on mermaids and reinvention 2


It is school holidays and in the mornings two fairies greet me, fluttering their way into the bedroom to sprinkle me with their fairy dust and awaken me.

By breakfast I have two brave adventurers, sailing their way across the playroom floor on their sofa ships, landing on islands and hunting for treasure.

Lunchtime brings me a vet and her assistant tending to the many sick animals that populate their bedrooms.

The afternoon is filled with play of detectives solving a mystery;  hairdressers running their own salon; or two nature girls exploring the outside world and making new and fascinating discoveries.

Bath time, of course, is when the mermaids appear and finally two tired and happy little girls tumble into their beds, dreaming of what the next day will bring.

My girls have no limit to their imagination. They spend all day, dreaming of what they could be, and then they create it. Reinventing themselves numerous times in the space of a day.

January is traditionally a time of new beginnings, a time of dreaming, planning and reinventing ourselves, and in this process I have so much to learn from my girls.


My girls allow themselves to dream, they dream big, they dream wide. They don’t let little things stop the breadth of their imagination. They are not worried by practicalities; those will be sorted out later. Their first step is “who are we going to be today”?

Who are you going to be today? What a good question, to approach each day with.

Who am I going to be this year? What a good question for 2016.

What would happen if I asked myself this question and dreamed big? What if like my girls I dared to imagine I could be anything I wanted.


My girls draw their imaginative play from a number of sources: books they read; shows they watch; everyday experiences they have had; conversations; and of course people they have visited. They take in all the information that they can and then they use the resources available to them. Such as raiding the dress up box, making telescopes out of old loo roll holders, or involving the stuffed toys in their play.

Like my girls, once I have dreamed “who do I want to be?”, my next question needs to be, “Ok, what does that look like?”.

If I want to be a writer, then I need to have a look at other writers, see what they are doing, how they do it, and figure out what I can learn from them. I need to use all the resources available to me.

Maybe that means reading some books or taking a course, but I need to do my research and think about what my dream looks like.


When my girls get stuck they come to me. “Mum, we need to create an island, can you help?; Mum, I want to make a mermaid costume, but the tail just won’t stay on”.

My girls aren’t afraid to ask for help in their hourly reinvention. They come to me easily and with no shame. They are not embarrassed by what they don’t know, quite the opposite. They use everything as an opportunity for learning and growth.

Proverbs 20:18 says “Form your purpose by asking for counsel, then carry it out using all the help you can get.”

This provokes more great questions: Who could I ask for help with my reinvention? Who could be a mentor to me for my next season of life? Have I been willing to own how much I don’t know, and been open to growing and learning?


After deciding what they want to play, gathering their resources and seeking help. My girls just do it.

They don’t sit around talking about “how they are going to play deep-sea divers today”. They don’t spend all day in an action plan. They are not focused on being perfect, they just try, and if the mermaid tail falls off, they try again.

What if I stopped talking about what I was going to do and just did it? What if I stopped spending my time on the plan of how to reinvent myself but just started?

January can be a bit like that can’t it, so many big dreams, that seem overwhelming, and often in all the planning nothing actually gets done.

What if instead of planning to go to the gym three times a week, I got up and went today? What if instead of planning to enrol in that writer’s course one day, I just enrolled?

What if I just did it? And if it doesn’t work, what if I picked myself up, readjusted my mermaid tail and tried again?

Join me for the journey,



About Jodie McCarthy

Jodie is a writer, speaker, poet and mother. An unashamed words girl who writes to process the myriad of experiences of life. In her writing and on her blog she investigates the journey of life: the beautiful; the painful; the everyday; and the mundane. She has a heart for encouraging women on their life journey, particularly when that journey traverses the harder places of grief and pain. On the days when she is not writing you will find her in her kitchen, usually licking the beaters from a chocolate cake. You can find her books and follow her journey at jodiemccarthy.com

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