Opinionated, forthright and a bit moody!
Jane 47, married with three boys, not working but is looking for a job!
How are you?
I am feeling older than I’ve ever done. I need a new regime in terms of something physical. I need to exercise. Life is always punctuated by school holidays and if I don’t do exercise in the morning then it doesn't happen. I’ve had a hysterectomy recently and it’s buggered up my brain. My levels of concentration are bad.
How do other people see you?
Opinionated, forthright and a bit moody!
Where does all your energy go?
70% into my children, 10% into my husband, 10% cooking and 10% on me. I have a bee in my bonnet about doing stuff for my kids. I push them to do things they might not want to do in order for them to appreciate it in the future. My Mum told me “You can be a dinner lady when you're older” and she meant it. She had low expectations and I don’t want that for my kids.
I’ve put me on hold until my kids are off to secondary school. I haven't given up I’m just in no mans land. I’d like to work. I don’t use my brain enough. I could be more ambitious but the desire has gone. I need to earn money, I don’t want a career - a job will do. I want to be more fulfilled.
What brings you down?
Lack of confidence. I am very sensitive to the way people view me. I don’t feel what is portrayed on the outside is what is going on on the inside. I shouldn't even care, but I do.
What are your dreams?
I like the idea of helping someone through their death. I want to use my compassionate side.
What makes you tick?
I LOVE shopping. I’m a consumer. Sometimes I’m a bit secretive and keep my purchases in the car for days; I take the labels off and sneak them into the house. I have so much stuff, I have 30 pairs of trousers but only 5 fit me. (laughing) I have knowledge of brands; like furniture, interiors and jumpers. There is nothing better than going into Selfridges. The touchy, feely smell of the make up department - I like looking at things. I love markets too: Columbia Rd flower market is beautiful. It engages all my senses.
What I really enjoy watching is the shopping channel, it’s really relaxing, it’s like reading a shit magazine - I love it.
How do you see yourself?
As a middle aged mother with unfulfilled interests. (laughing)
What do you like about yourself?
I like that I’m ironic. I detach and look at things humorously. I like that I look at my children objectively and that I’m a good friend to people.
How do you best express yourself?
Through humour and talking. I am very sensitive to throw away lines.
What's your most memorable experience?
When I was 14 years old my father became very ill. He lived in Berlin at the time. I was at boarding school in West Germany and had to travel through East Germany to visit him. I was very scared, remember, the wall was still up then. I travelled on my own. As my train pulled away from the platform I realised I'd left my packed lunch box on the bench which had my passport in it, I didn't know what to do. Should I try and smuggle my way on to a military train going through East Germany without a passport or should I get off at the next stop? I worried if I didn't make the journey my Dad might die. I had no money, a stranger gave me forty Deutschmarks. It was a very tense time. It all sorted it self out as these things often do, but it scarred me for life.
Who or what inspires you?
I love reading books about people who get a mission in their heads and go for it like Ranulph Fiennes. Books like “Touching the Void”. I am interested in how people cope in a crisis, like the Chilean Miners who got trapped for weeks underground. I’m interested in how it all plays out; Who going mad? Who takes the role as leader? Which people get on and who fall out? The psychology of the drama intrigues me. People who have had to go through tough times and get through it.
What do you think about life?
We go through stages in life but it’s not until we’ve gone through them that we realise that it was a stage. The birth and feeding decade goes by lost; it’s a decade of sleep deprivation and tiredness. It was far too intense and I worried too much and didn't need to. I don’t feel much older in my mind but I just don’t get what has happened in all that time. I have total memory block of bringing up my children. Life is going very quickly and before I know it I’m going to say “what have I done for the last 20 years?” I need to make the most of the next 20 years! My next stage of life is “What can I do? What can we do - without the kids?
What would you like to leave for the next generation?
I would like to leave financial security and emotional support as I didn’t have either. Make an effort and do your bit!
Are you free?
No but I am hoping to be - watch this space…