- Holly Searle
- London, United Kingdom
- Holly Searle is a writer who was born in Westminster in the middle of London. She shares her birthday with Jarvis Cocker and David Seaman and like Jarvis Cocker she wears glasses but has nothing whatsoever in common with David Seaman. She is fascinated by words, people and their stories, and regularly spends hours fantasising about being offered a weekly column. She has a degree in Film and Television which she gained from Brunel University in 1997. She has been blessed with two quite remarkable children whom she adores. She enjoys the company of her friends and the circus that is life. Long Walk to Forever by Kurt Vonnegut is her favourite short story. She is the author of the published children's tale The Story of Balan Singh, and is currently working on her first book.
Wednesday, 18 September 2013
When I was in year six of primary school (that's the fourth year in old money), I was in a play called You Can't Stop Progress.
From what I can remember, this was a play that dealt with the impending and unavoidable changes that were being brought about by the industrial revolution.
There on the horizon, changes were coming, the progression of which, could not be avoided by those that would feel the eventual benefits of their implementation.
Well here I am, standing on a hill, squinting at the horizon. I can see it heading my way.
In the near distance as it heads towards me just like the giant wave crashing title sequence of Hawaii Five 0.
It is nearly here.
I can't halt its arrival now.
I shall soon be fifty.
And, just like the themes that were covered in that play all those years ago, I cannot prevent it, I can only accept it, and welcome it with open arms. And just between you and me, I have a sneaking suspicion, that it is going to open up a new an exciting chapter in my life.
How bloody wonderful is that?
Pretty damn marvellous I'd say.
There is that idiom that stipulates that it isn't all about the quantity, but rather the quality.
Well, if life has taught me anything, I would say that it has been that very thing.
Quality, quality, quality.
We landmark our lives with numbers (13, 18, 21, 30, 40, 50, and so on), but really what we should all do, is to colour in time with our experiences.
I can recall reaching forty and having a conversation with an acquaintance who told me that they had cried when they turned forty. I thought about that, and decided that it was a bit of a negative, as some people aren't even lucky enough to reach forty.
Dry your tears, I thought, and start living. Get the brightest colours you can find and start colouring it all in as quickly as you can. As, believe me, it all starts to tick away so much faster than the wings of a hummingbird on speed, when you feel as though time is conspiring against you. It isn't, but you are, so stop right now and take a mental deep breath and fill it all up with a more positive outlook, and with people who are important to you.
Turning fifty isn't a big deal to me. I am happy it is here as it has made me more aware of all of my options, and how I wish to spend the remaining currency of my life span.
That isn't meant to sound all doom and gloom, it is just my own pragmatic relationship with my own mortality.
When I think about my life, I feel blessed to have been able to have achieved as much as I have, but it isn't over yet, and I have plans and a list of places, experiences and adventures that I want to fulfil.
And I intend to do just that.
Being fifty is insightful in that respect. And just like the on-going and forever altering prescription of my eye wear, the my clarity of my life, and my future vision of it, is subject to changed. And I accept that.
Just like Johnny Nash sang, being fifty will enable me to see clearly now the rain has gone, for over the last few years I have been able to get rid of all of the life crap that I once placed so much emphasis on.
I have had a good clear out, and I have let go of a lot of things that had bothered me for years. At last, I have grown-up and it feels like total happiness.
The quantity of your life isn't measured by unnecessary mass produced stuff and nonsense that you don't really need, but by the quality of your character and the way in which you relate to others you encounter along your life path.
And it's very liberating to be like that and to afford yourself so much freedom of choice.
It really is.
I can't stop the progression of time, and why would I want too, when it's going to be a bright, bright sunshiny day.
So when you're ready, you can Book'em Danno.
It's all good.
Monday, 2 September 2013
I can remember the day Child One was born as if it were yesterday. Well, to be absolutely correct, it was a night actually. And there she was, this perfect baby. The most beautiful little thing I had ever set my eyes upon.
But it wasn't yesterday, it was twenty-five years ago.
I was exhausted after a long and arduous labour. The midwife gave me some toast and a cup of tea and then a sleeping tablet to help me sleep.
She took my little baby away, and said that just for tonight, they would look after her while I slept.
So I ate the toast, drank the tea, and then took the tablet.
But then the midwife returned with my daughter and informed me that she wouldn't settle and so here she was and handed her back to me.
So there we were, one new baby that just wanted to be with her mum, and her mum, who was delighted to see her again so soon, but who was rapidly nodding off.
So we snuggled-up together, this perfect child and I, and pretty soon we were both asleep.
The next thing I remember was the midwife waking me up and telling me that I should put my baby in her cot.
And then the next twenty-five years past, just like that in the blink of an eye.
Then one day my daughter called me.
She said that she wanted to tell me something.
I knew what it was before she had even told me. She has this tone to her voice you see, that she probably doesn't even know she uses. That tone told me even before she had, that she had just found out that she was pregnant.
I was delighted and amazed at the wonder of it all.
And then time slowed down while we all waited. Waited for the scans, waited to find out what it was (a boy), and then finally for his arrival.
And during all of that waiting, a funny thing happened to me.
I felt old.
In a few weeks, I will turn fifty. What? How did that happen? Time passed, that is how that happened.
So when my daughter told me I was also going to be a Nana, I started to wondered if I was going to start to resembling the lady that looks after Tweety Pie in those Merrie Melodies cartoons.
Every day I checked in the mirror.
No, no sign of her.
Then an even stranger thing started to happen. When I met new people and I talked about my becoming a grandma, they all said "Really? You don't look old enough to be a grandma?"
I then started to really worry that they thought my daughter was some teenage unmarried wanton Jezebel. So I had to then explain to them that she was twenty-five, and married. Their furrowed responding brows then signified that they then looked at me, really studied me, and I could see the cogs of theirs brains turning as they started to wonder if I was in fact the teenage unmarried wanton Jezebel. I simply couldn't win.
In the end, I just decided to let people think what they wanted to think, as the alternative seconded guessing and offering explanation game, was getting a little too much for me to maintain.
But, what it did tell me, I am delighted to say, was that I didn't look one bit like Tweety Pie's owner Granny.
And now, here is the lovely part.
My baby, my first-born, my beautiful darling girl, finally went into labour. It felt like the start of a very long marathon.
I felt that it wasn't my place to arrive at the hospital and wait, so I left them to it.
But all the time I was in a fit of despair. Was she alright? Would she manage? Should I be there? DID SHE NEED ME?
And Yes of course she would manage!
She is built of stern stuff that daughter of mine. And after thirty-six hours of labour (twice as long as I was in with her), her son, Grandchild One, eventually arrived.
At that point, I called a cab and hot-footed it to the hospital as fast as I could. On arrival her overtired husband, looking like a young dashing doctor in a set of blue scrubs informed me that until she was moved I couldn't see her or my grandson.
I just wanted to see them with every pore of my being.
After a while, which seemed like an age, they were moved and I was allowed in to see them.
I was literally squealing inside as I made my way in the lift up to the ward to see them.
I called to my daughter as I walked into her ward, and she called back from behind a curtain. I nipped in, and there they both were, my baby with her baby.
They both looked like they had been involved in a long battle.
I asked her if I could hold him, and she passed him to me and looked at this little lamb, this little tiny being, and from that moment, I was smitten.
And do you know what? I am in love. I am in love with him and I can't wait to be his Nana and be a part of his life.
Life is beautiful and my circles just increased and all of my Christmas' and birthdays have arrived at once.
That's all folks!
And it is just wondrous.