This year, as I do most Christmases, I watched Bridget Jones’ Diary on the telly (while eating cheese and drinking whiskey). And this year, as I do most Christmases, I shed a little tear when hot lawyer Mark Darcy tells Bridget that he likes her. Just as she is.
‘There are elements of the ridiculous about you,’ he says in typical bumbling Rom Com style. ‘Your mother’s pretty interesting. And you really are an appallingly bad public speaker. And, um, you tend to let whatever’s in your head come out of your mouth without much consideration of the consequences… But the thing is, um, what I’m trying to say, very inarticulately, is that, um, in fact, perhaps despite appearances, I like you, very much. Just as you are.’
I like you very much. Just as you are.
What a line.
Bridget tells her friends what he said.
‘Just as you are? Not thinner? Not cleverer? Not with slightly bigger breasts or slightly smaller nose?’ asks her friend Jude.
Shazzer: Well, f*** me…
Right now my Facebook stream is a stream of articles about the top 10 things successful people do before 7am. The 58 books you must read this year. The 8 new super foods that will help you lose 20 lbs by the weekend…
This is the time of year when we all want to be thinner, cleverer… better versions of ourselves.
I am usually a sucker for these things. Unsurprisingly.
Yesterday I was reading an article about 30 productivity tips – one them included getting up at 5am. I found myself wondering – not for the first time – what would my life be like if I got up at 5am? How much work would I get done by 8am? How ahead of the game would I be?!
This same article suggested that after the 5am wake up call I should do some meditating, half an hour of high intensity exercise, followed by an icy cold shower. All this before breakfast. A green-juicy, non-carby breakfast, obvs. Highly Productive People don’t eat marmalade on toast.
For half a second I found myself thinking my usual thoughts. I should do this! Change everything! Cut out carbs! Start a new regime! I am a bad, flawed person of wobbly mind and body and it’s time to make a change!
But then, almost as quickly as that thought occurred, I had another one. ‘I can’t be bothered.’
Because let’s face it – I won’t do them. Not for more than two days anyway. So why not just skip the bit where I set myself an unrealistic goal and hate myself when I don’t complete it?
And then I had a second thought. The reason I can’t be bothered to do these things is because, perhaps for the first time in my adult life, I basically think I’m OK.
Not perfect, not fantastic – but in the whole scheme of life, I’m doing OK.
I am done with trying to eradicate all my flaws, done with going to war with myself for all my perceived failings. I am done with feeling marginally guilty every time I eat marmalade on toast. Because, the thing is, I really, really like marmalade on toast. Sometimes it’s the best part of my day.
So this year, I have just one resolution:
I AM GOING TO LIKE MYSELF JUST AS I AM.
I am going to like myself even though the most intense my exercise gets is walking around the block. I am going to like myself even though the two great loves of my life are wine and Netflix. I am going to like myself even though I am disorganised and crap with money. I am going to like myself even though my moods go up and down like a roller coaster. I am going to like myself even though I cry at everything… including Bridget Jones and ads for insurance. I am going to like myself despite the fact that I still, at times, worry like a crazy person and think that nothing I do is good enough.
This is just me. This is how I am.
I am also kind, funny and smiley. I try to be nice to people. I give to charity. I’m a good listener. I make my friends laugh. Despite what my overdrafts might suggest, I’ve done pretty well in my career. And oh my goodness, I am rich in friendship. I am beyond blessed with funny, cool, interesting people in my life.
And they all like me JUST AS I AM.
This doesn’t mean that I won’t try to improve my life. I do want to exercise more, eat more green vegetables, finally earn some money and get my life sorted. But I will start at it from a different position – that the way I am right now is fine. More than fine. Any improvement is a bonus.
We are all human. We are good and bad. We have high moments and lows. All that matters is that every day we try our best. And have a laugh along the way. And try to be kind to people. Including ourselves.
In short, my greatest wish for 2016 is that is that we all learn to give ourselves a F**king break.
THAT WE LEARN TO LIKE OURSELVES, JUST THE WAY WE ARE.
And if there are any hot lawyers who happen to be reading and feeling the need to tell me they like me just the way I am, that’s fine too…
All my love and happy New Year,