‘Be Me in 23’ – Well it sort of rhymes!!
In the chaos of life while busy wearing different hats the person who often puts themselves to the bottom of the ‘To Do List ‘is us, it’s a female thing and largely our fault but definitely comes from our natural nurturing, home making, instincts. I once fought them but realised very early on they were part of me, my modus operandi and without creating,with the tools at my disposal, a clean, organised tidy base everything in my life would wobble. A few years ago I was asked by Channel 5 to take part in a programme called ‘In Solitary’ four celebrities would spend five days in solitary confinement with a phycologist and presenter George Lamb monitoring how they performed. What sounded like a good idea sitting in an office on arrival in Belfast where they were filming was now sounding dauting. But with a big gulp, wearing prison outfit, I entered my prison portacabin clutching a collection of prearranged ‘luxury’s’: a jigsaw, crocheting set, paper and thick felt tip pens. The process was much harder than I thought it was going to be and I’ve since used it as a personal reference when understanding the plight of isolation. What I did discover was the importance of routine, standards and busying myself. By the time I came out, mentally in tact, I’d crocheted a bedside rug, decorated the walls with big paper cut out flowers, designed a faux fireplace, created a paper flower arrangement and place mat for the table which I religiously sat at for meals. I believe the female survival instincts are great because we’ve been given from birth a gift that is deep within us to protect, not only others, but when it comes to last man standing, ourselves. As you know my Mum died last April and last Christmas my father announced he didn’t want any fuss over Christmas, no decorations and no one was to go up to the midlands on Christmas day he’d prefer to spend it alone. Plainly this wasn’t going to happen, my sister and I went up, decorated the house sat him down to write cards, sorted out all his presents and totally ignored his wishes. Did he have a good Christmas under the circumstances? Yes he definitely did. But this is the thing, had my Mum been the one left on her own she would have decorated the house, accepted all offers of companionship, written cards to her friends bought presents and gone to church.
Dear God, thank you for making me a girl living in a free country I really lucked out and am truly grateful.
Love Anthea XX