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Archive for January, 2010

Now that my 16-year-old daughter, Greta, is entering her last year of high school, people keep asking her, “So what are you going to do?” Like most people her age, she keeps changing her mind, so she can never quite give a definitive answer.

I know how she feels. Now that she is preparing to spread her wings, people keep asking me the same question. For the past 14 years I have been self-employed as a journalist, editor, cartoonist and journalism tutor. But my main job has been CEO of Greta Inc. Since the age of four, she has been involved in the performing arts and I have been her driver, caterer and manager.

Next year is her final year of school and my final year as her chief support person, simply because she can now do many of these things herself.

I am both relieved and terrified. For years, I have secretly suspected that my gruelling home and work schedule was clearly the reason I hadn’t written the GAN (Great Australian Novel) or the GAP (Great Australian Play).

But lately, there has been less driving and organising, as the school year has wound down and now up again, but strangely no increase in writing. The time I have had has been spent getting ready for Christmas, and getting over Christmas, or cleaning the house or having lunch.

In fact, I have spent years having lunch. As a freelancer, this is the way I avoid isolation and create deadlines for myself. I’m even thinking of getting a business card that says, “Jane Cafarella – lunch”.

But lunch is no longer helping. I feel like I am full already – full of stories and ideas that need to be purged. Perhaps writing a blog might be one way of letting go and connecting with others of like mind?

However, in this age of narcissism, I admit to thinking twice about adding my voice to the multitudes. I want to be part of the conversation, but with everyone talking, will there be anyone listening?

I am spurred on, however, by the realisation that most bloggers are talking about different things from those that I want to talk about. In short, most bloggers seem to be young, or talking about issues that affect the young (politics aside).

So, this blog is for the rest of us – those who have children still at home and parents who should be in a home. And those who are regretting what they didn’t do, rather than what they did, and who are now trying to make up for it without embarrassing themselves or their families. I’ll be writing about the issues that affect my generation, and I hope that you’ll write back.

For my first posting, I had hoped to write something profound – particularly for those who may be facing the big 50. However, I’ve wracked my brains for several weeks and been driven to eat at least five packets of Tim Tams in the process, but this is all I could come up with:

ODE TO THE BIG 50

Turning 50 can be fun,

but if you’re feeling sad

be grateful you’re not 51

that’s almost twice as bad!

Fifty-one’s a rotten age,

there’s no cause to defend it

your body starts to fall apart

and it costs a mint to mend it.

No one gives a party

No one gives a stuff

and no one wants to join you

when you’re swimming in the buff!

And looking in the mirror

is no longer any fun

Coz the person staring back at you

looks just like your Mum.

So stop wishing you were 30

And live your life instead

Do all you’ve ever wanted

Because tomorrow you’ll be dead!

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