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Inside Soul-Searching

The 10 Year Challenge – Just Another Band Wagon?

Unless you’ve been on social media lockdown this week, you will have been unable to escape the latest band wagon – the 10 year challenge.

In a nutshell, people EVERYWHERE have been posting images of themselves, one from 2009 and another from 2019. I do wonder how these absurd ideas start, but if you were the originator then congratulations, you’ve had the online world at your feet this week.

I think the idea was that we would all gasp at the cosmetic changes that 10 years brings. In reality, looking at other people’s photographs, I often couldn’t tell which was the before and which was the after! Upon conclusion everyone in the noughties looked middle-aged, whether they were in their twenties or their fifties!

As you might suspect, I couldn’t resist joining in and actually had some fun looking back at old photographs. Sadly, when my computer died a few years back, I lost all of our digital images from 2003-2010 so I was relying heavily on whatever images I had uploaded to Facebook. I came across some right corkers…

2009 meIt was in 2009 that I began noticing the lines on my forehead becoming deeper and more prominent. I can only assume this was the reason that I decided to experiment with getting a fringe cut. Thankfully I have photographic evidence to remind me not to ever do it again!

Although I found the pictures amusing, what I enjoyed more than anything, was thinking about that year – 2009. Whilst my outward appearance hasn’t altered all that much (bar my brows getting thicker and my face thinning out) in other ways, SO much has changed during the last decade.

In September 2009 my last baby started school. Whilst that freed me up somewhat, helping to run a toddler group and being a member of the school PTA (don’t judge me, I was one of the good ones ?), ensured I was still very much entrenched in motherhood.

Having foolishly been persuaded that camping was the way forward, we invested in all the gear and gave our first family camping trip the big thumbs up. Or I did, at least.


We also spent a memorable fortnight in Portugal in the summer of 2009. The holiday where my almost 5 year old son slipped at the swimming pool, dramatically splitting his top lip open. Four stitches later and his cupid’s bow has never quite been the same since!

spllt-lip-childIt’s also the year that I bought a sewing machine in the hope of finding my ‘thing’ and completed two terms of a soft furnishings course. As with every other ‘thing’ it was a fairly short-lived hobby.

Talking of hobbies, did I tell you about the year I took up running and conquered a 10K in 56 minutes? Yeah, another little ‘kick’ in 2009 that went by the wayside. The truth is that I had to accept that my body isn’t built for running (I have Scoliosis) so my running adventures came to an abrupt end. Dorney-10k-race-for-life

This Ten Year Challenge has been so much more that just a ‘band wagon’ for me.

Back in 2009, deep in my motherhood bubble, I had no idea what our future as a family would hold. Although life wasn’t all a bed of roses back then, I was pretty confident in my parenting abilities and thought I had a good idea of what the next 10 years would bring.

I’m glad that I didn’t know that my eldest daughter was in for a rough ride. I’m glad that we were able to experience these lovely family memories without a care in the world. I’m glad that I got the opportunity to be reminded of those happy times this week. Sometimes it’s important to take the time to stop and reflect.

What was 2009 like for you?

Inside, Outside & Beyond




  • Plutonium Sox

    Lovely post, you’re right the nice thing about looking back is all the life changes rather than the looks. I have put on sooo much weight since 2009 and rarely make an effort with my appearance now. So, whilst there are a lot of photos of me back then, there aren’t so many now and I quite like it that way so it’s one bandwagon I’ll be staying off!

  • Gail

    Aww lovely post, Suzanne. You look exactly the same as you did in the 2009 photos, except for the hair colour. I did the ten year challenge on Instagram, but I wasn’t on social media much back then so I had to take a photo of a photo – pretty old school! Looking at the two photos did make me feel a bit self conscious though – it’s natural there will be comparisons – and then I wondered why I had opened myself up to that kind of negative emotion. I think the way you’ve looked at it – in terms of what you were doing that year, and thinking back on old memories is much more positive. I was pregnant with my second son in 2009. How times flies! xx

  • What a lovely post! I never knew you’d had a short lived running career, or that you had scoliosis. In 2009 I had one child who’d been at school for a year and one still left to start. Three of started wearing glasses that year and we hadn’t been introduced to the pleasures of ballet, football or rugby! I literally can’t imagine life without those things.

  • chickenruby

    It is lovely to reflect and see how far we’ve come, would be interesting to remember what our life goals were v’s what actually happened, life sort of just runs and you have to go with it.



    Ten years ago I was busy with reverse parenting. In the autumn of 2009 I started blogging about it.
    Sorry to hear that you lost all those images from 2003-2010. Storing your memories on digital media isn’t necessarily safer than storing them on film or on paper — it all depends!

  • Tricia Cooper

    2009 was the year we moved to Cyprus, best decision ever made. Haven’t bee challenged to do the 10 year challenge and having put a stone on in the past month don’t want to take a picture.

  • natalie

    Love this post Suzanne – what a great year it was for you. Ten years ago I was yet to be married or engaged although I was with my lovely man. It was a couple of years before I had my Meme and was living the highlife. Out most weekends, wearing ridiculously high shoes and drinking far too much vodka!! It was a good year!!!

  • Tracey Williams

    Ah I love this post and what a lovely way of looking back to 2009. 10 years ago saw us parenting a 3 and 6 year old, and life has certainly changed in regards to parenting. Definitely less physical now but much more emotional parenting teenagers, as I am sure you know only too well. Who knows what the next 10 years will bring x

  • Daydreams of a Mum

    I love this post , gave me goosebumps a little bit thinking back to who I was back in 2009 rather than what I looked like .
    Congratulations someone loved your post so much they added it to our #blogcrush linky

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