A couple of days before Christmas, I took Wee P and Chris’s grown up daughter, B, to the beautiful production of “Cinderella” by Scottish Ballet. It was a sparkly, festive evening, which, naturally, saw our gal, Cinders getting her man, ably assisted by her fairy godmother.
I’ve always had a liking for fairy godmothers (apart from their strict “home by midnight” policy, which flies against all that I believe in, and is certainly not conducive to copping off with handsome princes. Seriously, scarcely time to down enough inhibition-loosening cava to dare to sneak in a cheeky wee snog!) Fun-denying clockwatching aside, their plump figures, penchant for glitter and slightly hapless good intentions remind me of, well, me.
Recently, I’ve been pondering what I would do with magical fairy powers and the gifts I would impart with such skills and I’ve come to the conclusion that one of the most important gifts I could give would be the Gift of Not Giving a Shit (NB. Inevitably, I would be expelled from the College of Benevolent Sorcery for being a bit uncouth and potty-mouthed.) Of course, I don’t mean not giving a shit in a not-caring about other people, being ruthless and uncompassionate way, more in a “dance like nobody’s watching” (boke!) way.
Over the last two years I have had an abundance of opportunity for reflection thrust upon me and on the whole, I’d say that so far, stoopid cancer aside, I’m pretty happy with the way my life is and has been. I’ve travelled a bit, lived abroad, have a truly happy marriage and wonderful family and an active social life. One of my biggest regrets though, is the ridiculous amount of time I have wasted worrying about what other people think of me, whether I’m being judged harshly and whether I’m conforming to what’s expected of me. I’m quite embarrassed to think that it took me nearly 40 years to realise that life would be so much freer and happier if I wasn’t fretting over whether people would think badly of me or pity me for living in a rented house, for never quite establishing myself in any career in spite of my education, for being a bit scruffier than most of the other mums at school and for maintaining an, at best, shambolic household. Worrying about this nonsense is inhibiting and serves no positive purpose.
At long last, I have realised that most people probably don’t care about any of this crap and that if they do, well, it doesn’t actually impact upon me (or reflect well on them), anyway! It’s very liberating and in many ways, I am so much happier than I have ever been, in spite of the unwelcome squatter, hell-bent on destruction, that has taken up residence in my innards. When time ceases to seem infinite, contentment seems like a good enough goal.
Maybe you are truly laid back and confident and are reading this thinking “well DUH!” But maybe somebody reading is just like I was, and am trying not to be, and therefore, as your self-appointed fairy godmother I am drenching you in mystical fairy dust (ok, cheap glitter from Home Bargains) and telling you that it REALLY doesn’t matter if your pumpkin comes from Lidl, not Waitrose (you can put the money you save towards spangly crystal footwear) or your gown is from Primark not Harvey Nicks, what matters is having a ball at the Ball. And you can stay out as late as you flippin’ well like too!