As I write this, I am on a plane to London for what I call a ‘Self-date’.
A ‘self-date’ is a concept taken from the wonderful Julia Cameron’s book The Artist Way, in which a block of time is taken purely for oneself and by oneself.
For me, myself and I as some call it.
But how incredibly challenging a concept for many women.
I recall my own childhood of watching the women of many generations and their focus, attention, and actions.
My grandmothers were housewives and spent all their time fussing and fawning over various family members, especially the men.
My Granny Laidlaw was dispatched to boarding school (the REAL St Trinians) at the tender age of 5, when her parents, (my great grandparents), sailed off to live and work in India.
My heart bleeds for her even now for her parents to be so far away when there was no mobile phones or internet.
When I first heard about the cruel and unkind Victorian abandonment, to a stone-cold institution at this age, when many are only just starting to make sense of their surroundings, language and body; let alone loneliness and abandonment (or rejection as she viewed it) I was horrified.
Why would parents do that to their children?
How did she cope?
Who was there for her when she was sad, down or depressed?
Her girls-only boarding school taught her about the role of women during her years there.
She would later display her certificates proudly for Home Economics, aka about cleaning, hoover, washing dishes, and caring for their husbands.
Let’s not forget that even as recent as the 1960–1907’s women were expected to give up their work and fully attend to their home and husband after marriage.
My Granny Laidlaw was to take those certificates to heart and become an excellent wife and mother.