When I went back to employed work about six years ago as a teacher, I was nervous.
Most of my fellow teachers in the staff-room were my children’s ages, making me feel like some nearly extinct dinosaur.
But it didn’t take me long to realize that I had plenty of advantages over them.
I’m never in a mad rush to get out as soon as the bell rings, as there’s no teacher or babysitter waiting for me to pick up my starving children.
I don’t have to take time off for my children’s illnesses.
I’m not as exhausted as the young mothers ( and fathers) who never get an uninterrupted night’s sleep.
I’m pretty calm and have more self-confidence than many of those inexperienced youngsters and don’t get upset over criticism.
Outraged parents and badly behaved pupils don’t faze me. (After bringing up 7 children nothing much fazes me. )
Yes, maturity carries with it many advantages.
Most of the major expenses of life have been paid for (mortgage, children’s education, most weddings etc) so I can allow myself to be employed part-time and devote more time to writing.
And as for the writing – well, as the years go by, I have far more to write about.
Essay subjects abound. If it happened, there’s an essay in it somewhere.
I have enough material on parenting (kept up to date by my grandchildren) to fill most magazines and websites for a long time.
I can now write for most age markets ( grandchildren keep me up to date with teen-speak / fads/fashions / technical gadgets which are foreign animals to me).
I’ve always loved writing. I never said “ I’ll write when …….. I have more time/ the children sleep through the night / the kids are grown / I retire …etc
I’ve been writing regularly, even if not frequently, since I was about 15 and now that I have more time, those overflowing idea notebooks are coming into use.
So as I head towards my 60s I’m looking forward, G’d willing, to a busy writing and family life.
And you won’t find me at the cosmetic counter looking at those outrageously expensive “promise- to- make –you- look- ten-years-younger- in -ten –weeks lotions.
I’m comfortable in my (wrinkled) skin the way it is.