Full circle. My life has come full circle. Twenty years on and I am back at the beginning; back in the town I fled. Sort of. On the outskirts. As a hybrid. But now I am older, greyer, fatter and fading not blooming, shining and burgeoning. I'm imprisoned by the educational curriculum. Tied to it's agenda. Stuck in the ebbing rhythm of routine. Under my wing are my fledgings. They need a safe place to grow, to find themselves and discover their own destiny and circumstances. Maybe fate brought me back here to where I am now; the prison I left 25 years ago. Full circle. My life has come full circle.
I threw open the doors of the airing cupboard. Today, was the day this monstrosity would be tidied, colour coded and presented with the finesse of a Parisian boutique, or maybe I would just settle for Gap shop. I would not be distracted by Facebook. Oh, wait a minute. I haven't posted a status declaring my intention of sorting out my airing cupboard. If I don't do this how will people know what I have achieved today. Those with messy airing cupboards may even be inspired to de-clutter their own.
Status: "Today, I am tackling the Kilimanjaro of domestic chores. Yes, people I am sorting out my airing cupboard. Wish me luck. " I click post. I am not actually climbing a mountain, but it feels like a mountain to me. In fact I would rather be climbing Kilimanjaro than sorting out my airing cupboard. Perhaps I should go and make a coffee first. Give me a little caffeine kick to motivate me. Procrastinate, procrastinate. I am worse than the kids and their homework. I should take my own advice. "Stop complaining about it. Just get on and do it. Then it's done and you can do the things that you want to do once it's done." I can hear myself urging them on. I am not sure who hates homework more; me or them.
I feel like I am going through school again for the second time. It wasn't like this for me. I was left to just battle it on my own but I was motivated. I was competitive at school. I wanted to do well. My kids don't care. They hate school. They are not competitive. It's about understanding that my children are not me. They are born of me but they are their own person, with their own mind and narrative yet to be written.
It begs the question why do I even care about my airing cupboard? Why am even bothering to tidy it up? Really it's because I can't find the one fitted sheet that fits my emperor sized bed when I change it. There is no order in the airing cupboard. If I re-arrange the airing cupboard so that it's tidy then my life will become easier. I will feel happier. The airing cupboard is the key to my happiness. Or maybe I am overthinking it? Maybe my airing cupboard is just disorganised and needs straightening out.
Eventually, with a big sigh, I began. It was a substantial cupboard in the corner of my sunken bedroom, with lightweight, white, painted plywood, double doors that met in the middle when closed. The handle was cheap, small plastic and round. Inside was the new hot water tank. When I moved in to the house, that I rent, there was an ancient copper tank, which barely retained the water temperature. Then one day the bottom of the tank cracked and the water began to seep through into the kitchen. The estate management company had no choice; the tank had to be changed. So now the airing cupboard housed an energy efficient top of the range tank and we can have steaming, hot monkey baths. A monkey bath is a bath so hot that when you sit in it you can't help but chant "ooh ooh ooh" like a chimp.
Last Christmas was the worst Christmas of my life. My world literally fell apart. My marriage collapsed. But with all dramatic endings, what it actually did was create some of the most wonderful new beginnings, happiness and freedom. In the haze of the darkness, despair and circumnavigating the cliff edge, breathing and focussing so I didn't fall off; through the mist emerged t'Chateau.
It appeared on the Internet out of nowhere and was available for rent. It was a bargain price for a 6 bedroom, 17th Century Farmhouse in disrepair. The bathroom was mouldy, there was no central heating, the taxes were through the roof and we don't even have streetlights in the village of it's situation, but to me it represented hope. It was a place where I could hide and heal; but also grow my business and my future. A sanctuary.