Saturday, 27 June 2009

25 days to go: A Simple Life

When I was a young (ish) mother of four very young children I wrote to the author of one of my favourite books.
"Dear Mr Crofts,
You have inspired me to take a leap into the unknown and abandon my staff job to become a freelance writer."
I also added a bit about noticing that he had four children too.
I got an almost immediate reply.
"Dear Jane,
I am so glad you enjoyed the book and that you found it most useful. However, writing is the easy bit. Parenting four children, now that's a different story."
Or something to that effect.
I thought it was an odd reply and duly took the step into the unknown.
I left my job as a features writer at The Liverpool Echo on October 31st 2003.
At the time my children were 2, 5, 7 and 11.
Yes, they argued and of course it was tiring but I felt I had it all.
I managed to find enough work to equal my staff job pay and I could do it around the children.
I didn't have to ask anyone's permission to go to Sport's Day or to care for my children when they were sick.
And I could still pay the bills.
Happy Days.
And then life become a little more complicated.
My children changed as they grew older; as children do.
But more worryingly, the World changed too.
The very hi-tech equipment that had enabled me to work from home was now becoming the instrument of my misery.
Instead of being a friend, the internet and mobile phones that allowed me to accomplish my daily work were now being used by the enemy to bombard and influence my children from all quarters as they bounded into teenagers and High School and all the challenges that these years bring.
Over the past year the balls that I have been juggling for so long have tumbled down.
I can no longer keep my eye on the ball because invidious forces have blindfolded me and tied my hands behind my back.
I wish I could tell you what is going on in my life.
But I can't.
Not yet.
Suffice it to say the more complicated my life gets the more I exert what little control I have through clothes by aspiring to the life I want - a simple uncomplicated one.
The Simple Life that Nanci Griffith sings about.
So today, for my complicated life I have chosen a very simple outfit.
Soft colours, simple lines and everything tucked in and tidy.
And as a new day dawns I am ready to take on the world.
Have a wonderful weekend.

Shoes - Clarks
Skirt - Marks and Spencer
Blouse - Gap
Belt and Sunglasses - Tesco


Sharon Rose said...

Hi there-hope things get less complicated for you my dear, I really wish you well. A great casual chic outfit and have a good weekend!

Sher said...

Resorting back to the simple, helps us get back to our comfort zone. Lovely outfit, especially your shoes. Hope things will get better for your family.

lunarossa said...

Pls lift your chin up, dear Jean! You've done wonders with your family and I'm sure this is just a passing period. Keep strong and it will pass. If your kids have learnt just one tenth of what you taught and show them, they will do well in life. Try to be positive. I've got my very down moments and small and big problems as well and I understand you sometimes feel like stopping everything and giving up. Don't do it. It will get better. Ciao. A.

Robin said...

I will certainly add you to my prayer list. Life is good, but sometimes it is hard. Be "in-couraged" knowing we are your fans, and we want you to successfully negotiate your challenges without losing your mind (completely). Our kids give us our biggest joys as well as deepest pains. But they do grow up (really!)and somehow learn that our love and patience with them were what they needed. Have a cuppa and remember who and whose you are. Hugs to you from across the water-and cyberspace xoxo.

Looking Fab in your forties said...

I love todays outfit - you look great - just a shame that you don't feel it at the moment. I hope you get things sorted out soon x

Jane said...

Sher - That is exactly what I am after, a comfort zone. It's not a time to be taking risks.
Antonella - I do hope you get through your difficulties . I am thinking of you too and will keep my chin up!
Robin - thank you for expressing your thoughts and prayers. I really appreciate it.
Looking Fab - I am glad you like the outfit.

sallymandy said...

Oh, Jane. I really care about what you're going through. I feel you have a very respect-ful approach to the issue in your life, and wish all the best for you and your kids. Your writing itself carries a certain simplicity that I love and that communicates much in a quiet way. Love, Sallymandy

Imogen Lamport said...

So sorry life has got so complex. But at least your shoes are cute!

Stephanie N. said...

I think that you are proving the theory that when one goes through struggles, one's writing can get even stronger. You write about it so beautifully and uncomplicatedly, even though you're not able to fully write about it.

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