FML? Please don’t.

Thumbnail image for ab_fab.jpgI learnt a new phrase the other day, when someone noted that they’d just learnt what a certain acronym meant. I hadn’t even noticed it in use before this person mentioned it.

The acronym is FML, and apparently the meaning is “Fuck my Life.”. I’m sorry mum, there really was no alternative translation for that. It’s not like WTF? Which has the gentler version of WTH? which still manages to convey the same spirit.

(But do note that I did try and get it into the second paragraph so that you wouldn’t have to see a swear word on facebook, so you can thank me for that later mum!)

So “FML” is something I’ve seen quite a bit on Twitter lately. “My hair just won’t sit flat, FML!” “My dishwasher just exploded, FML!” and maybe even “My other half expects me to entertain his inlaws while he’s away for 2 weeks, FML!!”

I don’t like this phrase at all. It’s very strong. You can’t change it to “Screw my life” if you didn’t want to use the swear word, because that’s the whole point of it in the first place. It’s a venomous, spitting expletive. I don’t think most people mean it either.

There are a lot of people in the world who could really use this phrase. There always are. Right now a lot of those people are in Haiti. But at any one point in time there are mother’s who’ve lost a child to a terrible disease, or families torn apart by debt or drugs, or whole communities living in poverty who have nothing.

They could say “FML”.

And yet, they probably wouldn’t.

Today, I turn 40. At 7.20pm exactly. My mother missed out on dinner because she was busy having me, and the best they could bring her was an egg sandwich and a glass of milk because the kitchen was closed. She didn’t say “FML!”. She was so busy looking at the miracle of life that had arrived. (The little miracle who grew and leant to swear on her 40th birthday, isn’t she proud now?)

I am worried that I am going to have a mental breakdown over my age. A blip on the radar, a bout of depression, or a really big cry. Maybe all of those. Because I find it really hard to believe that I am now approximately half way through my life. 

That there are only a finite number of trees left in the world that I can actually pull my own body weight up now. There are the inch-long hairs in my eyebrows that creep in when I am not looking and are just going to multiply, and start growing out of other random places – shoulder, chin, ear.

There are so many things that are now in my past that it scares me. The final thing that’s in my future scares me, because it’s getting closer. The quiet, slow sagging of my face scares me, as gravity takes hold of the edges of my mouth, or the underside of my eyes and slowly pulls them to herself.

There are the scars in my stomach, and the soft crumply skin that shows where two children and one gallbladder operation have changed my body forever.

But that immediately reminds me of the wonderful things that time has brought. Some are things that I wouldn’t have now if I’d remained 16 forever. Others are things that I am just amazed at. And some are both.  

I have two wonderful, marvellous loving miracles. Two little girls whose every day is a new adventure. I always expected to have a family, and be a mother. But the gift of children is just so truly amazing. It’s also a little scary – when you have children, you take on a role that has a huge amount of responsibilty. You take on a role that includes hero worship. As a mother, I have two small humans who think that I am the best thing since sliced bread. They love me unconditionally, and hang on my every word for approval and love. 

It’s not the responsibility of taking care of the physical needs of children that is daunting – it’s the responsibility of their minds and souls that totally blows mine. I only hope I can live up to the role in which they’ve cast me!

I have one loving soul mate. He farts, he gets drunk and falls asleep at work, he misses the toilet when he pees, he sleepwalks, he doesn’t have a musical bone in his body, he likes football, he hates my cat, and he can’t stack the dishwasher for toffee. But he also makes me laugh. We like the same movies (sometimes). He’ll sit through a Hugh Grant film (almost). He chose the song to dance to at our wedding and did an amazing job. He proposed on bended knee, had the ring ready, and it fit perfectly. He’s a fabulous father – mostly because he’s just a big kid himself. He is my best friend and I look forward to spending the rest of my life with him.

We are healthy. We are all healthy. There are so many scary illnesses that my girls could have been born with or developed later on. Touch wood, but they’ve been healthy. And I am healthy, and so is my husband. We might have aches and pains and gallbladderying things going on, but in the big picture, we’re fit and healthy.

We have freedom. By luck of birth, we were all born in a country where we can pick and choose where we want to live. We can pack up and move to another country if we like, since we have two nationalities between us. We’re not affected by war or natural disasters.


