I love September. Crisp, an autumnal chill in the air, dreaming of log fires and dog walks, although it's fiercely hot and oppressive and I have not slept a wink. I love September for the back to school feeling and optimism of new projects after the summer, although the quietness of the house without my children makes me feel sad. September is one big contradiction and a poem I read this morning rammed that home, as well as summed up life, particularly as a full time working mum.

Yesterday I went to a conference IRL (In Real Life if you are not aware of this TLA). Yes real people. In a room juggling a continental breakfast, coffee and mobile phone. I was really excited to attend this one, Bisnow's Women Leading Real Estate, for a number of (once again contradictory) reasons. Firstly, I was meeting my friend on the 6.47 train so we could have a lovely catch up, the line-up of speakers was inspiring, and I also quite fancied seeing what "women leading real estate" were now wearing to events. I wasn't disappointed, much better fashion than in the free copy of Stylist I got at the tube station. The takeaways from this conference were not really real estate specific, but as it is a male dominated world still, they apply to all. It was fantastic to see panel after panel of women who are aceing it, sharing their tales and advice.

A lawyer in the audience asked one panel: "What is your top tip for a lawyer in private practice?" (this is where this article may finally have some relevance). The genius answers included: "Accept chaos"; "Ask for help"; "Always ask for more money"; "Find your advocates"; "Be authentic". All so true, so wise. 

I would add, read Anne Ridout's poem and acknowledge that being a working mum is all one big contradiction, just like September.