In the 1960's and 1970's a lot of young people set out for far flung places in search of their personal identity. They sat at the feet of a guru in India or studied transcendental meditation, they believed in flower power. Nowadays, there are people who take a selfie and post it on Twitter, letting others find them as opposed to finding themselves. Sort of like the guy who joined the Navy to let the world see him as opposed to the old British recruiting slogan "join the Navy and see the world".
I thought about this yesterday when I attended a seminar to celebrate International Women's Day. I have to ask myself if we need an International Women's Day but let's skip that debate. Anyway, one of the questions the facilitator put to us was "who do you see yourself as?" This was a tricky one, actually. Most of the women saw themselves as wife and mother figures. I had a problem with that. Yes, I am an ex-wife and a mother but my children are grown up and have their own lives. I am very proud of them but I don't feel the label "mother" fits any more. So who am I now? Retired lady? Reader, writer, walker, lover of the sea? Yes, all of that but the facilitator wanted a one word definition. I plumped for "free spirit" - admittedly the other women gave me some looks of surprise. But I reckon that's what I am and I hope that is what my readers are. You can be what you want to be but you must make time for it, the facilitator said. Now, when I was working full time and my children were growing up, there wasn't much time for me. I probably could have used a seminar like this one to gain a few insights into being there for yourself. But now I can relax and do my own thing. As I live alone I don't have to put meals on the table, I can stay in bed all day if I want to (I don't), I can even stay up all night without fear of waking someone else. Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed my busy life as a mother but now I feel I have deserved my holiday from all that.
It's Sunday, so when I have finished writing this, I'll make myself a pot of tea, put my feet up and read the Sunday papers - I've already been for a walk to the beach.
Cheers everyone and I hope your Sunday is just as enjoyable.