Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

This was my Facebook status a few weeks ago: Don’t sweat the small stuff, put your loved ones at the top of your list, karma will take care of the rest.

Karma was an important part of my value system growing up. A large part of growing up Hindu is understanding how it works. Of all the teachings I had as a child this is what stuck with me. Whenever something inexplicably sad happened, momma said, karma works in mysterious ways. It’s not about me.

Right now I’ve got the blues. Finishing university was a dream come true for me. I did everything I could to make it happen and now I’m not sure what comes next. My kids come first, that’s for sure. Applying for jobs post recession is hard enough but with my kids being a priority it’s even harder. We’re not starving poor, nor are we in any major financial trouble, so a job isn’t life or death now. But a job that I love is key to my personal happiness and if I’m not happy my kids won’t be happy and that’s the truth.

I’m not happy at home without a job but I’m surely appreciative of all the good things I have in my life. I have time to work on my writing, though being a writer is the scariest job sometimes. Putting pen to paper, making words come to life, I know I want to do it, but wondering whether people will want to read it and making a career out of it, I don’t know if I can do it.

I should be blogging more, it’s like flexing my writing muscle in my brain. I didn’t want to write another entry until I was feeling a bit more positive. On that note, yes, I can see a glimmer of hope and I haven’t even had a sign from the universe. That’s a good thing, right? Write?

Then I saw this. Waiting for that work ball to bounce back!

waiting for the bounce back

waiting for the bounce back

My Way

This weekend I had a childhood friend come and visit me. She congratulated me on finishing my degree and then remarked, “It’s like you’ve done things in reverse.” She’s referring to the fact that I got a man, got a job, got married, got a house, had kids and then got a degree. It got me thinking about Kirstie Alsopp who was bemoaned for suggesting women should got to university after they have kids. That’s not exactly right, what she did say was this, “I don’t have a girl, but if I did I’d be saying ‘Darling, do you know what? Don’t go to university. Start work straight after school, stay at home, save up your deposit – I’ll help you, let’s get you into a flat. And then we can find you a nice boyfriend and you can have a baby by the time you’re 27.’”


I didn’t exactly do it that way either. What I do tell people is that when I first went to University at the age of 18 I did Engineering. I did it because I was good at science and people expected me to do a science subject. I didn’t want to be a doctor like most of my family across the pond because I am squeamish with blood, and I didn’t want to run a business like my brother and my dad. I actually just wanted to find a nice boyfriend, and it probably helped that the gender ratio in my class was about 50:1 so I inevitably fell in love with my lab partner and married him. I didn’t get the degree, I hated the course, but I did fall head over heels in love and I wanted nothing more than to settle down and have beautiful babies with him. And so we got married, bought a house and boom, I was a mum at the age of 28. I waited as long as I could, and having seen the broken hearts of around five childless women in my family, I knew that this was the right choice for me. I didn’t get a degree but I got a husband, which sounds very 1960’s, of course.  The point is, my body was ready for having babies at that age and I was with the right man. I hated my job at the time, working in Pension Administration and I knew I wanted to go back to University but at the time it was right to have children. I didn’t want to run the risk of fertility issues by waiting for the perfect moment.

I felt a lot of silent criticism from women my age who were putting their careers first, over relationships, children, etc. If I had a penny for every time I heard a woman say, “I’m waiting for the perfect man/job/house before I have kids”, I’d be a rich woman today. There is no perfect man/job/house. I’m not saying how I did things was perfect, especially as we have suffered financially from my decisions. What I’m saying is that I did things in the way that was perfect for me, as an individual. 

Finally, obtaining these big goals in life is a lot easier with support from a wonderful family. My husband has looked after my children, cooked meals, and been there for me every step of the way. My children, bless them, I will never forget them saying, “Don’y worry mummy, we’ll be good while you finish working on your assignments”.

I didn’t do things in reverse, as old blue eyes sang, “I did it my way…”.

2:1 for my degree!

Today was results day! I managed to get a 2:1 and I couldn’t be more happy. I worked hard this year and I loved every minute of it. So I officially have a BA Hons Creative Writing with Film Studies and Philosophy. I’m most proud of my Creative Writing results. You see, I first did a degree back in 1994 in Engineering. I somehow managed to scrape by for three years and then failed. I did marry my lab partner so I am in no way regretful of that time. I was doing Engineering to make my family proud. I was a smart girl and I thought I could do it, but my heart wasn’t in it. I’d always wanted to be a writer, but the last time I had written creatively was for school during my GCSE in English language. But way back then there weren’t options to do a degree in Creative Writing. It was almost unheard of. In fact it wasn’t even available on my current course, Creative Writing was a minor module. As if by some miracle they changed it this year to a major module which meant that I could actually earn a degree in it. It wasn’t great, they had some major issues setting it up as a degree but the point is, it was like a dream come true for me. I did it! I made my dream reality through a little luck and a big leap into the unknown. It took me twenty years to earn my degree. Better late than never! 

How Slimming World Changed My Life

Before and during Slimming World

Now I’ve always been a big girl. As a teenager I went through all the sizes from a 10 to a 16 and then a size 18 in my 20s. All the women in my family are pretty big, considering we’re all fairly short. I’m only 5’3″. By the time I had my children I was a size 22 which is what I was in the before part of this picture. Then I found Slimming World. A few of my friends joined and they were looking incredible and I wanted to join a group of people and the Image Therapy in Slimming World is better than any counselling in the world. These are a bunch of beautiful women who just want to be healthy and the Slimming World diet is incredibly easy and I really love it. Last year I managed to lose 1 stone 4 lbs as you can see in the after picture. I’m a size 18 now but my final year at University has been a bit stressful so I’ve put on about 4 lbs since. I feel great though. I even started an aquacise class last night and it was hard work and I ache now but I feel fantastic. I do another class on Wednesdays doing Fitsteps.

It’s basically doing all the Ballroom dancing steps they do on Strictly. It used to be a zumba class which I adore but the instructor is incredible and it’s not as good as zumba but it gets me moving. I do love dancing.

Slimming World helped me lose a stone in weight, 14 lbs. It doesn’t sound like a lot and I still want to lose a lot more but it gave me a huge amount of confidence. So if you click on the link above it will take you to my Tumblr where I put a lot of my photos of my successful slimming world recipes.


This is me!

This is me!

Hi, I’m Jess. This is my new blog. Welcome to my world. I’m a writer. I just finished university and I’m now embarking on yet another fresh start in my life. I would say this is my fourth. My first was all about growing up, all across two continents. My second was about falling in love and starting a family. My third was about becoming a performer on the amateur stage and a student at university. This is my fourth, turning forty and finding a new path. It’s time, and I’m ready, and I’m blogging about it every step of the way.