I’m 53 and I am going to learn to surf. Here’s why…
The day I turned 30 I gave birth to my first child. In quick succession I had two more pregnancies and had three young babies within three and a half years. I was the primary carer of my children and I
continued to work and, with various iterations of success, downright failure and a good dose of grit and sheer survival, I managed to integrate motherhood with my career.
For much of the last 23 years of my life I have rarely prioritised myself. For much of the last 23 years of my life, I have been monumentally selfless. I don’t expect a prize for this. On the contrary, it makes me very much the same as literally every other woman I know — we are all quite fundamentally helpful, generous, altruistic givers.
My kids are now young adults and they are in the process of breaking up with me. It is a long, drawn out and often brutally painful break-up. Some days they want every part of me— mentally, emotionally
and physically, and then for days on end they simply aren’t even here. They are at that stage in their own lives where they have one foot firmly planted in childhood and the other firmly planted in adulthood.
I have spent 23 years being their primary carer, but all of a sudden I am no longer the sun they need or want to orbit around. All of which is normal and wonderful and right on time because my children are young adults and they are forging their own lives.
However, it also means I have the opportunity to forge the next stage of my own magnificent life too. My children are no longer the sun that I need to orbit around.
I am sick of working every hour god sent.
My life to this point has been incredible and worthwhile and wonderful and exactly what it needed to be and I would not change a thing — but there’s so much more to be had. Because I’m not sure
whether all of this ‘current state’ I have been living is fulfilling enough for me any more.
I have ceaselessly compromised and I don’t want to compromise any more.
I have ceaselessly nurtured my children and, while I will continue to love them endlessly, it is now time to nurture myself.
I have money, my health, time and space. I have worked hard all my life and I am financially secure. I have worked hard to be time affluent. I have worked hard to stay fit and healthy and energised.
I am tenacious. I am courageous. I am fearless. I am thriving professionally. I feel very good in my skin. I am brimming with wisdom and experience and knowledge.
I am self-reliant and self-assured and somewhere along the journey my confidence and my common sense and my prudence and my self-knowledge have allowed me to discard that part of my ego that used to care what other people think of me. I am exactly where I need to be— which is, I am fast
approaching a place of having no more f**ks to give.
I am only 53. I have my whole life ahead of me and I am desperate to live it stupendously. I feel like I have been waiting for this moment for years. I am very happily moving into the phase in my life where I get to experience the exquisite joy of becoming unapologetically selfish.
It is my turn. And that’s exactly why I am going to learn to surf.
Join Kate and nine other amazing women on our exclusive learn to surf tour where you'll hear first hand Kate's amazing story and experience a life changing week in paradise! But hurry it's kicking off on Sunday 20th August!
This is an edited extract from The Life List: Master Every Moment and Live an Audacious Life, by Kate Christie and published by Wiley 2023.