I haven’t quite been myself lately. I’ve made some poor decisions. Said things I shouldn’t have said. Eaten things I shouldn’t have eaten … and I’ve let myself be treated quite poorly by someone recently when I’m old enough to know better. It goes to show that even aged 47, I still have a lot to learn.

 

I remember thinking when I was 25, happily married with a young child, “Life is good, I’ve got this on lock. I’m happy, what can possibly go wrong?” I was divorced by 27. And then when I fell in love again aged 32, I thought, “I never thought I could be this happy again, this is it, I’ve finally got my life sorted.” And then we all know how that relationship turned out. And it continues to haunt me.

 

But it was three years’ later, when Mum died, when my world truly came crashing down. I made a comment in my last blog post about still needing a cuddle from my Mum and I feel like that every day. Seriously … every day. And I know a lot of you feel the same. Today is one of those days.

 

The question is, how do you cope with life when that most fundamental support system is no longer there? And the answer is, I guess (because I’m still trying to work it out), that you become your own support system. You have to. You develop an inner strength that you didn’t think you ever had so that you look inwards instead of outwards for support. That’s not to say that I don’t have great friends and family I could turn to if I needed them, but really, when it boils down to it, you have to support yourself.

 

I struggle with this. People see me as this strong woman on the outside, and I am for the most part, but I constantly have to keep re-evaluating every single decision I make because I’m all there is. I have no mother. No partner. It’s just me. And the constant need to always do the right thing is exhausting.

 

Dexter made me laugh today. He said, as we were watching a cooking programme together, “That reminds me of that time you cocked up the pork crackling by not putting enough salt on it and it was rubbish.” He was right, it was awful, but it was about two years’ ago son and I’m pretty sure I’ve made way more awesome crackling than rubbish! But my worry is that I’m going to be remembered for the few, minor shit decisions I’ve made, instead of the good ones.

 

Does anyone else feel like that? Constantly worried that everything you do is the wrong thing? That you’ll only be remembered for that one time you did something stupid. Got lost. Said something mean in the heat of the moment. Kissed someone not deserving of it. Or cocked up the crackling? I hope to God not.

 

I need to remember that I’m human. Everyone is always telling me to be kinder to myself, but I find that quite difficult. I’m very hard on myself. If I’ve done something wrong, I’ll beat myself up about it for weeks. If I’ve fallen out with someone, I won’t sleep for days. If I’ve got something to say to someone but can’t find the right words, I’ll toss and turn, waking in the early hours, until I find them.

 

Is this what being a woman is? Or a mother? Or just a human being? Does everyone else struggle to always try and do the right thing … all … the … bloody … time? Or should I just care less?

 

I’m waffling … now that’s something I’m actually quite good at! But I guess becoming middle-aged means that I’m start to question the meaning of life a lot. What’s it all about? What will my legacy be? What will people say about me when I’m gone? Will my children be proud of me? What would Mum have thought of me were she still here? It’s a bit morbid, and I have no plans to bugger off for at least another 50 years, but being half-way through my life means I think about this a lot. You start to question every decision you ever made – the right ones, but especially the wrong ones – could you or I have done better? How would life have turned out if I had made different decisions?

 

Would love to hear your thoughts – if you can actually disseminate what my actual point was. Good luck.

 

kate sutton

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Published by Kate Sutton

Writer, Mother, Dater.

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13 Comments

  1. Think about who it is you want to be and if you don’t know who that is think how you would like to be peceived by others and then try to do a few little things every day to be that person so you feel good about yourself. Even if it is cooking a damn good piece of crackling for your son! I think most of us wonder who we are why we are here , what we have contributed and if we will be missed when we are gone. And yes at the end of the day we have to find the strength from within to get through those times when we are questioning ourselves. Most men don’t seem to have those “strange” innermost thoughts. They just get on with life and do their thing married or not. Lucky them maybe but maybe not! As women we experience a depth of sensitivity, emotion and love that surely is what living is all about. You are a good woman – be happy when you wake in the morning that you are alive and in touch with your emotions whatever they maybe. X

    1. Ah Janet, you really are a wise woman! I think there’s a lot of truth in women experiencing a very different depth of sensitivity and emotion and I suppose I wouldn’t be the person I am if I wasn’t so in tune with my emotions. The funny thing is, when I was in ‘that’ bad relationship, I had to turn my emotions off to survive and I think what’s happened now is that they’ve all just come back with a vengeance haha! Thanks again Janet, you make me feel slightly less mad 🙂 x

  2. I’m lucky in that I still have my Mother but you are so right ! We have to be our own support system (well I do despite having parents and a husband).

