It's hard to explain but I feel like a parent. I wake up every morning thinking of Beatrice. She is the last thing I think of before I go to sleep. I talk to her. I am proud of her. When she entered this world, my outlook on life changed forever; I became a different person. That's what happens when you become a parent...
Confidence is a funny thing, you either have it or you don't. Except that isn't quite true- as you may have it in one area but not in another. You may excel in one area and come across as the most confident person in the world, and yet when you find yourself in another situation you can be reduced to a bag of nerves, legs turning to jelly!
So I am going for it this year. Every morning will be welcomed with open arms and the previous day's downers will be consigned to the past. Of course I will starting running. Of course I will go on a diet but this will not be because it's a resolution, it is because I want to do it so that I finish the year feeling like a better person than I started (and be able to tie my shoe laces again).
What is real is differences. Wonderful, inspiring differences. As happy as I am to see more plus models making it big, it annoys me that we are now beginning to lean over to the opposite standpoint. It is not ok to fat shame. Just as it is not ok to skinny shame. In fact, let's just cut out the shaming altogether, shall we?
Something so harrowing happened today that I can't get it off my mind. I took the children to watch the Tour de France come tearing through the tiny country lanes in a neighbouring village and I ended up comforting a woman as she watched her husband slipping away before her very eyes. I just can't comprehend what she must be feeling right now.
Ask any sports star or pop star what they want and, without hesitation, they will say a 'Gold' or 'No. 1.' They set ambitions and then go about achieving them. I'm not saying we should all want a number one song in the charts, but shouldn't we all be setting goals for ourselves? Join a gym? Learn how to cook properly? Find a hobby?
We are either heroic paralympians or more likely miserable benefit claimants living a life comparable to being in a Victorian work house. But disabled people are three dimensional characters who have plenty to offer society, plenty of wonderful experiences to enjoy, and can lead amazing lives in a way that is just normal.