Those of you who know me will know that for a long time, my role in life has been that of a mother, housewife, lady-who-lunches, type person. I’m not complaining. I loved being at home with my children and being a full time mother, I considered myself very privileged to be able to enjoy this lifestyle. It was my career. Wife and mother. I loved looking after my husband and I loved being around for my children. I enjoyed being able to attend all their school events and to be able to ferry them to their many after school activities and let’s face it, I admit I enjoyed my days, when I could pootle around, play tennis, meet up with friends and pursue my many hobbies. The only fly in the ointment was the feeling of inadequacy that would flood over me when I used to meet new people and observe their eyes glaze over with boredom when they asked what I did for a living. “Housewife’ just didn’t cut it somehow. Then everything changed, seemingly all at once. Children grew up, husband went AWOL and I sudddenly found myself adrift.
It took me a long time to come to terms with my new circumstances. I suffered from ‘Empty Nest Syndrome’ big style. I had a couple of new relationships, each lasted a couple of years, each one ended abruptly, each break up worse than the last and I will admit, this last year I have struggled after the very sudden demise of what I thought was a wonderful relationship with THE ONE. No matter.
I decided I needed a career, but what to do after 20 years of non-career? I tried training to be a maths teacher but realised I enjoyed training to be a teacher more than I enjoyed the job itself. I started to understand that I enjoy the process of learning new things. It was one of the things I loved about my last partner. He has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and a vast curiosity about the world. It was something we had in common and we would often contact each other during the day to share something amazing we had read, heard or seen. Encouraged and aided by him, I started to teach myself to design web sites and I also started to make books. The rest is history.
My life has gone crazy. The book I designed for the record company was received with delight and they have ordered 20 (!) more to be used as promotional copies. The first is going to Bob Dylan, the second to Morgan Freeman and another to Bruce Springsteen. I forget the other names – I was in a daze at the meeting! There is a possibility that when the actual book goes to print, they might offer a limited edition, hand bound version by yours truly. In addition, I have been asked to design several web sites, the latest is a new one for an artist friend and it’s huge – contains a gallery of 70 or so paintings. Each one I do, seems to generate interest and I am now charging serious money (as opposed to ‘mate’s rates’). I have been so busy, I haven’t had time to mope or despair at the lack of suitable chaps on internet dating sites or eat (so I am losing weight – an unforeseen but pleasing bonus). I realised today – I have a life. A full, interesting, satisfying life which keeps me busy and fills my days. I have learned a lot and have much more to discover. And when people ask me what I do, I now have something to tell them. (However, shame on you if you have ever thought being a housewife was a boring job!)
You may wonder why this uncharacteristic introspection? Well, it’s by way of explanation about my lack of blogging and my disappearance from your blogs. I heard recently my husband has got engaged to his new girl friend which initiated a huge bout of retrospection, a little sadness but not as much as I would have thought, surprisingly. It is also 2 years since I first started this blog and I was thinking about how my life has changed in that time and doing that rather under rated thing – counting my blessings. I have my wonderful sons, great friends, a new fledgling career (in fact, two!) a nice house, my blogging friends and of course, I mustn’t forget Milo. (How can I? He’s is lying on my foot….)
For the first time in ages, I feel quite positive about the future. The only thing missing is a partner to share it all with but I have even stopped worrying about that. It will happen one day, I hope and in the meantime, I have more than enough things to fill my time. Long may it continue. Back to the jokes next time I promise!
Diane, I am so happy for you! Congratulations on all of your success. AMy it continue indefinitely!
Long may much of a muchness continue, life would be a duller place without it :-)
Along with all your other many talents, blogging is something you do SO well, keep it up if you can squeeze it in!
Happy 2 year bloggy-birthday Diane! ~ what a great & inspirational story….I can relate. :)
Congrats on the blog birthday. Congratulations as well for all of your success. It is surely well-deserved!
AmyH – thank you so much for your kind wishes! It is all very exciting I must say!
Carol – you are so sweet to say so, I will do my best to keep blogging but it is very time consuming…hence the 2 week gap between posts this time. Must do better!
Olga – thank you! I know lots of women are in the same boat. Those empty nests are a real problem – you just have to fill them up with something else – until the offspring come home for a visit…. :-)
SW – thank you! Have you had your new baby yet? (Well, not you personally!) I shall pop over now to see…both my sons were two weeks late (and the first one had to be induced even then!) so it may not have happen yet. Best wishes to you all anyway…
I love the word ‘pootle’ ………. I have to say these things before I forget. Now where was I …….. oh yes …….. BTW, in your excitement you’ve left an ‘s’ out of Springsteen …… and now to the point ……. what was it? ……. mmmmm ……. of course …
HAPPY BLOG BIRTHDAY!!!!! and more to the point, I am deeeelighted that ‘stuff’ is happening ……. excellent!!!
DP – Ha! I made him sound like a relative of 70s :-)
Corrected now – thank you very much – I hate spelling mistakes – a bit
analpedantic like that…
Thank you!! *hugs back*
Diane, dear, what a wonderful post! Sad, happy, optimistic, forward-looking! Your life is like a novel, except better because I actually know you (well, “know” in that cyber-friendship way).
