I have started a love affair.
I've been married for 38 years, have raised four children and am enjoying watching the grandchildren - seven to date - arrive and grow. But lately, there's been something missing. Something quite fundamental that I've felt so keenly it's made me sad. I've developed a yearning for something else, something more, and now, finally, I've acted on it.
I'm falling in love again. The object of my affections? Well, that would be me.
You see, back in the day, I fell for the old rallying cry that we can have it all. Motherhood, love, career, being active in the community, looking after ailing parents.
That of course, is a load of old toot. We can't "have it all", we can only have bits of everything, because there are only 24 hours in any day and we, as human beings, only have so much bandwidth.
I wanted to be a "good" mother, so that was my focus. I did my best to work freelance, but mostly had to do that in the wee small hours, staring at a computer screen...
What would you say if you could write a letter to your younger self? It can be a meditative exercise. I wrote this ten years ago on the blog I was writing at the time, and it is included in my book: "Oh Crap - I'm 50! A Journey from Fearful to Fabulous (Sometimes)" available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle versions, and as a pdf download here on the website.
If only I could stand at your shoulder and whisper in your ear, there is so much I would like to say to you.
If you were still the little girl in the picture I am looking at, I would hold you tight and rock you and tell you that it’s ok, YOU are ok, that it’s not your fault that some of the adults around you are so screwed up. I would tell you that you are a good, kind girl, that you don’t need to be afraid for much longer.
If you were five years old, I’d say, you know that lump in your throat that stops you from swallowing? That’s not your fault either. You won’t...