Indecision is a knife in my head
Rachel 59. Married with 3 children, from Lancashire. Lives in London and is a full time teacher.
How are you?
I am 59 so I am using this year to face up to the next age group - the 60s, by changing and doing different things - new challenges. At last I’ve joined a choir that my friend has been asking me to do for the last ten years. I’ve cut out red meat and am eating more healthily. I am trying to look for a different direction. Indecision is a knife in my head. This change is coinciding with my children leaving home and going off to University. Now is the time to do more for me.
How do you feel about the weather?
I love the extremes. Being in the Lake District in the howling gales and pouring rain. Crisp, cold days and bright sunshine. Smelling the air affects my sense of well being, the way the seasons smell so different - it makes you realise we are part of a plan. Sometimes the magnitude and enormity of the weather overwhelms me.
How do you see yourself?
The confident me is outgoing and I feel I can do anything. I am fairly content as long as I’m busy. Then I have these pockets of self doubt and self loathing, it’s fairly fleeting and is usually over something specific.
How do you feel about body image?
I used to teach Heath Education. 'Our Bodies Ourselves' was the first woman’s hand book to be written for women by women, up until that point there was a real lack of self-knowledge about the female body. Girls I taught would say they’d cut themselves when they got their periods. We have come along way since then but there’s still a lot to do - honour killings and female circumcision are a still big issue.
Who or what inspires you?
The suffragettes, my Dad, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, the list is long of people who inspire me. I once went to a conference where the speaker talked about the four Cs; Creativity, Concern for others, Concentration and Community Collaboration. I’ve added a few of my own; Coordinate, Confidence, Courage and Contentment. These words inspire me.
What are your dreams?
I would like to do a drama course, I love the theatre but never had the confidence to be up on stage.
What brings you down?
People making comments about me, not understanding my motivation and misinterpreting me.
What do you think about death?
I used to worry about death a lot but being with my mother when she died helped put it all into perspective. Given the inevitability of her death it was a privilege to share her final days, at the very end she said 'I’m dying, I love you, I’m sorry but I have to go', it was a lovely death, we all gave her permission to go and it helped me accept dying.