Why Would I Spin on Mountains
(Written Autumn 2016)
Today I could see that the curtains were starting to part. Not completely open, not letting in the glorious sunshine of potential, but the glimpses of light that shine through the blinds. Well maybe that was last week. Today I dared to peep right through to the window and it all looked technicolour.
The fog did not descend suddenly, it rolled in slowly as one awkward decision, upon another life-turn enveloped and suffocated, until I was living in the space at the bottom of my bed under the duvet, metaphorically I mean. Life looked dull and faded, like slogging through the rain behind your parents on a Sunday walk when there is a film on TV you have yearned to see all your life.
Each day I got up and went through the motions, but the purpose seemed to have disappeared.
I had always run hard, always with something to prove. At first just to show I could go longer and further than others, to prove I could drink a pint and still fit into “that” dress. Then the fascination that I was truly something unique dawned, but I never quite believed it. That was the key. I never quite believed it, I was just never quite good enough, in my eyes, and often in the comments of those who should have known better – but worse still I believed them.
So when life, age, the need to bring up a child and the need to earn a living, started to strain and tug I still did not quite believe I had been that athlete. I stood lost not sure who I was at all.
I stopped running when the angina pains came, but the Drs found nothing wrong. I stopped believing I was worth it. I stopped putting myself first because my body decided I was not worth it. or was it my mind. I watched re-runs of “The Biggest Loser”. When I was fit not believing I was already that athlete they were striving to be, then as the stones (not pounds) went on I stared in disbelief that I was in the same boat. I too had stopped believing, I too had stopped putting myself first. I had tried too hard to conform to be loved and approved of, I had not held onto my precious self.
I started to see me. I stopped trying to pretend I could cope with being part of the have it all generation of 40 something women, who had spent their lives adapting to new technologies (from manual typewriters, through Amstrads, Word Perfect, Apples, Windows, laptops, telephones, carphones, Nokias, smartphones, tablets and Facebook…. and started to shout from the treetops that it was difficult and great, but that after having a family, running a toddler, group, running club, craft club and renovating a house and barn I was not on the proverbial “its now or B&Q scrip heap”, if I did not get a good job and have a stella career. Women were now being fully represented in all areas of work and it was not unusual, but they still have to juggle all the family duties. The jobs are there but the support in child care, flexi working, school visiting hours for pick up and set down, parents evenings, performances etc, are not. WE still carry the can. WE are still expected to do everything else. I could not cope doing everything else.
I was still trying to become the thing I thought I should be when I left school – an independent career woman working 40+ hours a week. My worth defined by my salary.
The Penny Drops
And so the penny started dropping. I am married, I have a family, I have a husband who by luck of birth is the one who earns the most. I am the one who can do the building, DIY, run ultras, cook (sort of) do marketing, speak German and Italian (sort of), type, weave, spin. I started to accept I was not of less worth because I had less money.
I then started to recognise the messages I had heard all my life, about striving for the things that you always want to do with your heart in order to be successful, applying to me. With me it was handicraft and running (in the hills and sometimes round and round tracks). This was me. This is what defines me. This is what makes me unique, driven, whole, and this is the blog of that re-connecton with who I am.