I wish that I could be like the cool kids...

posted on: Wednesday, 7 January 2015

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.



  1. Oh, I can feel the turning of the cogs in your mind! The never ending loop of over thinking. I too am guilty at times of this. However today, I switched the business phone to out of office ( was still able to access emails) and headed with husband and dogs to Dartmoor and just walked, cleared my head and drank in the fresh air and freedom. You'll get there, do whatever it is you want/are meant to do, for you. Great post Lou. X

  2. Great post! I work full-time and took on taking over cheerleading this year. I'll be over about 60-70 girls. What have I done? I'll have to work extra hard to find downtime.

  3. Oh Lou, I'm so glad that we've connected! Now, can we just cut to the chase and talk about all of these things face-to-face over good wine and food?! Seriously, your thoughts resonate with mine so strongly - only I don't have children. So I really do wonder why I can't just get on and do those things I really want to do (says she in her PJs), I was always so organised when I had a corporate life (one I do not want to return to, for similar reasons to your own) and yet I seem to have done a lot of looping the last 12 months and would really like to find a cure this year. Another wonderful post, Esther xx

  4. Having glanced through an old journal last year, while doing a bit of springish-cleaning, I read a wish-list that I could have written that week ....except it was 20 years later.... immeidiately depressed by knowledge that nothing had changed I dicided to stop mooning and booked myself onto a mindful meditation course, just one of the things I apparenly was keen to-do in 1995! So since last November, with new skills in place, have been practicing (almost) everyday and have to say it's the best thing ever....especially if one is prone to the dark thoughts....it's hard but like yoga the more you practice the better it gets.......other top tip, make yourself a timetable ...... breaking things down into achievable bits is one of the best tips I've ever been given....... Happy new year!!