What a tumultuous month November has been this year, not only for me personally, but on a wider global scale – mainly because of the US elections and the uncertainty that has created as we all wait to see what happens next. I’ve still got labyrinthitis so my rocky road is a feeling a little more hazardous than normal as I navigate the dizzy bits.
Fidel’s death too is significant:-
Unsurprisingly, I have had more than my fair share of white feathers appearing unexpectedly this month…
On a personal level, the highlight was my daughter turning 21. The low light was getting a call from her at A & E with a very nasty avocado injury, having managed to cut herself really badly whilst trying to remove an avocado pip. Very common injury apparently, now that avocado’s are so popular with the young things!
Look away now if you’re squeamish – it’s revolting!
Where did all that time go? I did a speech that highlighted not only how proud I was of her, but how lucky I was to be able to count her as one of my best friends. Navigating the rocky road of a mother-daughter relationship has been nothing but plain sailing for us and I am immensely grateful for that.
On her 13th birthday I wrote a blog post about how I felt about having a girl and very little has changed since then:-
“Thirteen years ago today I met my beautiful, tall, skinny, funny, confident daughter. She arrived two weeks early and emerged into the world calmly and relatively painlessly, compared to my two boys who fought for days to stay within my body (or perhaps it was my body that refused to let them go). When we met I was astounded. She was so perfect. My heart enlarged a little bit more and as with all my children my heart has subsequently felt as if it spends more time on the outside of my body than on the inside.
She is an almost daily reminder of my youth. She steals my mascara, my Ugg boots, my clothes. She infuriates me sometimes because we are so similar, but there is nothing I wouldn’t do for her and I love her more than she will ever know.
Happy birthday my gorgeous pea in the pod girl. I wouldn’t change you for the world.
My birthday was just a few days after her and as was Remembrance Day:-
I am now officially old and quietly mulling over what it means to be 52 (B52?) and whilst it is not filling me with joy, it is not a bad place to be either. At least I’ve made it this far. That is a good thing obviously. If I’m anything like my Grandmother (which I’m not) I might only be half way through my life so far which is a strange thought. So much more to go. What will I do with it? It’s not clear anymore like it was in my 20’s and 30’s, when my path was straight and simple. I was married by 25 and until I was 40 I was happily married with three children and wasn’t questioning my journey. I certainly couldn’t have predicted where I would end up back then (just as well really). I feel a little puzzled about my life at the moment. It is both exciting and depressing. I can do more than ever before and I’ve learnt to actually embrace being single which is a first and yet, it doesn’t feel quite right just now. Lots going on and in many ways a partner in crime would make things easier for me. A problem shared and all that…Although realistically at my age and stage you have to take on an awful lot of additional baggage if you are prepared to make the effort and that causes other issues. I haven’t yet found anyone that fits my new world order, but to be honest I’m not looking very hard and have been told by numerous friends that I’m going to have to seriously step up my strategic game if I want to find somebody to share the second half of my life with and perhaps I’m getting too used to walking through this brave new world on my own. I no longer flinch when someone says “we” and I’ve stopped looking at every male and wondering if he’s the one (well I have on the train into work anyway). There was a time, not so long ago when I felt sorry for any woman of my age who didn’t have a partner, but I don’t feel like that any more. I remember crying during the demise of my marriage and saying to my father that I didn’t want to end up like my Grandmother who spent the last half of her life alone (give or take a few lovers). I used to spend a lot of time with her and we were very close. I used to imagine that she must be terribly lonely, but in hindsight I don’t think she was. She had a huge circle of friends and enjoyed her own company and she seemed happy enough – at least as happy as my other grandmother and perhaps even my mother who both stayed with their partners until their dying breath.
I’m really very lucky to be living during this time. A time when single women, especially the younger ones are choosing to stay single and live alone or with friends. Women who can be strong in their own right and don’t need a man to complete them. We even have a new Disney movie with a strong, independent Princess called Moana (Moaner?) who is not in search of true love just for a change. This is a very good message for the world and I’m looking forward to taking my niece to see it.
Had the children’s BAFTA awards with my girlfriends:-
Even the Pirelli Calendar is celebrating older women this year and this is a step in the right direction. Even if at the same time, the Victoria’s Secret models were strutting their beautifully perfect bodies down a Parisian catwalk. I am uncomfortable about this, but on discussion with my daughter, perhaps it’s not as sexist as it seems and she sees it as a far cry from the Playboy Bunnies of the past. Of the 51 most beautiful models in the world in the show, many of them are strong, successful women who choose what they want to do with their bodies and whilst there is not a drop of cellulite between them, many of the models are healthy and muscular rather than an anorexic looking size 6:-
The weather has been glorious and walking in the park with my friends is keeping me sane. It seemed like we had a very quick autumn that has swiftly moved into a very cold snap and we had a Supermoooooon.
So in general, life is good, despite all the shit. “Shit Happens” as my father used to say. “Deal with it”.