This post may ramble on a bit, so feel free to leave now!
The other day I read a sentence in a book that I skipped over, then thought about it a bit, and then went back to it. It basically asked the question "if, before you came into being, you were shown a video of how your life was to be, would you still choose it?"
I've been thinking about it for days now, looking at my life as though through a film, going through the whole range of emotions, sometimes feeling quite maudlin, angry, happy, sad, and very, very nostalgic.
There have been amazingly happy times, very sad, traumatic times, exciting days, lots of very ordinary even boring days, but they have been my days...
I remember a friend once commenting that I had had a very tragic life, more than most people, but I totally dispute that. I don't want to come across as a sad, bereft person, who hasn't coped with what life has thrown at her. Admittedly, sad, almost overwhelming events have happened, but much worse tragedies have occurred in other peoples lives.
We could spend the rest of our days dwelling upon what has happened to us, not enjoying the life that we have been given, wallowing in grief and affecting those around us with our sadness. Or we could throw ourselves into a mad, crazy life, trying to obliterate everything but on the way obliterating ourselves. Or we could accept what has happened and try to move on, enjoy our lives but never forgetting the events that have shaped who we are today.
In answer to the question, I'd put the video in the machine, press Play and sit back and watch the show...
I'd linger over the 60's, admiring the homes of my Nana and Aunties, the style of the decade and the music. The Butlin's and Blackpool holidays, the never-ending summers, and the Christmases, when looking back at them, we got so little compared with today, but then it seemed so much. And the birthdays .... you always knew when it was someone's birthday, because when you got up in the morning there were 2 bowls on the draining board. One contained red jelly, the other pink blancmange ... exciting stuff!
The early seventies weren't a very happy time, and my teenage years were fraught with the usual angst and trauma, but I'd still keep the machine playing ... rewinding to see those faces lost in time, and fast-forwarding through the embarrassing bits. In the late seventies, I left school, started work, made new friends, but kept the old ones too! The eighties saw my first holidays abroad with friends, pop concerts, late nights, discos and fun ... The mid-eighties gave me motherhood for the first time, and settling down to marriage in 1989, and more and more lovely babies, through to the late 90's, intermingled with sadness and loss.
The years spent bringing my children up were the happiest of my life, although challenging and to many people even humdrum, this is what I was put here for. I'll never be a feminist, but making a home for my family is what I know and love the best.
I'd play the video through to the end, and yes I would choose this life all over again. Although eventful, and at times unbelievably sad and traumatic, as I said before, it's my life. I could have pressed the eject button and been given one much worse. I don't believe I could get a better one. I have a wonderful husband, amazing children, brother and sister I love with all my heart, and beautiful friends, some of whom I have known all my life, who have been with me through thick and thin, happy and sad, and know all there is to know about me.
So there you go, sorry for rambling and hope it hasn't been too nauseating .... but what would you do? Press play, fast forward, rewind ... or eject and hope for something better?
Have a lovely Sunday ....
With Love, Claire xxx