Letters to my Daughters and Sons – Stuff I’ve stuffed up that you can do better

Like most mothers I want my kids (and all future generations) to be better, richer, healthier, happier and kinder than me and my generation.

To do be happier than me – you must learn from my mistakes.

Which you won’t do.

Because if the generations of the world have anything in common it’s our resolute determination to make our own mistakes, regardless of how often they’ve been made before.

There are many things in my life that I look back and think – Well I coulda done that better!

Some of the things I want you to do better than me – some rules to live by, things I should have done better:

  • I apologise for the many drafts of this post – never try to write when you have just had a general anaesthetic
  • When I had sex I wish I had only had sex with people I actually liked;  like my husband Pete who has the kindest heart of anyone I know and not just someone who was available and willing like the weedy guy that looked like an anorexic  Woody Allen and thought the measure of good sex was how many times he could do it in a 24 hour period, rather than the quality of what he was doing. So have sex with people you really do like.
  • I should have stood up for myself better. I know in my gut when I am really right about something but often just don’t trust ymyself. I have always blamed myself for everything that happens around me. But we are not responsible for other people’s bad behaviour (its taken me 50 years to learn this). We can’t change other people’s bad behaviour we can only change how we  respond to it.
  • I wish when I partnered up with someone, and then realised after six months that they treated me  badly – I didn’t then spend the next nine and a half years breaking up with them
  • When I got divorced I wish I had done it with dignity (even when or if the other party behaved like an arse)
  • When I got divorced I wish I had left the kids out of it – quite frankly parental bickering is about as interesting for kids as watching the beef stock sales results on Country TV
  • I wish I had found what drives me and committed to it wholeheartedly and didn’t think I was too old to start – From now on I am just going to think Susan Boyle.
  • I wish I had made some money while I was young so I had the finances to commit fully to what drives me.
  • If I had a problem I should have sought help and not felt bad about needing it. If you can’t find help keep looking till you do and don’t worry about what other people are going to think about you.
  • I wish I had the guts to say something to people who take their kids out to quiet adult cafes (except McDonalds, Coffee Club, KFC etc. i.e. places that are purpose built to be kid friendly)  when I am there trying to have some kid free peace and quiet. Kids don’t want to be in boring cafes or sipping babychino’s and I don’t think they’re cute when they are noisy and precocious because they are bored shitless and keep flinging food and tantrums in my direction.
  • Appearances do matter. I dressed like a hippy chick and then wondered why people thought I would be unreliable, into drugs and didn’t want to trust me with responsibility. Inside I was really a conservative Baptist girl who was very competent at my job.
  • I shouldn’t  have judged people by how they look as often as I have. I looked like a drugged out hippy chick but was really a conservative, articulate, competent Baptist girl.
  • I wish I was better at being friends with women; it’s hard to be friends with men unless they are gay. If they are not gay they will want to have sex with you because you are such good friends and bang goes the friendship.
  • I wish in my thirties I hadn’t flirted with other women’s men. It made the women hate me. Usually I didn’t flirt with other women’s men but I didn’t deter the men from flirting with me either.  I suppose the school girl dresses and knee high socks I liked wearing in my late twenties and early thirties didn’t help either. If you don’t discourage the men, or you dress like this on a daily basis, the other women will hate you.
  • Sometimes other women will just hate you – they are bitches.
  • Don’t expect other people to make you happy. You are responsible for your own happiness.
  • Life is a risky business. Take risks.
  • If you love someone tell them, if you hate your job find a new one, if you hate your town change towns.
  • Life really is too short to be unhappy
  • Again I apologise for the many drafts of this post – writing and general anaesthetics don’t mix

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