Before I get to the actual point of this blog post, several all important things have been on my mind this week….
Why, when we send a parcel by car its called a shipment and when we send something by ship it is called cargo and why did kamikaze pilots bother to wear helmets. How come a ‘W’ is called a double ‘U’ and not a double ‘V’. How come a theme park camera can capture a clear picture of you whizzing past at 60mph and yet when you watch crime programmes the camera photos in banks are all grainy and blurred.
I had the great pleasure of recording a podcast with my friend Carolyn https://youtu.be/sZh3e1p0xN0 and one of the things we discussed was the pressure we put on ourselves unnecessarily to be like other people. I never stop hearing about people who, during lockdown, have Marie Kondo’d their entire house or pickled 20 different vegetables, made jams and chutneys, made a macrame lampshade, actually, I dont know anyone who has done that, but you get the point. It makes those who have done very little, feel inadequate or like they have wasted their time. I want to know who sets the benchmark for what is succeeding and living life to the full?
I feel the same way about the increasing pressure on women in midlife to take up a new career, develop a new skill, learn a language, run a marathon. If thats something you have always wanted to do, but were previously too busy, then great, go do it. But if you have spent the last 25 years raising your kids and running your home and now all you want to do is read all the books you never got around to, dont go and sign up for a course you feel you should take, reach for that book and plonk yourself down in your favourite chair.
I have done about 7 qualifications in the last 10 years including Nutrition, personal training, floristry, marketing, so that when I filled out forms I could put something in the career box other than housewife, and so I could feel like I was ‘doing something’ when all I really wanted to do was walk in the countryside and write about what I think about. For me, the measure of whether you are living your life and succeeding is whether you are content, and now that I am spending my days walking writing, I am.