    I constantly question who I am, what will people remember and I’m not proud of a lot that I’ve done but I’m still here and still learning …

    Is it because I’m a woman? A mother? I think it’s becasue I’m human as are you xxxx

    1. Thanks Rachel, I’m glad I’m not the only one who questions herself so much! A friend said that it’s a mother’s job to be that reassurance for her child and when that goes, you are left questioning yourself all the time – I guess even 12 years on I’m still doing it. Reckon that’s going to be a lifelong thing now. x

  3. Just a thought – my dad died 30 years ago on his birthday. He was 56 and I was 25. My mum was 50. I was married just 4 months so he never met my children. My mother was just 50 and alone and then a year later her mother died. My mum is now 80. I said to her the other day what age does youth end? And she said when your parents look to you for advice. So what I am trying to say is yes you will miss your Mum for life as I miss my dad but the relationship would be different through your life and you would have found you still needed to draw on your inner strength to get there xx

    1. Oh Janet, how dreadfully young. My mum was 60. You’ve made a good point though – my relationship with my Dad is different now as he comes into his 77th year … I guess I just never imagined them getting older and needing me, let alone dying young. It’s all so bloody sad x

  4. Nope. No regrets. Yes, it’s human to look back and think ‘what if … ‘ but it isn’t usually helpful and can end in a bit of a spiral. The words ‘should have, could have, would have’ are ones which should never pass your lips!

    Everything we do gets us to where we are today, you’re now a strong woman who makes fabulous crackling because of those experiences. We can learn from the past, but if we’re constantly reliving it then we’re not moving on. As Janet says above, try to do something every day that contributes to the person you want to be. But don’t beat yourself up over past decisions, you were doing the best you could at that time and you’re a pretty good person overall. .

    I miss my mum every day, but as I get older I find I’m more like her. She’s still there inside you and she’d be proud of you.

    1. Hi – I do know (logically) it’s not a great idea to regret things but it’s just that nagging voice in the back of my mind saying, “Why did you let that man in your house?” That’s the main regret, but then I wasn’t to know. So yeah, I hear you, it’s not wise to regret things you can’t change. But thanks for the reminder and I’ll try harder to not beat myself up so much. And I love the thought of our mothers living on inside us, so thank you for that too x

  5. I’m lucky in that I still have my mum, I did lose my dad, but you are so right! We need to be there for ourselves. We are who we are and only human. This has me thinking. I think our parents live on inside us and we keep them alive in our hearts. I feel that our children will do the same xx

    1. It does give me some comfort to think that I’m like my mum in a lot of ways but also I’m proud of the fact that I’ve become my own individual person as well and forged my own way through life through adversity. As ‘weak’ as I feel when I question myself like this, I think (hope) it makes me stronger in the long run.

  6. This is so sad to read now that you have gone Kate but let me tell you, because I’m sure you’ll still read your comments from way up high. You will be remembered for the kind, caring, bold, classy, glamour-puss that oh-so-many people loved. The blogging community is in complete shock at the moment, you’re just one of those people that we thought would always be ‘there’. I’m so sorry that you never found your Prince Charming, it just goes to show that there wasn’t a man worthy enough for Kate Sutton because you were one in a million. You will never be forgotten Kate, you’ll be remembered for ALL the right reasons because there were no wrong ones. RIP xxx

  7. Oh Kate! It’s 2 days after your funeral. I just found this blog entry you wrote only 7 months ago. Hopefully you can read this from Heaven!
    Kate, to answer your question “how will I be remembered?” You have been remembered with flowers and love. With donations to help Ben and Dexter. By your fellow bloggers wearing bikini tops and declaring themselves bikini ready. By your broken armed friends wearing bright colored tops, whatever will fit over their braces. By the playing of “Freedom” by Wham! as the exit song at your funeral. You’ve left a space that no one can fill.
    I personally have been remembering our funny exchanges on the Facebook Humerus Fracture page, about your arm brace tan lines, comparisons of the pillow forts we sleep in, bra drama (your bra of course was flame red), and your video of flipping sausages (nobody without a broken arm will understand the triumph of that).
    Rest well, rest easy. You are remembered fondly, with smiles, with love, and not a few tears.

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