, focused and content.
- Don’t do things the hard way: Swimming against the current is exhausting! We can help ourselves and each other without doing it the hard way. A simple word of support, hug or telephone call can make all the difference.
- Drop the negative people who are in your life: We all have them, they are always a drain and always a pain and generally don’t have anyone’s best interests at heart. Just drop them and don’t look back.
- Clock off: You don’t have to be on call all the time, if it’s not the right time, say so.
- Be your own inspiration: Finding a passion or a focus can be incredibly liberating and will not only give you great pride and satisfaction but it’s another string to your bow.
- ME time is ok: Don’t apologise for taking time to do what makes you happy. Whether its five minutes at the end of the day to soak in the bath, run 10k on the weekend or simply switch off, it’s important to recognise you need ME time – so you should have it.
So what’s MY dream?
Some of you might have heard by now, but my greatest personal ambition is about to get underway when I will take to the skies and attempt to be the 9th woman ever to fly solo around the world. It’s been a short but intense battle to get to this point with delays and complications which are way beyond my control. I’m under no illusion that this is going to be incredibly hard (why do you think only eight women before me have done it!) but my absolute love for flying has really taken off (excuse the pun) in the last couple of years and I couldn’t think of a more exciting and special way to spend my days. I don’t know what will come next but I’ll never stop trying to live each and every one of my dreams – and neither, my friend, should you. Have a moment in the fresh air to think about what those dreams are, switch your phone off and close your eyes and dream it… then start to make it happen… because you CAN.