To help my daughter

By writing with energy and commitment, I hope to demonstrate a good example to my daughter. I know how much she copies me without being aware she is doing so, and my awareness of this process teaches me the importance of being a good example to follow. In this, we both win.

In a world in which women are still under-represented and often undervalued, it becomes a good idea to teach my daughter that she can thrive if she plays to her strengths; and that women can succeed by working doggedly at something which inspires them. They, as much as their male counterparts, have the right to devote time and energy to the things they enjoy.

I need to teach Seline that persistence is rewarded. What will that reward be? Feelings of personal satisfaction? The joy of discovering humour and excitement, of seeing something we have made and realising, ‘I made this, and actually, it’s really good!’ The pleasure of public recognition? A pay cheque? It doesn’t matter what motivates us, as long as we use our energy and awareness productively.

John William Waterhouse, 'The Crystal Ball'
John William Waterhouse, ‘The Crystal Ball’

In writing almost solidly for the last nine years, I have finally – finally! – demonstrated to my doubting Thomas self the value of the power waiting to be unleashed when I work hard for long periods without apparent reward. In fact, I can demonstrate that already, as my daughter’s own work attitude has improved and from my example she is indeed learning the value of persistence.

We invest in the thoughts, hopes, ideas, dreams and plans that we find most energising. We then need the courage to see them as far to completion as we can, while allowing others to help us by offering suggestions, time, space and financial support to continue. I have spent money in the pursuit of my dreams, and often the investment, looked at in the cold light of day, would seem to be beyond sensible. But then, we all invest in our hopes. It is an investment worth making, even if the tangible rewards are hard to quantify.

Thank you for reading.

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