Re-reading an old favourite

It is now my third day in bed, I am tired (still), grumpy, annoyed that I am not at work with the 101 things I have to do, and aching in places I forgot I had since the last time I had the ‘flu. I haven’t been to a doctor, this is only what I think it is, based on my shoulders, wrists and knees aching; that when I lie down my skin hurts; when I have a shower the water hurts like pin pricks.

I’ve been listening to audio books, the five ‘Cat Who’ stories I have on my iPod have been going round and round until I know them by heart. They aren’t even very good books, heaven alone knows why I keep listening to them, maybe it is the small town America I long for, where everyone knows everyone else??

Today I am more awake, ish. I woke up at 11am, as oppose to 1pm, so toddled into the study and stared at the bookshelves. In one of my nights sleeps over the past week I heard a clear sentance:

‘Mummy, you must be dotty if you’re planning to entertain a bunch of alcoholics on the edge of a cliff,’ was all Pagan said.

From Lace by Shirley Conran, I have no idea why it floated into my head. I’ve read the book so many times, first read it when I was in senior school, about 13 years old, a lot of it went over my head. Although I had a very high reading age, I didn’t have the life experience to back it up. The copy I have now is falling apart, I brought it in a charity shop years ago, and every so often I will reach up and try to donate it back to one. But it never seems to leave.

The tag line is ‘The bestselling novel that teaches men about women – and women about themselves’

I am 35 years old, for the first time I really get it. For the first time since I read it at school, I am seeing things in the words that were never there before. It isn’t just a bonk-buster, the relationships that Kate, Pagan, Maxine and Judy share that wax and wane, and are through sick and sin, are real. I have friends in the UK that are really struggling at the moment, a few of them I would dearly love to be able to hop on a plane and sit with them. But I can’t. Likewise they can’t get over to me either at the drop of a hat.

Judy is helping Guy with his haute-couture collection, working from a room rented in a hotel they are making something of their lives. Guy was able to lay out his plans for both Judy and Maxine as easily as they could see the view from the Arc de Triomphe.

One of the 10 laws of life that I am trying to live by is you have to name it to claim it. I cannot drift about waiting for life to happen to me, I need to take some responsibilty in where it is going. Life isn’t cured, it is managed. For me to manage my life, I need to know where I want it to go. Dan and I started that over Christmas with the beginning of a five year plan, but we haven’t fleshed it out yet. We’re still bumping around in the dark here.

One of the hardest things for me to do is to tell people what I want and what I need. And I have already addressed the issue in a letter sent earlier this year. It goes back a long way, but I think (hope) I am getting better at it. I don’t want to live a life in fear, hoping that something great will happen to me. I’ve spoken about this before, when I actually thought about what I wanted, truly wanted from a sacred place, I found it came to me easily. I am living in Australia with a wonderful, caring, funny man to prove that point. I never once thought that by me moving over here, I would automatically leave any problems behind me in the UK, I am not that naive, but I need to find some time for me over the coming week and sit in silence again, to find that place and what it is calling for. Then I can manage my life into getting it.

Reading Lace again, it is showing me like a mirror in my hand, that in some respects I am still that 13 year old girl, still lost in the body of an adult, but with the mind of a child. Do we ever grow up? Or do we assume the persona of someone we think has grown up, and copy them?

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