Since you’ve been gone, my baby turned 18.
18! How is that possible?
I have come to terms with my three older children becoming adults. But I have a problem with my youngest no longer being a ‘child’. Oh yes, I know it’s inevitable. And of course, on one level I can celebrate the milestone, and am definitely grateful to have had the pleasure of being her mother for another year. But I’m not ready. I’ll never be ready.
My father used to say that it didn’t matter how old I got to be, I would always be his baby. He’s not here anymore – so I am no one’s baby. Adulthood gobbled me up years ago. It has also spat me out on more than one inelegant occasion, and I’m sure it will again. But I don’t have a problem with getting older, per se. More that I lament the lost opportunity of youth.
TJ turning 18 has made me wonder whether I would want to go back and be young again. To turn back time and relive my youth. And if I did, what would I do differently?
Of course, there are things I would not change. I would not be without my four wonderful children, for example. And I have had many amazing experiences that I would feel much the less for not having embraced.
But I think my overwhelming answer is yes. Yes, I would go back. Yes I would change some things. Well. Lots of things. I would make sure to appreciate having it all ahead of me. To make a positive mark on the blank page. To not be afraid to go for what I want. To be in the right place at the right time. To not lose courage and definitely not to settle. And to win. I’d be a winner. I’ve spent too long, and had too much heartbreak because of being a loser.
What about you? Would you turn back time? Tell me – what would you do differently?
Since you’ve been gone, I have been trying to embrace the positive. Ahead of my start date on Monday, I went to visit my new place of work and moved a few personal things in/ onto my desk. Mostly new items of stationery. And to be honest, any excuse to get new stationery! It’s almost been worth the pain of the last year and moving jobs, just to buy new pens and notebooks. Almost. But probably not quite though, hey. I am beginning to feel ready to face this new challenge. I hope my optimism doesn’t dessert me when my alarm goes off on Monday morning. Time will tell. Despite my confidence, I am still terrified. But I guess fear isn’t always a bad thing.
I spent the rest of the last Friday of the holidays doing things I mostly wanted to do. The sun was shining (a definite bonus) and I went into town, bought some new clothes, ate cake and drank hot chocolate. Tomorrow, of course, I will have to turn my attention back to household jobs. But today was mine.
There was a man in town, busking. He was playing classics like, ‘What a Wonderful World’ and was drawing an appreciative audience. For no other reason than that he was bringing music into my life, he reminded me of you. But it is also true to say that you brought a whole lot of wonderful to my world. It made me feel happy and sad, all at the same time. I guess I’ll have to get used to that.
There is a lot to look forward to and I am very much trying to focus on the future. That’s not so difficult when the days are sunny. But I know that there are clouds gathering on the horizon and at times it will be easy to lose sight of the sun. That’s when my resolve will be truly tested.
Change can really hang you up the most. I hope you will forgive me for stealing and, ironically, changing that phrase. To continue the song title thievery, I suppose it’s time to follow David Bowie’s advice. ‘Ch ch ch ch changes… turn and face the strange…’