8 years ago, I hung up my England rugby boots. This now means that I have been retired from international duty for longer than my playing career of 7 years. I am not quite sure how I feel about this. Mixed I think is the word. But one thing I do know is that even after 8 years that label is still attached to me. “Oh, I know you, you are the rugby player”. Well, I did play rugby, I am still involved with the sport but my playing days are well and truly over. So, it’s hard to still humour people and say, yes, I am the rugby player! We are often labelled and we have to chose which labels we are happy with and which we would rather ditch.

I am soon going to have a new label. I will be known as a “new mum”. I think I am ok with this which surprises me. It won’t be my only label – I will still be running my business and delivering talks and will be a soon to be published author. I am also a wife and I am happy with that label too. We don’t have to let these labels define us but they can help to shape us. And we don’t have to be all of our labels all of the time. Though I imagine even when I am 85, hobbling around with a Zimmer frame and eating only soup through a straw I will still get the “oh I know you, you are the rugby player”!

And people want to label Baby Bear as well. What are you having I am often asked? Um a human, I say. But they want more of a label. Are you having a boy or a girl? The label that will probably stay with them for life. In 2019 we can only say ‘probably’. Why are we so obsessed by labels? And why at the age of 39 do I now actually spend time reading actual labels on clothes before putting them in the wash? This change is making me sad. I am not even 40 yet. Surely, I still have a few weeks left of liberation. Or really as 50 is the new 40 I should have another decade of not looking at clothing labels. My mum looks at washing instructions. I am too young to do that. Post the arrival of Baby Bear when I am a size 12 (that will be about 2 weeks after birth – yes it will; of course, it will) I will rebel. I will go in to a clothes shop and I will buy an item of clothing and I will NOT read the label. No, I will not because this is a slippery slope. A slippery slope towards becoming middle aged. My next upcoming label of doom. I definitely do not want that one to define me. Apparently, we are middle aged when we hit 45. This is a true fact, it is defined as so in the Oxford English Dictionary. So, I have 5 years and 65 days to influence change and encourage said OED to change their definition. Suzy Dent of Countdown dictionary corner is one of my Inspiring Women speakers – maybe I can get her on the case.

Jeff is still chilling out in the bathroom. I am not sure if he has grown or not. I think he might be a bonsai fern and has perhaps reached his full size in which case his pot is a little out of proportion to his size. I may have to downsize his home in that case – we can’t all live in such palatial conditions. Baby Bear has definitely not reached full size with another 3 bags of sugar in weight to add at least. I read that a lady in the USA just gave birth to a 15lb baby – that would be another 10 bags of sugar and some more. Tears were springing to my eyes as I read and if I could actually sleep at night, I would most probably be woken up by a nightmare that Baby Bear will also be 15lbs. On the plus side that probably means that they will not grow up and play 7’s. Their strengths will lie deep within the maul. The most beautiful part of rugby.

No Unicorn Flying Pig Brexit chat this week. I am SO over it.

In other news J and me are going on an actual date tonight and going out for dinner. Yay! As it is a special occasion, I am going to aim to stay awake until 8.45pm. It’s important to set realistic goals.

And finally, last night I treated myself and put freshly washed pyjama bottoms on. I enjoyed the feeling for about 7 seconds before a coughing fit led to uncontrollable weeing and they went back in to the wash. That was a low point. Plus point this week? I think my dandruff may be improving and unless I am imagining it through the power of positive affirmations, I think there may be less hairs on my chin. I might not need that balaclava.

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