Lost in translation.....

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

So much of life, is, exactly that and not just real life. Literature across the ages is littered with devastating missed moments, is it a human failing or a genetic deficit? Clarity, in some aspects comes with age and experience and everything is always obvious in retrospect. 
I'm always shocked when people confide in me that it matters to them what people think of them. I think I vaguely remember my younger self feeling that way but it seems such a long time ago. It always makes me feel a little unsettled and sad. The appropriateness of not caring what people think of me is what unsettles me and the concept that people gauge their value on others opinions is what saddens me.
Family life is busy, rammed with practical and emotional stuff that must be done and there simply isn't enough time to do it all properly. Everybody wants a bit of you. A friend's mum who had six children and worked says that while one was always on the hand the others were left a little to their own devices and even now they are grown it's no different. How could it be any other way? You have to prioritise what matters most constantly, things change and you wonder why you ever attempted to 'have a plan'. 
I am spectacularly disorganised and have an aversion to mornings, not a good mix. Arriving home after a late shift I indulge in a glass or two of wine to unwind which generally results in sacking any preparation for the next day. I'm tired, throw my uniform off at the side of the bed and climb under the duvet resolving to 'get up and sort it in the morning'. I must have been Spanish in a past life, 'mañana, mañana, manana' but we all know 'tomorrow never comes'. The alarm goes off, I hit snooze to have 'five more minutes', which turns into ten, then everybody else gets up and attempts to drag me from my pit, in varying degrees, shapes and form, unsuccessfully. I find it impossible to tune into life in the morning until I have to. My daughter refers to this as 'parenting from the bed' and assures me it's 'not working for me'. Eventually vertical I deduce I have enough time to shout at the children to get their shoes and coats on and get in the car and dress in the nearsest thing available. You guessed it, yesterday's uniform is thrown on my back plus a coat and I'm out of the door. At the school gates other mums presume I've been on a night shift and cast me sympathetic smiles which I acknowledge with a grateful glance. Those mums who know me well, wink and remark 'nights AGAIN' prompting a smirk from me and them. Lack of head space for anything other than what has to be done is my justification for not caring what random others think of me. I would never intentionally offend, or want to appear arrogant, I'm just doing the best with what I have. 
The younger me, who agonised and brooded about how I was perceived by others would never have behaved that way but she simply had too much time on her hands. She overthought things, wrote the script, attempted to stage manage life, generally badly and it often led to disappointment. She mostly knew what she wanted but wasn't able to articulate it in real terms. She lacked the courage and confidence to say it as it was. She dropped hints and dangled carrots in the hope others would 'get her drift', take the lead and tell her what she wanted to hear. When things didn't go as planned she'd blame others or write the situation off with a fateful 'not meant to be'. Above all she tried to conform and be who she thought others wanted. I say she because 'she's' so far removed from me. I no longer have time to be like her, I have to accept I am who I am. 
Bernard M. Baruch suggested 'Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.' I can subscribe to this philosophy surrounded by family and good friends but had I the confidence to do so earlier in life I might have had fewer Tess of the d'Urbevilles moments.