I’ve got life, love and liberty. I count my blessings for how lucky I am. I hope that there isn’t something lurking just around the corner that is going to turn my world upside down, but I’ll look both ways before I cross the road just be sure. 

Because looking at my life, and marvelling out how lucky I am – I also realise how important I am. To those three people I love. My life is precious to me not just because I want to live it, but also because the impact it would have on them if I wasn’t here.

We have a future. There is so much unknown that is still yet to come. I have the true joy of meeting my teenagers when they turn up, and saying goodbye to my little girls. To watching them grow up and flex their independence muscles. I have the difficult task of being both a friend and a mentor. Of keeping an open and communicative relationship between them.

The lines will blur, and where one day I am berated them, or hounding them to do their homework, the next will might be clapping as I watch a graduation ceremony. Or a wedding.

I might be doing what my mother did, and waving goodbye to travelling bags, hoping that they come back, and don’t settle down in a foreign land like her ungrateful daughter did. I might be looking at the peachfuzz hairs on the neck of my first grandchild.

I could even be sallying forth across Siberia in a winnebago with my balding hubby. I will probably look like a crumpled sock with white floor lint stuck on the end.

I don’t know what my future holds, but I guess if I am half way through it now, then I need to realise that there is still a hell of a lot more to come. And even though it feels like unfamiliar territory, and my knees might hurt while walking it – I am still the same spirit that I was when I was 22.


So I am never going to say “Fuck my Life.” That phrase just doesn’t do justice to the wonderful life that I have been given.

But I AM going to start using anti wrinkle cream and all that stuff. 

What do you mean, it’s too late?

Oh FM… Shoot.


  • no no nooooo.,…
    don;t u start… it took me ages to start using WTF…
    now u gonna ruin my hard work wuth FML!?!?!?!?

  • Le D says:

    Cherie! Joyeux anniversaire mon amour.
    I just lurrrrv a woman who talks dirty!! Grrrrr
    Le D

  • Happy Birthday! I’ve been in the 40’s for two years now. Nothing has changed. In fact I think I’ve gotten wiser. And I LOVE when people refuse to believe I’m this old.
    But yes – definitely lots of cream.

  • Amy Phillips says:

    Happy Birthday!!! Hope you have a GREAT day!

  • Salt says:

    It took me forever to figure out what FML meant and when I did, it just seemed a little intense, you know? I’m choosing to hold off on using it until something really awful happens like a housefire of I get the swine flu or something.

  • alison says:

    Thank you EVERYONE!

  • alison says:

    no no, the point is that I DON’T want people to use it!

  • alison says:

    Thank you!
    The thing with “FML” is that I don’t think anyone should use it unless what has hit them is permanent. A momentary glitch – swine flu – doesn’t count unless it’s life threatening. And if you manage to get through that – you should rejoice.
    A housefire, on the other hand. Devastating. Maybe a very appropriate use of it afterward!

  • rosebelle says:

    Hmmm…I saw that acrynom a couple of times but never bothered to find out what FML is. Thanks for sharing. I don’t like using such negativity around me because I for one, appreciate what I have, the good and the bad. And yes, there are far more people who have it much worse than us but they struggle on and not whining FML.

  • The 40’s has been the best decade of my life! It just keeps getting better. The wrinkles….zero importance.
    Happy birthday to you!

  • The acronym “FTW” that people are using lately? I thought it meant “Fuck The World” and I thought “Well, that’s a little much, isn’t it?” Turns out it’s “For the win.” Oops.
    I love this post. I’ve never used “FML” because it always made me feel ungrateful, but the way you articulated this is perfect.

  • Stefanie says:

    I am with you. The phrase sucks. As does the sagging skin and the errant hairs and getting old, well getting old only sort of sucks because the alternative is WAY worse.

  • The Wifey says:

    You know that this saying/acronym spawns from the website, right? If you read it/visited the site you might find you enjoy the phrase a whole lot more.

  • alison says:

    Oh yeah, I know it comes from there. Or from the movie “Superbad”. Not sure which came first. But that doesn’t make the sentiment of the phrase any less vitriolic, and the relative situations fairly trivial.
    Although, the one about the guy whose mother sewed a pretty face on his wanking sock really does kind of fit the phrase!