I’m finding an antidote to this madness
Amy 47, from Saffron Walden. Married with two children. Works full time in PR.
How are you?
I am very well but there have been some health worries recently. Last Christmas my heart was beating irregularly and pounding. I wasn't breathing properly and doing everything too fast. It was scary and made me think I need to slow down - it was a warning. I’d find myself walking up escalators when there was no need. I was doing it because everyone else was. I’m finding an antidote to this madness and now I can say no to people. I don’t have to be out doing stuff all the time. I can allow myself to make my own decisions. I should have been a Catholic for all the guilt I hold.
What do you think about kids?
They are the best thing I ever did in my life. I didn't mind if I didn't have a life partner but I wanted kids. Kids are a reason to exist - a responsibility. If you're lucky enough to have them then there is always something positive in your life.
How do you think other people see you?
Organised, over compensatory, solid, reliable. A bit of a cart horse!
What are you dreams?
I’ve always fancied working in a flower shop or have a small holding in the countryside with pigs, chickens, ducks and dogs and be self sufficient. I’d like to get up in the mornings and do the animals and have no worries. Saying that I am really satisfied with my life. I don’t have a dream that needs fulfilling at the moment.
What brings you down?
The day to day stuff of life; admin, lists, who needs what and when. Overseeing my parents, they both need a lot of time and attention now.
Most women seem to have a thing about shoes, do you?
I could buy shoes everyday. I have over 100 pairs - some are over 15 years old. When I buy a pair of shoes I love I take them out of the box and I stroke them, then I show them off to my family.
How do you see yourself?
Overly emotional. Demanding, insecure and a worrier. I’m quite proud of being organised - in my head I’m a perfectionist. I think I must have a fear of being judged. My parents always said they were disappointed in me. I have a constant need for approval.
What’s your most memorable experience?
Not that long ago my Mum allowed me to hug her and she hugged me back. It was the first time in my memory of her doing that properly - she was 77. It’s only when you're a parent yourself that you realise how special that love is and therefore realise when you haven't had it
Another memory is pre children; me and my Husband went to New England on holiday. We were sat under a wooden canopy on a jetty listening to ‘Driftwood by’ Travis. I remember being the most relaxed I’ve ever been. It was Autumn, my favourite time of year. Everything just felt right; fresh air on my face, not having any time scale, it was just that day and it was perfect bliss.
What do you think about life?
I don't believe in heaven and hell. I’m not sure we have to have a purpose, we just exist. We should all learn from life and appreciate things. We don’t need to make a mark on life. Life is amazing, complex and in most circumstances you can if you choose, change your own destiny. We are very much in control.
What do you think about death?
Death is final. I don’t think there is anywhere to go. I will be happy being put in a cardboard box and carried off.
What would you like to leave for the next generation?
Happiness in my children and in their children. Understanding of other people and appreciation of life. I hope I’m imparting appreciation of the world onto my kids.
Are you free?
In my mind - yes. I am aware that you can’t have freedom when you have to buy food from the supermarket and have a mortgage to pay but mentally, I feel quite free.