Double digits and the next decade

This spring has been a biggie chez nous. As the daffodils tentatively turned their golden trumpets to the (occasional) sun, I was marking 10 years since leaving a long career at the BBC. And as is always the case with the passage of time, it’s been hard to believe that a whole decade has flown by.

I daresay every decade has its unique ups and downs, but bloody hell, this one’s been an absolute doozy. If I’d known there would be a pandemic, two society-shifting referendums, an(other) economic meltdown, desperate poverty and dire, despicable governance, war in Europe, personal and domestic upheaval AND a horribly challenging menopause, perhaps I’d have thought twice about leaving the relative security of a “proper” job. But I ain’t no Mystic Meg (RIP) so 2013 was the year I cut my losses and went solo in small business.

And somehow, 10 years on, that small business has survived. Not just survived, but evolved and flourished. If I were a shiny-suited, jargon-spouting, hard-selling flash Harry type I’d say I’ve been agile and able to pivot at pace, but honestly? There’s been a lot of floundering about and learning the hard way. Mistakes? I’ve made a few. And yet, and yet… I’m still standing. I’m proud of my staying power, and feel vindicated that my decision to leave the safety, but utter misery, of a life in the media was the right one.

This particular 10 year milestone has triggered much reflection, and the occasional lump in the throat. So much has happened, both personally and on a societal level. The most obvious physical marker of change during the last decade has been the evolution of my own child from wee guy to incredible hulk. My pride in the Word Up Wean far outstrips anything I feel for the business, but I hope I’ve shown him a glimpse of what’s possible when you’ve got a plan and hunners of determination.

Some of this recent reflectiveness has been triggered by the approach of my 60s (hold off on the punky reggae party playlist tho, there’s another year to go) and thoughts of what next? Self employment can be deeply satisfying but it’s all-consuming and bloody knackering too, so I’m beginning to brew up a new plan for later life. Carving out proper time to look ahead can be tricky given the multiple demands of the sole trading existence, but it’s a priority in this gaff. I’m taking inspiration from the magnificent Pauline Black of The Selecter. In a recent interview, Pauline talked about losing her life force in her 50s. I hear ya sister, I REALLY hear ya. Like Pauline, I am trusting, hoping and praying that my own life force, my energy and joie de vivre will be back with a bang soon. Actually, I’d even settle for a whimper.

The good news is that there are faint signs that the old punk rocker in me is gearing up again. There’s a lot to be angry about in these terrible times, and I, for one, am not planning on slipping quietly into genteel retirement. Frankly, fuck that.

Photo by Orit Matee on Unsplash