Ah yes lists! Don't you just love lists? I am not sure quite why it is but lists are so calming – even in the most chaotic situation writing a list helps restore my sanity. My favourite is a ‘to do’ list but I make lists for all sorts of situations. Menus and shopping lists of course and things to make and places to go and what to take… the list of lists goes on! Which leads me to notebooks – there is nothing quite so appealing as a new notebook – well apart from new shoes of course! – Crisp unmarked pages just awaiting your first pen stroke. Is it a girl thing loving stationary because my friend’s little girl always makes a beeline for the stationary department and look at the success of shops who just sell stationary like Paperchase! In fact before I posted this my initial thoughts took shape in one of my many notebooks.
So I have had the chance to be a full on mum again this week when my husband and I and my son and daughter spent a few days in the picturesque seaside town of Whitby. We had a great time and surprisingly no fall outs or even cross words and lots of fun. And yes I will miss everyone next week when they head back to university, school and work but I have loads to keep me busy. I am still job hunting but I have great memories of the fun we have had and pride in the lovely young adults I am proud to call my children. As for my week ahead – well I am just about to write a list – I am big on lists but that’s another story!
So my blood pressure is perfectly normal- phew! I am relieved but I am also left wondering why I got myself in such a state worrying about it? In fact I was so concerned that I borrowed a blood pressure monitor from my friend and began monitoring it at home and got some really wacky readings – then of course when I visited the nurse it was perfect! Apparently I had made the rookie error of taking my readings in the middle of a frantic day instead of resting a few minutes beforehand and as I had sat reading a while before I went into the consultation room I was completely relaxed. But talking to others about it I got fed up of hearing ‘it is your age!’ My mum once said it is always a women's age and I now know what she means. So I am an almost ‘empty nester’ at a ‘funny age’ – fortunately is not terminal but an opportunity so today I was ‘a lady who lunches’ my daughter’s sofa companion, vegging out before her highly energetic dance show, job hunter extraordinaire – a necessary skill now to trek through the hundreds of job sites and emails coming your way and then a hiker with my husband enjoying the lighter evenings. As I said before jobless I may be but who has time for a job!!
So I ask myself when did I allow myself to become defined by what I did not who I am… and how come housewife and mother seems so inadequate now I am between jobs - after all I cannot really say I am unemployed as that suggests I currently do nothing which of course is not so. In fact I should describe myself as cleaner, cook, dressmaker, decorator, costume fitter, organiser, hostess, councillor, taxi driver/chauffeur not to mention supportive mother, wife and daughter, need I go on!?! But have you ever noticed that when you meet someone new one of the first things they ask is, ‘what do you do?’ Now if you respond I am a housewife or retired their response is ‘so what did you do before?’ The intelligent part of me knows I fulfil an important role within our family and society as a whole and I now even wonder how I managed to do this properly when I was also working full-time yet the irrational part of me sees myself as sponging off my husband and resents the chores believing this is not really a valid contribution – not that he agrees! This is not positive thinking – I need to get back on track!
Being made redundant 3 months into my new job is not the best way for my new adventure to begin … there again at least I have time to think, a rare thing nowadays as we all chase around at a hundred miles an hour. I will have to do the job searching things of course, yes retirement is not an option as we have university hall fees looming, anyway I am far too young to retire! So with my new ‘lady who lunches’ status I can do some research and find out how others are coping with their empty nest challenges and I can also tackle the job search/CV challenge and discover what’s new in job hunting – my last job found me so I have a bit of updating to do.