LIFE, being perfect – and all that crazy stuff

So it’s a month in from the launch of my 5th novel 24 HOURS and it’s been AMAZING that it got up into the Top 30 – and nearly the Top 20.  It was kind of unexpected as it’s been a while!  I am trying so hard to enjoy it all and not worry about anything, which is hard I find and is it hard in part because of the huge pressure women my age feel ourselves under?  I was listening to Woman’s Hour last week and Sofia Helin from The Bridge was being interviewed; she apparently once said “Swedish women have it sussed, combining work and family”.  But she seemed to revoke that, saying now she feels women in their 40s are under so much pressure and so mentally exhausted that some of them can’t work at all, and Helin hazards a guess that it’s because we – women that is – are expected to be perfect, or put that expectation on ourselves.  And she talks of a shift between an old system and a new system..and us adapting to that. So I like the sound of Helin.  I loved The Bridge anyway, & this makes sense – and so, what do we do? Do we go under?  How do we cope with being ‘everything’?  we can’t really.  It’s too much sometimes and something has to give.  Just not good if it’s our sanity or our health.

As my nearest & dearest know (& rather hate sometimes), I’ve been studying psychology and counselling for the past 18 months and the reason I do is because life can throw so many curveballs (a polite way of saying loads of ****)  that we need our wits about us, and sometimes it all gets too much.  And sometimes other people behave very badly and it affects us and we don’t understand why they’ve behaved that way, or what we can do – so I want to equip myself and those I care about with ways of dealing with life.

And oh listen Woman’s Hour has picked up on this exact topic again RIGHT NOW – talk about serendipity!  Today 70,000 35-45-year-old women are reported as being stressed at work as opposed to far fewer men…why?  Is it because we are still doing the lion’s share at home as well as working full time? Perhaps …

So what’s key?  Getting help, be it at home or at work or outside the home, and realising it’s OK NOT TO BE PERFECT!!!!  We can’t have it all – the media is lying and someone needs to be around and help prop us up!!!

In slightly more cheerful news, I was interviewed by fellow writer Neil White and it’s here if you want to read it 🙂

2 thoughts on “LIFE, being perfect – and all that crazy stuff

  1. Loved this Claire and have to say that the hardest thing is knowing when to ask for help! As a woman in her 50s I am feeling the exhaustion of looking after grandchildren with the added stress of 3 sets of elderly parents with their own health problems. In my mind I feel like the whole family would collapse without me and my organisational skills and jumping in to help whoever needs it. Why do we feel guilty when we try to put ourselves first? Exhausting just thinking about it!

  2. Thanks Jo! I feel for you, and I think the important thing is we try and stick together as women and realise we can’t be perfect and we must ask for help 🙂 Good luck!

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