Wednesday, 18 November 2009

GUEST WEDNESDAY: The Nanna Diaries

I follow just three blogs at the moment: Micro-chasms, The Hermitage and Wgafwit and, I think, within those I am really getting a diverse world view.

The Hermitage is following the life of Traveller and Artist (and I'm sure many other things) Rima – who lives the life that I should be living myself, being sure that I am of rambling Traveller if not Circus folk descent. She draws like an angel, and deserves to be a Blogger Legend (viz: Bleg). I don't like outdoors, animals or anything broadly termed 'nature', but I do like trailer-life. I miss my Traveller friends sorely – and the long muddy paths, on-site coffee, weeing on wild garlic and hearing the distant dogs. But for now the nearest I can get to it is to follow Rima.

Wgafwit is the mind-child of my beau-frere, Nicolas, who has only one post so far and its particularly interesting because it's a man blog (viz: Mlog). Men write equal but different and I really enjoyed it.

Ah now, Micro-chasms. Written by awesome daughter-in-law who has asked me to present at Guest Wednesday, and my mentioning her blog along with Hermitage and Wgafwit, follows on from her recent post about how her generation define themselves.

Well, how things have changed. I did a straw poll of how my friends define themselves by profession and it went something like this: retired, semi-retired, retiring, part-time, and me very full-time. In there are therapists, social workers, teachers and hairdressers, confirming that many of those who survived the sixties and didn't become crooks or bankers went into support professions. Each and every one is a parent.

Let me immediately re-assure those who suffer angst as to how they are currently defined, and who ponder long on the relative values and definite battle grounds of full-time employee or stay-at-home parent, that this doesn't last. Now, in our fifties and sixties, the main pre-occupation (sadly) is how soon one can retire from a career that seemed oh so important in the early days. In my tribe, we never say ‘That person is a retired doctor, dentist or lawyer’; rather that they are either retired or not.

As to the war zones: well, I have seen older people crave acceptance from their adult children who cannot forgive them for pursuing a career, and equally I have seen full-time mothers seek appreciation from their adult children who find it difficult to see why or what that parent gave up exactly, and why they are expected to feel guilty.

So you see, it really all doesn't matter a jot; I'm sorry to have to say this because it will disappoint many who are justifying their ways of life in the way that women always have felt necessary. I believe it's all about being able to support the children that we bring into the world. If you’ve have a spouse who brings home six figures plus, well lucky for you. If you have had to take two or three rubbish jobs to pay for it all, then welcome to a different world.

The only thing that really makes me a bit frantic is when people think that they have the top jobs by right or that they have worked harder than others. As everyone knows, my favourite downtime occupation is 'tipping' and last week one of the men who is employed there told me that he works a seven day week at £6.75 per hour. Rain or shine. He doesn't love it, he just does it. The people who own it earn thousands. Not because they are more clever, rather that perhaps they got the breaks. Which would be fine if they paid him what he was worth. So maybe the whole thing is about equity and fairness and, dare I say it, sharing what we have in a just way.

Maybe that's the same for us. We have to decide what we want; decide on what we are fortunate to have, and not to waste time on how others see us. And look forward to retirement.

The Nanna Diaries

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