This is my lap top. I bought it in 2011.
Yep. It’s the same one. Note the dent on the lower right.
It hasn’t had an easy life.
I remember when I bought it. I felt I had arrived in that place in grown up land that ‘everyone’ else had competently conquered years before.
Fast forward to 2019 and I still don’t know how to use it properly.
It took me 20 minutes to work out how to upload this image.
And if my 2011 Mac Book Pro ( we wish ) were one of my teenagers I’m sure it would be rolling its eyes.
Although as I type these words, I remember that it took me 48 hours and five apple care saints last week, to deliver me past this spinning wheel .
So I guess it has been…
Drastic Times. Drastic Measures
I had great plans for my Mac in 2011, when at the age of 44, I decided that time was running out for me to become an author.
Or a business woman. Or a singer. Or an inspiration to anyone.
So I needed to get my shit together fast if I was going to make ‘One-day’ happen before I turned 50.
Because every woman lives with the silent terror of that inevitability.
The closer we get to 50, the harder it seems to remember many of our hopes and dreams, let alone nab them before they disappear completely.
Like single socks into the washing machine abyss.
But here we are in 2019 and I am still not breaking the internet when I google search my name.
For despite many things and people to be grateful for to this point, lots of other things have come undone in and around me since 2011.
And like my children on so many apparently endless car trips, I’ve found myself increasingly wondering, ” Am I there yet ” ?
And will I ever be?
Am I there at that place where the kids have grown up, and I have enough time, money or solitude to start writing? Am I recovered enough from life’s hurts? Am I wise enough, smart enough, inspired enough, fit enough, still young enough ( oops ), savvy enough? Have the family challenges subsided? The health crises? The relationship strains? Do I have enough money? Do I own that retreat near the water, or the mountains, or the hinterland from within which tomes of literary genius will be unleashed…?
Have I finished my counselling sessions, wordpress tutorials, coaching, digital marketing, personal development and writing courses? Is the household calm, quiet, clean….?
That would be a negative on all the above.
‘There’ is Here after all…
However what I have realised recently, is that I was always ‘There’.
I was There while we raised our four children in seven different homes in eight years.
I was There during teenage angst, drugs, car accidents, and tattoos.
I was already There juggling working nights, school fees, bills, family relationship breakdowns and cancer diagnoses. I was There when simply getting through the minutes of each day, felt like breathing in shards of broken glass.
And I was There when I had to end a 25 year Social Work career in 2015, after being dragged kicking and screaming into a diagnosis of PTSD.
I was There during the insomnia, the memory loss, anxiety, panic attacks, shivers, shaking and endless tears. I was there when I thought I was losing my mind, and future all at once.
And I was There, when getting to 50 was no longer about lighting up the internet.
But simply staying alive.
And now, I am Here. And I can tell you that there is no ‘There’ that will ever be the perfect time to start writing. But there is always the ‘Here’. And this story, my unfolding story, is the one that needs to be told. And it is not finished.
So what do you do, when you are 48, a frustrated writer with no other career options, and you have to totally reinvent yourself?
You lean on an army of good people, go to a lot of counselling and learn all of Brene Brown’s Ted Talks by heart…
“ You must do the thing you think you cannot do ” – Eleanor Roosevelt
So, you start a blog.
Or in my case, and with support, you enrol in a university blogging unit
( #ALC708 Thanks Deakin Uni ) – to MAKE you start a blog.
And in doing so I realised that ‘One-day’ has arrived and reinvention is a daily commitment to start from wherever I am now, in imperfection.
And to learn as I go. By Doing.
Just as I am learning how to use this bloody website. Because I believe that the B Side of my life is going to be fabulous. And I hope, so will you. Because we older women are not done yet. We are just getting started.
But this time, we have the runs on the board that our younger selves were lost without.