Is it just me or does there come certain points in your life when everyone around you seems to be following some sort of craze, phase or doing one particular thing?
I’m not sure whether it’s that the things that you yourself desire suddenly become more noticeable, or whether there genuinely are phases and times of life when everyone seems to be following suit.
Come to think of it, I guess it’s not all about desire as I myself wouldn’t contemplate running for love nor money, it doesn’t interest me in the slightest yet it seems to be a current craze and I’m forever hearing about people’s latest milestones in their marathons, park runs and such-like. Good on them for keeping fit and healthy, I personally can’t run for toffee… we’ll actually if toffee was on offer I might consider it but otherwise running can jog on…
Back in the day that Paul and I got together, it seemed as if every man and his dog well not his dog but his girlfriend or boyfriend were getting engaged or married.
We were forever receiving invites to various celebrations and it wasn’t long before we too threw our own engagement party and a year later tied the knot. Just to point out this wasn’t because we wanted to follow the masses but because we genuinely wanted to make a commitment to each other!
Shortly after we got married it became apparent that most of our friends were busy having babies and building their families. I wasn’t quite ready for children at that point but we were given a little kick up the bum by Mother Nature and it wasn’t long before we too had our hearts set on having children.
I remember back in the day when we were trying for kids, everyone around me seemed to either have a bump or a baby and whilst I was really happy for them I was also green with envy.
After what I can only describe as an emotional and physical rollercoaster we were eventually blessed with our first child and our lives changed all over again. It was a new phase of life and with becoming a parent, I was subject to all sorts of crazes and fads whether it be the latest baby massage course, baby-sign classes or whatever baby-book seemed to be preaching the perfect parenting strategies at the time. To be honest, I did whatever I could to survive the first few months and once I’d found my feet I stuck to what worked for me (and our baby).
Whilst everyone else seemed to be settled in their jobs and home lives ours went a little wobbly for a while. My job came to an end and I found myself becoming a stay at home Mum for a little while. I was quite happy milling around the house looking after our little one. However, I soon realised that whether you choose to be a working Mum or a stay at home Mum there seems to be some judgement and stigmas attached to either option.
All those around me in similar situations seemed to find themselves with a new job fairly quickly, whereas I could only get hold of part-time work which stung a little, though looking back I was better off . I didn’t care what people thought, I was doing the very best that I could in a difficult situation and we got by.
It was around this time that we moved to a bigger house and I fell pregnant for the second time around with our daughter E. I suddenly noticed that I was in the same boat as a few of my friends and our family, it wasn’t a craze nor a fad – it was just timing as we were all of a similar age.
During this time Paul and I seemed to be forever at friends children’s christenings, naming ceremonies and such-like and suddenly weddings seemed to be a thing of the past…
Having had children I lost focus on what everyone else was up to and put focus into my family. I sadly noticed other than play-date pals, I seemed to lose touch with a lot of my friends. Our lives had all changed and our future reflected that, whether it’s a phase or just life I’m not sure even now.
Once you’ve had kids you tend not to notice trends so much… Sure, everyone seemed to be pushing a particular brand of pram, carrying a particular style of changing bag or driving a certain size of car (most people seemed to be driving larger people carriers by this point) , but having kids kinds of forces you into sensibility over style.
Six years later I’ve lost touch with trends and my friends entirely. I can tell you that grey seems to be the latest look when it comes to painting and decorating, blacks back in terms of tech (it was rose gold or white the other year) and that Netflix is the new night out… well, it is for us!
Otherwise, I’m out of whack with what’s ‘neat on the street’. Unless it’s on Pinterest, I wouldn’t have a clue what’s currently popular and I couldn’t care less to be honest.
Social media is a devil though, isn’t it? All those lovely pictures of your pals living the high life somewhere exotic? Adverts for all the things that you wish you could afford (but can’t) and sodding sickly status updates that you seriously question whether are truthful or some ply for a pat on the back.
Speaking of social media – Facebook tells me that the current hip-holiday is somewhere alpine, whether it’s skiing or a trip to see Santa in Lapland. Whereas Instagram tells me that February half term is best spent somewhere hot and sunny, both of which are unaffordable for us at present. Either way, I find it interesting to see that so many people seem to be doing such similar things, whether it’s travelling to similar places or taking part in a particular sport, it just seems slightly odd that everyone seems to follow suit.
Whilst I don’t give a hoot whether I’m following the latest trends, I do worry that my kids may overhear their friends talking about their wonderful holidays and wonder why they aren’t doing the same …
Like I said in a past post, we’ve spent time this week making cookies, playing board games, piecing together puzzles and painting pictures and the dining room. Its hardly a holiday to remember but it’s time spent together and I’m happy with that… kind of.
I’d love to take the kids on holiday this year but I can say with ninety-nine percent certainty that it just ain’t going to happen, neither is the new kitchen and neither will I lose a stone in weight (unless I lose a few limbs in some freak accident). I’d rather be realistic than hold out hope for anything otherwise…
I’ve never been one to follow a fad – I’m a pretty unique individual and like to think that I set my own style. Sure I’ve got Ugg Boots, an MK watch and a few big-brand items but I tend not to follow fashion in the way that others do…
I like to believe that the same could be said with how I chose to live my life. So I didn’t carve out a careful career path, I probably won’t have much of a pension, I’ve not traveled the globe nor have I run a marathon… I have however got two amazing kids, a wonderful husband, and a daft dog which is more than I could have ever wished for however many years back.
I may not share snapshots from the slopes, from a sun-lounger in Spain or from some boat in Berlin (are there even boats in Berlin?). I’m just me and I’m just trying the very best I can to get by.
I’m happy at home with little family and so what if there are trends, fads, phases, and crazes that everyone else seems to be doing or following?! I’m not them, I’m not a fad-follower and nor would I wish to be for that matter.