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I’ve loved this quote since I can remember… it just sums up my days so well at times 🙂

I knew who I was yesterday. I knew the path I was on and the vague direction I was heading… but three simple conversations, a text message and an overheard plan… and a new path has appeared to the right…

Three conversations. All about the other person. One has finally left his unhappy marriage, one is not coping with the twists of life, and one has just had his heart broken…

A text message, or lack thereof… one of those ones that just seems to clarify you’re making the same mistakes….

An overheard plan – hatched by my two munchkins… They’d asked if this course was possible and I said – sure, but your father will object…. and suddenly, they are chatting to each other and their friends, working out how to make this a reality…

And suddenly… I find my world is tilted yet again and that path I was on no longer holds appeal… I find myself physically leaning to the right as these thoughts swirl… towards that new path…

I need silence and I need words…

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 Sometimes, I stop and remember what matters most in my life. Exactly 20 years ago, some of these people shared the same moment of clarity with me. They threw me my first ever birthday party. My only one really. I’ve had gatherings, but not an actual party thrown by other people. Some of them were here again last night. Food… Wine… Love and laughter…

And that moment of clarity…. THIS is what matters. This, and only this. 

Mother love…

Lying in bed this morning, trying to convince myself I needed to get up… the kids hadn’t bothered me…. no real plans for the day….

My phone rang… My mother…

It’s been a while… and I like it that way… I’ve come to the point this year where I’m happy to just not hear from any of them…

But… it’s her birthday on Wednesday and Christmas on Friday… and I really don’t have the right to stop them from seeing my children…

So, I decided to answer and have any harsh words said today, rather than on Wednesday or Friday.

Me: Hey. What’s wrong? (because she only calls with bad news)

Her: I was going to come and visit…

Me: What? Today?!? Oh…

Her: Yes, are you busy?

Me: (thinking of a million and one possible excuses… but deciding to be noble) Um, no… just going to the markets, but that’s not important…

Her: Oh… I thought you’d be busy… You’re always busy…

Me: No, no… we’re about…

Her: Well… it will be 10 before I even get there so the day is already half over (it is??)… So maybe I’ll come over in the New Year…

Me: Sure thing…

Her: I thought you’d be busy… You’re always busy…

Me: Yes, you said…

So! I am happy because I rose above my own desires and opened the door a crack… and she is happy because she can tell everyone she tried… Win-win!

The wisdom of youth

In the end, it’s the 16 year old who provides wisdom and perspective beyond her years… As simple as – you’re looking at it wrong… don’t be so intense… just think of it like this… and seriously, mama, ditch those two friends….

I love the energy of the young. Their perspective on life. They haven’t yet been burned… had their hearts ripped out and stomped upon… They have so much zest! They look at a situation and ask – why wouldn’t you?? Where we see the burdens and responsibilities of our age… And their standards are so incredibly high!

Miss 16 reminds me of me, but at 23. At 16, I was still too afraid of the world and what it had to offer. She has this amazing energy and outlook. Just wipe them out. It’s easy. See… Just press this button and… Do you want me to do it for you, mama? Give me your phone for a minute…

It’s a mirror to the past. To the person I was and the person I always wanted to be. And they are everywhere.

The 23 year old who can’t understand why I hesitate to start a new career – but it would be so easy… you just do this.. and this… and this… and it’s done! Why wouldn’t you???

The 21 year old who keeps telling me I’m ageist because I won’t consider dating him… Umm… you’re 5 years older than my child! I could genuinely be your mother… but he can’t see that as an issue… I like you… We get along… Why not just have one date and see what happens… Umm… because you are 21!…. and I am ageist?

Even the 32 year old (who, oddly, also can’t understand why I won’t date him – what is it with young guys wanting older women???) who is changing to yet another career. His 3rd masters. You’re 32! Why stay doing something you don’t want to do? He lives at home… why move out? Who travels the world at every opportunity… I can buy a house when I’m older…

I want this energy back… and I’m getting there… slowly, slowly, slowly… getting there!

Alone again… naturally….

Another conversation with Miss 16… This time, something on TV, that made her comment on doing things alone… and the conversation progressed…

I told her about driving over 2 hours each way to see a specialist to have an amniocentesis – alone… probably the time in my life when I have felt so utterly alone and bereft…

But then again, talking to a friend recently about divorce – a few drinks under our belts – and I realised how passionate I became… talking about how people just don’t get it… how even when you set aside the personal side of the split, the actual split is so damned hard. People don’t get that. It’s not possible to truly understand it until you’ve lived it. Perhaps being in a country town made things worse. The judgment. Blatant condemnation. The constant need to tell me I was making a mistake… not considering the children… having a midlife crisis… early menopause… that I must be having an affair… that I needed to listen to their advice, and to heed it. The looks. The whispers. The in your face comments. Family. Friends. A knowing look between friends over dinner. Family distraught over the destruction of my seemingly perfect life. On and on…

Until you shut out the world just that little bit more. Because you just can’t take one more person who truly means well….

But all these conversations have made me realise, that I have hit a point in my life, when it would be nice… just simply nice… to have someone on my side. All the time. Even when they don’t agree with me. Just to be on my side. To tell me – hey, I don’t agree with you, don’t think you are making the right decision here, but hey, I’m on your side, so what can I do to help?

When I die…

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My 16 year old came to me yesterday, full of excitement.

Mumma! Where are all of your old diaries? Do you still have them all?

Umm… yes… bits and pieces… everywhere… Why???

You should get them together and publish them! Just think. It will be so exciting. And I want to read them. You can change everyone’s names if you want, but leave mine.

Umm… What??? Where has this come from? What are you talking about? You don’t even like reading!!

No. I was thinking. It will be so good. Brilliant. I want to read them. I want you to publish them. Just as they are. Don’t change anything at all.

….

Well… it’s an idea I suppose…. and it brings me to the quote at the top. I have always felt the need to burn those diaries one day – and there are various people who have been entrusted with this task over the years. I was contemplating entrusting this child… but it seems they may find their way to print! There is only one person I know who would burn them if I asked, without reading… and that is also the only person I wouldn’t mind reading them anyway…

But it’s an interesting thought. It’s where my head is going at the moment anyway. If people wanted me to write nice things about them, they really should have behaved better….

Of course it’s about you my dear! Please forgive me. I am so selfish. Occasionally, I slip up, and I try to talk about things that interest me… or things in my life… I am eternally sorry. Of course I am in the wrong. Yes, you do ask – you ask me every single day “How is your day?” and I reply “Fine. How was yours?” – and we talk about you of course… Every. Single. Day. And if I don’t respond within an hour, you are sending out search parties. The texts and phone calls become endless. Yes, again, so terribly selfish of me to not give you a detailed itinerary of my day.

But oh… if you were the only one like this in my life, it would be bearable. You ARE the only one who is quite so intense… but you are far from being the only one who does not care about my day… If I do not willingly share, who ever actually asks?