Yet again it seems to have been too long since I last updated the blog - which I can only put down to the fact that there isn't much to grumble about in life at the moment! It's obvious that I am a far more prolific writer when I have issues on my mind or when I feel weighed down.
Life continues well for me, the Boy and Bump. The weather may have been irritable and our move may be progressing at a snail's pace (more of that another time), but every day I wake up with a big smile on my face and feel like the luckiest person alive. As my bump grows and I feel the baby move more and more, I'm finally beginning to realise that we will become a family soon and that I will have everything I want in life - a fantastic husband, a child, a loving family, great friends and a challenging and stimulating job. Every day that really excites me, and there's not a lot that can get me down just now.
My emotions are on a bit of a roller coaster, granted, and over the weekend I did have a mini wobble - can I do this? will I be a good mum? can we really afford a baby? will Ben and I ever get to be spontaneous or have quality time together again? - but I know this is all normal and I can't wait to find out the answers! Hopefully I'll be able to share them here.
A few friends have been asking me lately how I will cope with "just" being a mum for a year. I have to bite my tongue a little as I find this irritating - but then I remember my friends are not all to know how long the Boy and I have waited to be parents and that we began trying to have a baby back in October 2010. Because I am considered a career girl and perceived to be a high flyer amongst my circle, they don't think parenthood will be enough for me.
I was thinking about this on the way into work this morning - I can't express enough how ready I feel for this next chapter in our lives. Yes, I have lived a very busy, sociable and full life since I finished university and began working 12 years ago. On top of work I have attended creative writing classes, written my first novel, qualified as a counsellor and spent five and half years volunteering in the evenings for a bereavement charity as a therapist. For years there was rarely a party I didn't attend, and my diary was crammed with appointments with the Boy and friends for the theatre, cinema, galleries...
But for this very reason I feel I've totally done my time and lived my life, and am so ready for a new direction. I've danced all night in some of London's most famous clubs while high on life, and I've partied in squats and tower blocks in East London and watched the sun come up. I've stayed out all night and gone to work the next day. I've been to exhibitions and museums meeting people like Mario Testino at previews when I worked on a fashion trade magazine. In my current job I've campaigned on issues that have led to the law being changed to improve conditions for children and working people, and I've been to parliament and conversed with the likes of Gordon Brown, Nick Clegg, Ed Balls and Andy Burnham. I've even had a cup of tea with David Miliband and in front room in Borough.
I've been on boat trips on the Thames - night and day - and bus and walking tours around London. I've bought two homes here and lived in zone one for more than a decade - both alone and with others. I've picked up hippy bargains in Camden and Spitalfields, and (window!) shopped at Harrods and Libertys. I've walked for miles and miles around the capital and ridden the bus, night bus, tube and overground train at all hours of day and night. I've had spontaneous weekends away with friends, and lazy weekends barely moving from bed with the Boy. I've read enough books to fill a library and I've been to enough gigs to last a lifetime - from tiny events with up and coming new bands in dirty student unions and back rooms of pubs, to huge elaborate concerts at the likes of Wembley and the Emirates stadium.
I've enjoyed a plethora of day trips and weekend breaks to most towns of interest in England and across Europe. I've holidayed in France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, the USA, North Africa, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean - and I've been to so many of the Greek Islands that I struggle to remember their names now. I've drunk fine wine and flat beer, and I've eaten at some of the best restaurants in town - and happily munched many a chips in pitta bread weaving my way home from a bar somewhat intoxicated.
I've learned how to be on my own, how to be happy in my own skin and how to relish my independence - but be grateful and thankful for my dependence on the Boy and others who care for me. I understand how I work, what scars the past has left on me, and how those wounds can be fixed - and I've put time and effort into healing them so I can be a well-rounded person and the best possible version of myself I can.
In short, I've had a fairly charmed life and I've indulged most of my whims and fantasies. Don't get me wrong, I've worked blinking hard for everything I've wanted - working three jobs when I first moved to London - but I've certainly reaped the benefits. Suffice to say there aren't many experiences left on my bucket list - I've packed it in. At times I realise with maturity and hindsight I did pack too much in - and sometimes I lived my life a bit too close to the edge, I see that now. There weren't many stones left unturned in those hedonistic, selfish days of my twenties - and it is definitely for the best that those days are behind me!
But in honesty, there's not much I would change as it's got me where I am today. Which is extremely appreciative of the good things in my life, committed to putting effort and energy into the relationships that are important to me, being able to hold dear and value what is really important in life, and having confidence in myself and the courage of my convictions.
So - to answer my friends, who cock their heads and look at me with a puzzled expression, I don't think there could be a better time for me to be "just" a mum. I think with my life experience behind me and the unflinching support of the Boy I'm going to be quite a good one. Bring. It. On!