I read something in a magazine the other day which I found fascinating. It was actually about dating, but I reckon you can use it for anything.
The writer said that if you have to make an important decision (like whether to accept a marriage proposal), you should take a picture of yourself as a child, looking all fresh and innocent and smiley, and ask yourself "would I want this for her/him?"
I thought I'd try it.
I found a picture of myself aged about ten. It was one of those formal school portraits. I had long, straight, dark hair pinned back with kirby grips. I had a gap toothed smile. I was proudly wearing my HEAD GIRL badge, pinned to my pale blue, nylon, polo neck jumper.
(That was before the rebellious years, when I was a frightful goody goody).
I looked hard at that little girl, all sparkly eyes and unshakeable belief that the world held all sorts of possibilities, just waiting for me to come and grab them.
And I thought would I want her to drink a bottle of wine a day? Would I want her to waste all that talent and enthusiasm for life just getting over a hangover and waiting for the next drink.
I let her down, that little girl. And now I have to make it up to her.
So then I thought what did she LOVE back then? What made her heart race faster? (Apart from Ben - the HEAD BOY).
And the answer was words.
I spent hours and hours reading. Hiding under my duvet with a torch. I often had four of five books on the go simultaneously. I read and re-read my favourites until they fell apart.
And I wrote. A diary - for many years, and lots of stories. A poem I wrote at about that age was a runner up in a WHSmith writing competition.
If I can find a way of taking that passion and turning it into a new career, a way of life, then I'll have done her proud.
So, next time you feel like a large glass of vino, find a photo of your younger self, and think is that what I want for her?
I bet it's not.
Then ask what is? And go do it.
Love SM x