Thursday, August 07, 2008

My Constantly Changing World

I’m having one of those weeks. It’s come as a bit of a surprise actually as I had almost been looking forward to this week – okay, who am I kidding, I was looking forward to this week – as I would have some time with Guy at home and a tiny break from being the parent of a 15 year old who is a real going concern. But I find myself, a little more than half way through the week, feeling less than buoyant.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s been wonderful having some time together with Guy – except for part of last night which was spent trying to get the stupid Parrot thing to work properly (see yesterday’s entry). Apparently we need to download software updates via Bluetooth to make it work properly with iPhone – despite the fact we were assured, hand on heart, that it worked perfectly with iPhone just as it was. The added complication is that the download will not work on MACs, only on PCs, and none of our PCs have Bluetooth. Not that it stopped Guy from trying to get it to work…for about three hours of what was supposed to be our evening together last night. Today they are supposed to be coming to download it for us. I’m so annoyed I can hardly put it into words. As far as I’m concerned they lied. It works, but not as it should – the audio is a squawky and the announcements are so loud (despite volume adjustments) that they nearly make me jump out of the car. But I’m not to be concerned, as the software update will fix all that. Well, as far as I’m concerned, for what the Parrot cost, it should be making the tea by now – the fact that it is not quite working as planned and that it is shattering my nerves when it announces calls incenses me. This has caused some tension at home.

Then there is the fact that Alex has hardly spoken to us this week. The first few days I was thrilled as I figured it meant he was having a wonderful time. And it does mean he is having a wonderful time. But as time has worn on I’ve begun to miss him, and the fact that when I called him last night (okay, I know I’m being needy here) he only had about three minutes to spare me kind of hurt. Which has led me to believe that there may be some flaws in my resolution not to be bothered by the fact that he’s growing up and that he doesn’t need me as much anymore – huge great flaws actually.

I hate it when mums are clingy. There is nothing so unattractive and so hard on everyone - the mother, the child and their friends (especially friends of the opposite sex). I have always been determined to be completely non clingy. And I have succeeded – Alex will tell you that is the case as well (even when I’m not there to twist his arm!). But suddenly everything is changing and inside I’m crumbling. I suppose it does not help that Alex’s newfound independence has coincided with a year when we’ve lost so many people (and beloved pets), moved 150 miles and started a whole new life.

Even in the most staid of existences (and my life has never been staid!), change happens on an almost daily basis. Human beings in general are not comfortable with change. As for me, I’m could be the poster child for the association of non-spontaneous people who find change difficult. (No, that organisation does not exist, but if it did I’d be a charter member.) But for all I say I’m terrible at change, I seem to have managed to handle an awful lot of it in my life. I immigrated to a new country at age 23 completely by myself just for a start. And I think a lot of folks are very much like me. We think we don’t handle certain things very well, but actually they are probably the things we handle best. As Churchill said, they can be “our finest hour”.

One of the biggest risks of being a 21st Century Housewife is the chance that you will invest so much in caring for other people that you forget about yourself. And despite the fact I practically make a career of urging women not to do that, I seem to have slipped into the trap myself. The nice thing is, it’s a fairly easy trap to get out of. You just have to realise that you’ve fallen into it.

So today I’m going to spend some time thinking about me, and how I can ensure that this is one of those finest hours in my life. I need to think about ways I can better handle how this wonderful change in the life of my son can be an opportunity for growth in my own life. When he was little, I used to wax lyrical about the day when I’d get my independence back and how wonderful it would be. Well, that day is now and it would be silly not to rejoice over it. After all, even when we are all grown up, we never stop growing. That’s the wonderful thing about being alive.

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