Tomorrow it will be ten years since I skipped out of the corporate world and began my new life at home. I know I blogged about this last year but I'm afraid I'm a sucker for anniversaries. And things look different this year, as I trust they will with every passing twelve months.
And as I thought about this fact, I realised that my life so far splits neatly into four quarters of eleven years each - well, almost.
I don't remember much about my first quarter. Snatches of home life, glimpses of holidays on the English coast. Most of my memories are informed by moving house which we did when I was nine. Things are either before the move or after it. It is a successful way of capturing moments and placing them in context.
My second quarter, secondary school, university and law school, is less hazy. I loved school - and there were four of them to choose from. It was all about learning, giggling and dreaming of things to come. University was a necessity, a means to an end and Law school was sheer hard work. All of them ultimately enjoyable in the main. And in this quarter I think my character was formed, my likes and dislikes crystallised and the direction of the rest of my life determined.
Quarter number three was my corporate existence. Eleven years spent learning my trade and ricocheting between tremendous bouts of confidence and self importance and absolute blind terror.
And then my most recent past. Sleep deprivation, nappies, competitive parenting, sapping of self confidence and utter boredom. It doesn't sound great does it? Well, such is the harsh realities of four children in seven years. There were obviously bright moments and fantastic memories but overall it was one almighty slog.
So, although the maths doesn't quite work I am now entering the next section, the fifth fifth as it were. It is almost as if I am back to where I started. I am oh so eager to learn new things. I am excited about everything I do. I am thoroughly enjoying my children at their current ages. And I am happy in my own skin. I no longer feel the need to try and do the things just because I ought to or because it's expected. People have to take me as they find me and if that fits in with their expectations then that's great.
Someone said to me recently that I was just as they had remembered me being in my twenties but whereas what appeared to be a front then was real now. Perhaps they're right.
And as this anniversary comes and goes would I change anything? Absolutely not. Eleven years as a corporate lawyer was just right. Almost eleven years as a stay at home mum was also right, although it was nearly the death of me. And now I can't help but wonder, what will the next eleven bring?