Welcome to my blog
A new day, a new post, but what qualifies me to write it? What particular something do I invite you to share with me today? Good question. I am a wife, and the delighted mother of a daughter with an insatiable fondness for her new i-pad. We all live in a light and airy apartment. Sometimes I wish we had an extra room which my husband and I could use as an office, instead of doing all our work in the living room which doubles as a play room, competing with the television or Jessie J singing her heart out. I love JJ, but sometimes, a bit of peace and quiet is as welcome. I have not yet mastered the art of working with earphones. I like to feel connected to the world.
But I digress. If I told you that Spirit invites me to write and patiently waits for me to pluck up the courage, you would probably not believe me, so I shall offer some background to explain a little about why I write. My earlier life as an employee was a highbrow version of hell, so I left that to burn without my help and moved gratefully back into the cool shadows of full-time domesticity. Wifedom is rather interesting: it provokes continual challenges, which I like to think of as “opportunities for growth and maturing”. So does motherhood, though the kind of challenges we are all thinking about – nurture, social diarist and all round fixer – seem to be getting easier as I get older. Has anyone suggested to you that growing old is a pleasure? Well, I think it is the best kept secret in the entire universe, but that is another story. I have digressed again.
I wrote a book and posted a very immature draft of it on a writers’ social network. It did rather well, so I thought, “maybe I can write after all”. Now, I have a wonderful literary agent who clearly agrees, and my book is due to be published in March next year. I still feel as if I am dreaming. I have to pinch myself every day. I’m a bit cautious, too, wondering if she might phone me up and say, “Actually, I was just having a laugh. It has been great knowing you….”
I am not used to wonderful things happening to me, you see. Apart from the love of an ideal man, my darling daughter and a handful of generous friends whose thoughtfulness regularly makes me cry, my life has been a hard walk, up until now. I made it that way, although it was not all my fault. For example, after ten years off the road, I have recently leased a brand new car through “Motability” and my life has been transformed because I don’t have to drag myself everywhere on the bus or shell out for expensive taxis. Because of the recent changes in the welfare system, I face the possibility of my freedom being taken away….what will that do to my life? And how will the government redeploy tens of thousands of second-hand cars, most of them adapted for disabled driving? Having a car opens up the world to me in ways that I never dreamed were possible. I qualify to receive a car because I have cerebral palsy.
But I digress. Or maybe that is the point. The way I see life is often not the way you will see it. There are issues here that could be explored. And, if the government wants to take my car away and send it to a car auction, I had better make a living and think about getting a replacement. Nowadays, a life without wheels feels about as lonely and impossible as a life without legs. I have legs, but they don’t do what I would like them to. And though getting older does not inevitably mean a slide into arthritic decrepitude, there are times when the sheer number of potential hazards and compromises, the quantity and variety of pains and accidents I might one day endure, feels overwhelming.
At the age of forty-eight, I am just beginning to understand fully, how wonderful life can be, when we let it be. That is what I want to share with you, so that together, we can confound the expectation that growing older means social isolation, invisibility and pain. I want us to feel optimistic, to feel joyful about growing older. I hope you agree with me about that.