Happy Blog Birthday!! But, more importantly, Happy Living! It’s so incredibly cool about your new projects, your new income, your new sense of self.
I just want to conclude with: don’t forget all the little people…ahem: ME *grin*…when you become hugely famous! ;)
Sending love and hugs!!
Happy Blog-Birthday, Diane!! Long may you prosper and your blog with you :)
Reading “… shame on you if you have ever thought being a housewife was a boring job!” this tv commercial came to my mind where at one of these business events were you bring your partner, the (house)wife answers the unevitable question: “I? I am the manager of a very successful small family business.”
I am on my feet clapping and shouting “bravo!” Great writing, very inspiring. Try and get this published in a mag to inspire other empty nesters. Now, listen up: as someone who has known you longer than most of your readers, you have NEVER EVER been boring. I have always seen you as a BRILLIANT person – well read, thoroughly interesting and oh so creative in so many ways and a wonderful friend, wife and mother. A big fat corner has been turned. Watch out world, Diane Aldred is out of her shell!
Happy Blog-Birthday. I enjoy reading your blog – you write so well! This was a very introspective blog; sharing your thoughts and feelings in such a frank way. Many women would love to have been the successful wife and mother you have been (I wish I had been half as good!) I don’t know the circumstances of G going AWOL, but he was bonkers. How wonderful that you have been able to develop your talents so successfully. So I wish you happiness and great success with your projects. I can’t help but think that you will meet someone when you are least expecting it. :)
What a fabulous way for things to have turned out for you Diane! Happy Bloggy Birthday to you… and may there come a time when the Morgan Freemans of the world are clamouring because they actually get a Diane Aldred book!
Teresa – thank you, you have been one of my best bloggy friends – always so encouraging and supportive, it is much appreciated!
Astrid – that is hilarious! I only wish I had heard of that years ago, that would have been very useful! Thank you for your kind wishes.
Claire – you have always been a great friend and a very supportive one at that. We have always been there for each other through the roller coaster ride that our lives have been. I miss you now you live in LA but it’s lovely having visits to look forward too and I’m so happy that you are so happy with your lovely husband. You are a star.
Vanessa – I’m usually one for keeping such things pretty private but I must have been ready to write this as it just flowed with very little alterations (apart from the odd spelling mistake – thank you DP)!
I’m sorry we lost touch when I we moved away but I’m very glad that we are back in contact and I hope we can get together soon. Thank you for your kind words – much appreciated. And yes. G is bonkers!
As for meeting someone else – from your mouth to God’s ears – soon please!
fracas – thank you! I shall have them forming an orderly queue -wait and see! My friends will get preferential treatment of course!
Firstly wishing you a very happy BB :-)
& secondly … WOW Diane you must be so excited and awestruck. It is fantastic news about your books, they are exquisite and you deserve the fame (not to mention the ‘spondoolies’) they will bring you. Oh and web designer too another wow!
Well done that Norven lass :-) x
p.s. Layla says ‘woof’ (or should I say ‘yap’) to your foot warmer lol
Congratulations on this milestone, and thanks for sharing your reflection. I enjoyed hearing about where you’ve been and where you’re going!
Happy (belated) Birthday ! !
Don’t let the lack of a partner get ya down…the life of folks in relationships isn’t always that grand, either. I wanted to jump off a cliff this Valentine’s Day, for instance…
Glad things are looking up !
this is a really nice post. i have only just now found your blog (through teresa). it is encouraging to read this, since i have been home with my little one for 3 years, and am wondering how to get back into some sort of career. you make it sound easy, though i am sure it hasn’t always been. best of luck to you.
70s – thank you! It is all very exciting – and exhausting! I am getting a sore wrist from cutting all the board! Have to find a better way of doing it….I’ll show you the web site when it’s done!
writinggb – glad you enjoyed it – I’m not usually so serious. Well, not here anyway :-)
The Rev – don’t even get me started about Valentine’s Day! (or VD as we singletons like to call it – both to be avoided at all costs)
Thanks for the good wishes anyway!
cake – so glad you found me! It is hard to get back in to the work place. I took the opportunity to head off in a completely different direction as I hadn’t particularly enjoyed what I was doing before my break, so it turned out to be a blessing in diguise. Just keep the old brain cells ticking over and something will turn up. Honest :-)
Happy Blog Anniversary and I actually think I’ve been following you all the time too :-)
Congrats and good luck with your new success too – you deserve all the best!
Have a great end to your week.
Thanks Renny, I know we have been reading each others blogs for a long time. Have a great week.
lol happy blog birthday, great.never thought of that
I know I’m late, but I just discovered your blog, so happy blog bithday. It’s a very interesting blog, I like it very much. And , career or not, it’s so interesting to learn all the time and to fulfill your life doing new things and discovering yourself in the same time.( I apologize for my English, I’m living in Gibraltar, but I’m from Eastern Europe.).
Congrats! Happy Blog Birthday!
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that is fabulous news about the book receiving such great feedback! i’m so pleased for you. well done.
strawberry beats frumpy any day of the week…..yes, no exceptions.
oh, i’m on another blog now. http://www.funista.com yes, i know i keep flitting around but i’ve bought the domain so i have to stay now ;)
there’s a post on there about 20 ways to make yourself happier. hope you like it. let me know what you think :)