In my late teens I was keen to get out of my mum's house ASAP, which meant spending several years living in dingy basement flats and warehouses with no hot water. At times it was a bit grim but it's all part of growing up and it taught me a lot. For me - now I'm living somewhere less squatter-chic - I've learnt to create an illusion of space.
As the Chief Executive of Relate, the UK's leading relationship support organisation, I thought it might be apt to share a little of my own experience of how relationships can develop over time. Ian, my husband, announced on the eve of a long weekend that we should paint the kitchen. I felt my chest tighten and an acute sense of impending doom.
A free-for-all Christmas has had a surprisingly deep impact on my family and myself. It's not just that we save money, which we do, but we also approach the holidays with a sense of fun that we lost for a few years (beginning when we grew out of being children). This playfulness is a symptom of an even stronger emotional reaction--a feeling of having more than enough.