I love Bianca Wordley. Love the woman to bits.
Her tales at her blog of being a mum to three girls – Lily (6), Elsie (5) and Hazel (3) – and partner of the fabled Twiggy are honest, hilarious and touching. She breaks the taboos on parenting, striving to be a good mother, loyal wife and useful woman. She tells it like it is with humility, wit and generosity.
She’s just one of the legion of remarkable women I’m proud to have introduced to readers of The Hoopla.
Bianca’s always been a hit. About two years ago she debuted on this site with one of our then most-popular stories about her real post-baby belly. I, for one, have always felt in awe of her ability to tell it like it is.
She’s a brave one, our Bianca. I reckon we’re all blessed to have her.
So yesterday I read her latest post in which she had marshalled her goals for 2014. She listed twenty-one goals! Count them! Twenty-One! She’d sat down, given it some thought, and come up, sincerely, with 21 ways to be a better version of Bianca.
The Bianca we admire … just the way she is.
I had to pick up the phone. As someone (almost) old and (definitely) rude enough to be her mother, I thought she could do with a good talking to.
“Bianca,” I said, “for a start, you have to stop it with the lists.”
(That’s number 21 on her list BTW.)
“And you can also cross out anything that includes the words ‘more’, ‘better’ or ‘less’. Then after that anything ‘wiser’ has to go. Likewise ‘lose’ or ‘gain’ and, while we’re at it both ‘learn’ and ‘grow’ have to be excised too.”
That left us with – we had to agree – not much really. A celebratory glass of wine and a relax seemed in order.
I’ve got a truckload of my own insecurities, thanks for asking. I can recall being in a therapist’s office years ago when she gave me a hand mirror and asked “tell me what you love about yourself”. A torrent of self abuse poured out that shocked me. So much so, I recorded it in the opening paragraph of my 2006 novel “Love and Punishment”.
We women always think there’s a better version of ourselves out there, just slightly beyond our reach. It’s a brighter, shinier alter ego that stalks us, every minute of every day.
But what if we stopped terrorising ourselves? That’s my goal for 2014.
Bianca says she’ll keep a diary and tell us when she fails.
Here’s hoping that there’s not one single entry in that particular category of self-judgement for this entire year.
This is Bianca’s blog post:
It’s one week until school holidays finish and I am struggling to find any time to myself. My husband, Twiggy, works from home, as do I. And our three girls – Lil, CC and Hutz have us cornered. I am over it.
I need some SPACE.
Anyway, the purpose of this diary isn’t to whinge, well not the entire time, but instead it’s to document my journey this year to becoming a better me. Well, not so much a better me – a healthier, more balanced, better time managed me.
These are my goals:
1) Lose weight.
2) Gain muscle definition.
3) Learn to run.
4) Drink less booze.
5) Eat cleaner, fresher, wiser.
6) Grow my hair and nails.
7) Write my book.
8) Pay off debts.
9) Be a better Mum.
10) Have more sex.
11) Be a better wife (see 10)
12) Be more engaged with the community.
13) Connect with like-minded people.
14) Be braver.
15) Write more (see 14).
16) Grow my blog (see 15).
17) Give more.
18) Live more.
19) Laugh more.
20) Procrastinate less.
21) Stop writing so many lists (see 20).
I am so very hard on myself, but rarely do I ever follow through with anything.
Today I sit here the heaviest I’ve ever been (except when pregnant). I’m slowly making my way towards triple digits. When I look in the mirror I only do so from flattering angles. I take lots of selfies from a height. I hate any photos taken by other people as it reveals my truth.
I look at my kids and wonder if I’ll grow old with them. I am so unhealthy. I watch keenly as others complete books, run marathons, document amazing weight loss, write fabulously, achieve lifetime goals and I feel joy for them, but am also envious. I only have myself to blame. I let myself down by my complacency.
I decided I’d write a bit about how I’m feeling, what I’m doing and the emotions I’m facing as I take my first steps towards change. I will also, I anticipate, write about when I fail.
Wobbly: The Diary of a Mum Trying to Find Herself – is simply a diary of a mum trying to find TIME for herself. I know I’m not alone when I say I’m too busy getting through each day to dedicate any time to me, but that’s a load of crap. I just need to find the time.
So, today I’ll start thinking about the ways I can do that.
Any suggestions on how I can better manage my time?
So Hooplarians, any advice for Bianca?
MORE STORIES BY BIANCA WORDLEY
*Bianca Wordley is an Adelaide-based blogger and writer who is the publisher of bigwords. She has worked for The Advertiser, The Sunday Mail, Independent Weekly, The Times, Australian Associated Press, Adelaide Hills Magazine and read the news for ABC Radio. You can follow her on Twitter: @bigwordsblog.