WAY BACK IN JANUARY 2011, I TOOK A LEAP IN THE DARK AND PUBLISHED THE FIRST EDITION OF HIS & HERS MAGAZINE. FROM CALLING AROUND TO GET QUOTES FROM PRINTERS, TO ASKING VIRTUALLY EVERYONE IN THE NORTH WEST TO MEET ME FOR A CUPPA TO TALK ABOUT MY NEW PROJECT, IT WAS A HECTIC AND EXCITING TIME.
Since those early days, I’ve been lucky enough to publish 37 editions so far, all fuelled by frankly ill advised volumes of Yorkshire Tea. I’ve also been very proud and very grateful to have the opportunity to work on PR campaigns for Tracey Bell and for my former employer, Jazz Events.
My friend Simon Milner-Moore (look him up here if you ever need an extraordinarily good interior designer) told me when I first became self-employed that the highs would be much higher and the lows would be much lower than they are when you’re working for somebody else. He was not wrong!
These days, when I meet up with friends who own independent businesses, we’ll sometimes talk about the hard bits behind the scenes: from agonising over cash flow, to burning the midnight oil during busy periods, to those lonely moments when you realise that if anything goes wrong, the buck really does stop with you.
Of course, these are the bits of other people’s lives that we don’t tend to see on social media, but there’s no getting away from the hard work we all put in behind the scenes – whether it’s reading every night to stay ahead of the competition, or putting in the extra hours at work or at the gym, or making time for the people who are important to you even during the longest of weeks.
That little bit of extra work or effort is generally where our best results come from. But we rarely get to see anyone else going the extra mile to achieve their goals. Instead, we all put in the hard yards behind the scenes and then show up on Instagram like it’s an exam we’re pretending we didn’t revise for but mysteriously aced: #nofilter #laptoplife #wanderlust #iwokeuplikethis
In December and January, I think the temptation can be particularly strong to compare yourself to everyone else and wonder: Why is everyone else at adult level: Making a Christmas wreath so pretty it would make Jane Packer weep, while I haven’t yet shaken off the childish hope that someone might buy me a selection box?
From the outside, it often looks like everyone else is breezing though Christmas and January with grace, style, well put together outfits and fancy goals and such, but I suspect that even the most organised or breezy people I know feel overwhelmed occasionally.
So strangely, one of my favourite things about this time of year isn’t found in striving for perfection. It’s found in those little moments when you confess to a friend that you’re feeling all frazzled or overwhelmed and they tell you how they’re doing.
Or in that moment when you finally look up after working towards a series of pre-Christmas deadlines and suddenly realise that you’re not, in fact, alone behind your laptop – you’re actually surrounded by kind, generous and loving people who you might even get a chance to spend a bit of time with over the next week or so.
Anyway, at the risk of getting all Oscars about this, I really just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who’s helped not just this year, but since January 2011 when this issue first hit the shelves. No-one gets to publish a magazine, or take on their first PR client, or even just meet the daily challenges of adult life without good people to lean on. And I’m so very grateful to have more than my fair share of good people in my corner.
And even if we’ve never met and you’ve just taken a few minutes out of your day to read this, I really am grateful for your time. Having witnessed first hand the quality of some of the GIFs you could’ve been using this time to share, I really appreciate you for sticking with this blog instead!
I’ll be back with another blog in January and if you can’t wait ’til then (which is clearly a real life issue that you might face and in no way just some very poorly disguised self-promotion, erm here’s where you’ll find all of my blog posts).