Still looping and what better way to welcome the new year that to just (bloody well) get started?!! Seriously. In earnest. I read messages and blogs and pins everywhere this week subliminally telling me to focus, follow my passion, don’t give up. work hard. How hard can it be?! I do my best thinking when walking the pup around the muddy fields where we live, and as I walk I think: this is what I need to do:
Write every day. Write the book.
Do yoga every day.
Both of these pursuits will solve my mental and physical ailments!
So why am I finding it so hard to actually DO??!!
It is the end of a long school holiday and before term time bites again (tomorrow, tomorrow!) I often find myself in a no-man’s land where routine and time has been lacking. But it’s bittersweet; I have loved having the kids around, mooching in PJ’s (as I am now), enjoying days of no plans and no school run.
I have an old friend from University with whom I share expletive texts about how life is. We are both housewives now, although in between times, we both had ‘glittering careers’; she particularly as she was the cleverest of our group. We have a searing honesty with each other that I love – and many times an irreverent ‘WTF??!!’ appears when we discuss our present lives. This housewifery troubles us. I know deep down this is because I am a feminist and I find it hard to reconcile the repetitiveness of domestic life. Those dishes…they need washing every day. Relentless.
However, I know there is incredible value in the work I do. I know it’s better for everyone that I am here, at home, doing it. My family needs me. For years I managed home and work and eventually it back-fired. I now observe friends doing the same thing and marvel at how they carry on. Me; I was ill all the time and I suffered unexplained pain which I can only now interpret to be a pure manifestation of stress. Then I sat with that for a few years not understanding that getting up from my desk and going out to walk or do a yoga class would help. Letting go of it all would help. I relearned how to ‘be’ with Alexander Technique lessons. Look how far I have come! Awareness is all. Cue: congratulatory pat on the back for Lou.
But here I am at the start of a new phase. I can feel it. So why my hesitation? I have become used to the minutiae and not the largess of DOING something real. Those dishes, they can be a great distraction from bigger work.
But I look around, at all of the other women my age and I observe that they are looping too. This is how it goes. Can I share? I feel like modern life for women is a bit of a trick. I was brought up (societally conditioned?) to think I could do it all. I did get a degree. I did get a job and I did turn it into a career. I was lucky enough to have children and then I juggled all of that too and I was very proud of my ability to do so. But then…it all stopped seeming worth it. The price was too high. I was beaten. And I looked around and saw that men were simply not in the same position. Was I predisposed, being female, to question the life I was leading?! I am not saying men have an easy time; they just don’t seem to have the angst and guilt that women exhibit.
Whether it was dropping my baby at nursery for nine hours a day or dreading (as in cold, hard dread) that one of them would get ill so I couldn’t work that day, or missing a ballet recital and turning up late, heels clicking ashamedly on the hardwood floor. I don’t miss it. And now with a teenage daughter I sense the importance of being here, having my finger on the pulse of her daily ebb and flow, the nuances of her on line life/real life; friends, boys etc It’s not a good time to drop the ball.
And so it goes. When did life get quite this serious and contemplative? Oh no wait; I’ve always been that way, hence five years of blog posts on the meaning of it all 😉
I conclude, as ever, that there are two other activities I need to undertake:
Don’t over think it.
Start something. Anything.