“Surviving is important, thriving is elegant”Maya Angelou
The warmest welcome to my first blog post on Life in the Middle Lane. (Thank you Daniella Browne for the title). I am so excited, and full of passion, for this new project as it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for years. My aim is to build a virtual coffee table of like minded women of all ages. A place where we can sit around talk, laugh, cry about all the funny, happy, sad things that happen in our amazing lives. I remember the way my Irish Mother and her sisters would sit around gossiping, putting the world to rights. They had hard lives, but they were full of joy and spirit. I love that
A little about me. I’m a journalist who’s spent the past 30 years working in various parts of the media from newspapers, magazines to TV presenting. I’ve written a book about my life (more about this in a minute) and I run a media and communications agency http://www.apple-box.co.uk. I think they call it a portfolio career – I never was one for the 9-5. I live a kind of urban life in South London. Love anything creative – the cinema, theatre, dance, drama …. am bonkers about fashion, make-up and sitting in coffee shops watching people go by.
I’m 55 and I’m a Mother and a Grand Mother (still sounds strange). I have a gorgeous new partner and in full midlife crisis mode I’m just buying a motorbike (well actually it’s a vespa – easier to balance). I’m a yoga teacher on the side (a huge life passion) and a novice Buddhist. I love good wine, maple covered scones and – like many of us – now have a daily struggle with my weight. I was skinny up to 50 and then it all went wrong:( I have a great life…. but it wasn’t always this way and I know now, for sure, that this is a sunny spell. Life will go wrong again and again I will know that the richest, best-est, greatest part of life is love and connections. And these will hold me up again and again. Oh and plans for the year ahead include: getting back on a horse having broken my back on one in my early 20s. Nice gentle safe riding on Wimbledon common – but if horses are in your blood – you just can’t leave the idea alone. I long to get back in the saddle and I’ll be sharing this little journey with all of you.
A life of contradictions and many different hats. I bet loads of us are like this.
Now for the sad bit. I’m a widow. I was so happily married to Simon for 14 years and he was the best of men. He got Motor Neurone Disease in his early 50s and headed off pretty swiftly for an assisted death in Switzerland. But much worse, just a year before this I lost my most precious youngest daughter Chloe to cancer two weeks after her 18th birthday. If you want to know more I’ve written an Amazon best selling book about this splendid
It’s 4 years since I lost my husband, over 5 since my daughter died. And I’m here – battered and bruised around the edges – but burning with a passion to live the best possible life. I don’t want to dodge the difficult bits, in fact I want to talk about them, but I want to do this with a light touch and an understanding that life is full of dark, light and shades of grey. That there is always choice, even in the darkest places. That idea of surfing the waves always comes to mind. I know how hard life can be, but I hope by being here and showing up that I will prove that I have something to say/to offer others on a kind of manual on how to get back up there and live life full on again.
And who will you be – dear reader. I can kind of see some of you, visualise you around my coffee table. I think you’ll be female, although men are surprising me lately. I know that you will have the hugest heart and passion for life. You’ll want to live on your terms and push the boundaries in all kinds of ways. You may be looking for new and different things or new friends and connections. I can’t wait to meet you all.
So what do I want at the end of one year of this project. I want to have made a tiny difference in somebody’s life. Even if it’s one person’s life – that is enough. Every day I get emails/letters from people who say that my book and newspaper/magazine articles have helped in the darkest of times – that is a best feeling in life for me. That is success. So I want the same here. If I just make one of you laugh, smile, or think you can get up when all you feel like doing is hiding under the bedsheets – that is good enough for me. As a mid-life woman I will be talking about all the older stuff sometimes – but I hope some young women/people will join us too. I’m a Mother of daughters, a woman’s woman – and I think my younger friends, of which there are quite a few, will find our topics interesting too.
Of course I will look to do podcasts, bits of video, interviews with other women and lots/lots more.