Merry Betwixtmas!

Soon after it was released, in 2001, I remember going to see ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ with my mum.

Ever since the trailer had first graced our screens, she’d been wanting to go and see it. She’d also mentioned (several times over!) that Renée Zellweger had been required to put on weight in order to assume the title role – talk about going ‘above and beyond’!

As we watched the film together, laughing uncontrollably at the irreverence, chaos and hilarity of it all, I couldn’t help noticing that there were one or two (distinctly unfavourable) similarities between us. Okay, I was still a tiny bit younger than Bridget (with parents who were infinitely nicer and more tactful than hers) but I was single, prone to brief bouts of loneliness, and ‘upsizing’ at an alarming rate – as the large bag of pick ‘n mix (resting upon my ample thighs) would willingly testify!

Some twenty years later, and my life (rather like my appearance) is almost unrecognisable. Happily married with two gorgeous (but unrelentingly energetic) boys, I delight in the simple pleasure of being able to view my feet once more(!) having shrugged off the sedentary lifestyle of my 20s and 30s in favour of two relatively inexpensive commodities – namely, exercise and fresh air.

Having recently re-watched ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’, I found myself pondering Bridget’s ‘predicament’ from a slightly different perspective. Feelings of sympathy and (dare I say) pity, were less dominant this time around with the many benefits of being a SINK (single income, no kids) coming somewhat tantalisingly to the fore – sitting firmly, as we are, in the period fondly known as Betwixtmas…

For one thing, there’s the opportunity for some wonderfully spontaneous ‘self-gifting’ – not least because your disposable income is not being siphoned off by tweens who’ve apparently ingested an entire party pack of Miracle-Gro for Christmas!

Then there are the lie-ins, pyjama days and leisurely baths that can happen on a whim – and that (all too quickly) assume the scarcity of gold-dust once the ‘ankle-biters’ have arrived upon the scene.

Those profiteroles (enjoyed mid-morning, straight from the serving dish whilst sprawling out on the sofa) hardly fall within the ‘Change4Life’ guidelines either – inconveniently publicised by schools and doctors, with the clear expectation that these principles will be dutifully modelled by parents too.

And don’t get me started on that impromptu lunch date at the trendy new bistro in town – only made feasible because the logistical wizardry associated with arranging childcare (several days in advance) is simply not a consideration here!

They say that ‘the grass is always greener’ – and I do believe that there is a great deal of truth in this – but for the record (and just in case my husband or children ever read this!) I am extremely contented with ‘my lot’ and don’t miss my ‘Bridget’ days one bit. However, I would still urge my SINK (and DINKY) friends (you know who you are!) to enjoy Betwixtmas to the full.

This is your time. Use it wisely!

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