I’m very pleased to have a guest post on the blog today from Marianne Weekes. Mari has been keeping a family journal of sorts for over 4 years, Mari’s World which made the Finalists in the BiBs 2014 Family category. She is also Editor of the busy BritMums blog which keeps her out of mischief. She likes white wine and chocolate, she loves a good natter with like minded people, and she’s addicted to Instagram.
As I approach the 50 years old point in my life it’s making me reflect on what I have done so far and if I could go back would I do anything differently?
You see I’m still a couple of years off, and so possibly in time to make major changes, who knows?
I grew up in the 80’s and I can remember careers lessons at school and lots of encouragement to Get Out There and Do It! Be Someone! Women can now be just as good as men and have high flying jobs! This was the message that was drummed into us as we prepared for our ‘O’ levels (now GCSEs).
It was a giddy time and a whole new era for women at work so it was natural to be swept along on this wave of positivity.
I look back at my career and I think the Go Getters of the time might be slightly disappointed in me, you see, I was supposed to hike up the career ladder to the top, earn magnificent amounts of money and have a beautiful home, family and career to show for it by now.
Instead, I fell in love with an Italian, moved out to Italy and spent almost 20 years working in the family hotel, where trust me you were NOT going to reach the top and run the place, ever.
I did get two gorgeous children from that marriage, I learnt to speak Italian fluently and I learnt so much about the importance of family and living in a tight-knit community something I would never have seen had I stayed in London, but I never once stopped missing my homeland and my family.
When my marriage failed I returned ‘home’ to the comfort of my mother’s love, my teenage children had started to make their own decisions and my older son decided he wished to stay in Italy whereas my daughter wanted to come with me.
The next few years I spent back and forth making the most of the Ryanair cheap flights, trying to keep my family bonds alive and strong. After a while my daughter decided she also wished to return to Italy to work in the family business. It made sense but it was possibly my most heart wrenching moment letting her go.
I met an Englishman, I settled down with him and we started a new family, I was in my 40s when I gave birth to our twins. New roots were planted; schools, work, house all meant that over the past ten years I have re-planted myself on the outskirts of London
I now find myself with a problem, that of scattered love, a problem I think so many people can resonate with.
I have family in Italy, not any old family but my children who have partners and children themselves, families I would very much like to be part of. I have family here in the UK, brothers scattered around London with wives and children and my mother in Newark – a two and a half hour drive away.
I would very much like to scoop up all of my loved ones and keep them all in one little village where we could be happy and hippy and live life to its fullest but I guess that’s just not going to happen and is a sign of our times.
I often wonder if I could have played my cards differently, should have I made other choices? I imagine the most important thing is being true to oneself and following your heart, then you can look back and make some sense of it all.