Sunday, 20 March 2016

Deal With the Next Minute

It's good to be home.

Sometimes, all you need is a week away to appreciate everything that you've got.

After not seeing the children for seven whole days, right now they could refuse to eat everything I cook, lose all their homework and turn their bedrooms into cess pits, and I'd just smile benignly and wrap them in a bear hug.

After a week with absolutely no household chores, I've even fallen back in love with my domestic appliances. I watched my (previously loathed) washing machine as it valiantly chugged through the fourth load of laundry with a feeling akin to awe.

I threw myself at the Times yesterday, like a man in a desert discovering an oasis. I'd missed my favourite columnist: Caitlin Moran.

I have a girlie crush on Caitlin. I love her witty, intelligent writing. I adore her fearlessness. I'm grateful for the way she's made feminism cool again. And I love that blondish, badger like streak in her hair. She's awesome.

So, I thought I'd share my favourite bit of Caitlin, because it's really helpful. She wrote it for teenage girls going through the onslaught of puberty, but it's totally appropriate for all of us....

Here is a promise, and a fact: you will never, in your life, ever have to deal with anything more than the next minute.

However much it feels like you are approaching an event – an exam, a conversation, a decision, a kiss – where, if you screw it up, the entire future will just burn to hell in front of you and you will end, you are not.

That will never happen. That is not what happens.

The minutes always come one at a time, inside hours that come one at a time, inside days that come one at a time – all orderly strung, like pearls on a necklace, suspended in a graceful line. You will never, ever have to deal with more than the next 60 seconds.

Do the calm, right thing that needs to be done in that minute. The work, or the breathing, or the smile. You can do that, for just one minute.

And if you can do a minute, you can do the next.

So, if you're finding things hard right now, then listen to Caitlin, and just deal with the next minute....

And HUGE CONGRATS to Melanie from Boston who's dealt with a whole bunch of minutes - in fact a whole year of them. Got sober, moved across the country and set up a fabulous new business.

Happy Soberversary, Melanie!

Love to you all,

SM x


  1. I LOVE Caitlin Moran! That article was brilliant. I bought her latest book Moranifesto when it came out 10 days ago and I'm saving it for when I'm away by myself over Easter - it'll be tough as the kids are with their Dad. I hate the notion of begin away from them over Easter. Anyway, I'm trying not to sneak a little peak! I totally agree with the 'one minute' sentiment. It certainly got me through the early days… and today I hit 5 months alcohol free! Thanks for being so fabulous SM. Lots of love. SPB. xxx

    1. Huge congrats on 5 months SPB! Awesome work! I uderstand about Easter being hard. Try and see it as time out for yourself and give yourself some treats. That way, when they come back, you'll appreciate them even more! Huge hugs xxx

  2. This morning I went to a beautiful breakfast wedding on the beach and as they were passing out the bubbles, I had a moment. But tgen it passed and I had a really great time.

    Then this afternoon I ran a half marathon. I was underprepared since I spent many months in the lead up too hungover to do my long runs. It got worse when I had an injury that meant I had to rest. It just gave me an excuse it hit tge bottle harder.

    It's almost been 30 days sober now. Today i hit two milestones. 1)I drank juice at a wedding and 2)a PB half marathon in 1.44.

    Yah me. Sorry this comment is all about me on your blog. Yah to you for the inspiration to get me here.

    1. Well done Sunny! You're rocking it! Awesome work, and thanks for inspiring all of us (now, where did I put my running shoes?) xx

  3. Sadly Caitlin has lost the streak but not her passion. I love her books and my friend who incidentally will be alcohol free one year in April saw her speak recently at International Women's Day. Feminism is powerful and not to be confused with the 80's version of the ladette culture which did so much damage to a) the plight of feminism and b) the way women drink. I love the broad range of subjects you choose to highlight how not drinking is relateable to everything.

  4. SM
    Thank you for your kind words!
    Boston Strong Boston Sober

  5. Thanks SM, really glad you keep writing. A lot of friends have fallen silent. I used to spur myself on in the gym by telling myself that I spent many more minutes drinking than I did on the rowing machine. This is my 11th sober weekend and I seem to need the inspirational words just as much as at the beginning.


  6. Great post SM. And so true! A x

  7. Hi SM, Does she have a book for girls going through puberty? I ask as I'm a Dad of one - and would happily buy the book or share the column. Thanks - Eeyore

    1. Hi Eeyore! She's written a fab book called 'how to be a woman', but may be aimed a bit older than your daughter. If I were you I would read it yourself first and see what you think. Apart from anything else it'll give you a great insight into how girls work and the joy of puberty ;-)

    2. Thanks SM - oh, and I'm at Day 101 - and made it past Persian New Year this weekend - which is no small thing. Thanks again for your blog. E

    3. 101! You're on the home run now, my favourite gumpy old donkey ;-)

  8. I love Caitlin Moran, have a total girl crush on her. It's similar to the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt that you can do ANYTHING for 10 seconds, just count to 10 and see you've done it and if you've done it once you can do it again