Posted on July 21, 2016
Just be yourself
“When I am an old woman…I shall go out in my slippers in the rain” – When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple by Jenny Joseph.
I remember this poem from when my daughter was taking GCSE English Literature. It was in an anthology of poems they studied and It struck a chord. I thought how wonderful it will be when I can do what I want without having to behave in a proper manner. Now, as the poem says, we must pay our rent, not swear in front of the children and set a good example. How rubbish is that!
I speak for myself when I believe we lose some of our sense of fun between our carefree young adult years and those when our children become independent; weighted down with the responsibilities of trying to be a good parent we forget how to be naughty and I loved this poem for its decadence.
A few days ago there was an article in the newspaper about the drinking habits of middle-aged women. Some, apparently, are taking their first drink as early as midday. (How shocking! Who would have thought it! What kind of women are they when they have responsibilities and all!).
At first glance I thought it was implying that life is so stressful that many were hitting the bottle soon after breakfast but it transpired it was just a guilty pleasure. They felt it fun to be sipping a glass of champagne at the kitchen table while the children were at school – they would have preferred the South of France or some exotic location but the kitchen table did the job.
I envied them their little indulgence as it’s so easy to get caught up in the mundane. Afraid to look silly. Embarrassed that others will criticise. How does this fit in with my goals of reaching enlightenment I ask myself when we are taught that self-discipline is the way forward? Is self-gratification and lack of restraint at odds with discovering who we really are and our purpose here on earth? I think not. I think pretending to be someone we are not means we’ll never discover our true self.
I believe that as long as we are unselfish in our self-indulgence (if that makes sense!) and we enjoy our time here without becoming too attached to material things, then it’s okay to have fun. It’s okay to drink champagne for breakfast and it’s certainly okay to wear clothes that are brightly coloured and don’t match if you wish – just ignore the kids when they laugh.
That said, my daughter is getting married in December and I have been invited, along with her two aunts, to her hen do. I think us more mature ladies will do something deliciously fun and show those youngsters how to have a good time. Kat, you’re in for a surprise…