Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Saturday 6th November

Today’s my uncle’s birthday. He died exactly 6 weeks and a day after Dad. Brings back so many memories.

I’ve been described as being a control freak. There is no doubt that, as Daynia once said, we’ve inherited two things from Mum and Dad: from Mum, that there’s only one person really capable of doing things; from Dad, that there’s only really one way to do things. 🙂

(Not sure that’s control-freakedness or not, but is definitely makes it difficult to hand over tasks!)

One thing I do know, though, is that, when faced with adversity, it is a human thing to want to be ‘normal’. I don’t mean, necessarily, like everyone else so much, as like oneself. I feel like a wus and vaguely pathetic when I can’t do what I would normally do, because I have been operated on, have had cancer, or am having chemo. So I fight, I suppose, to do things in a way that make me feel that I am still, indeed, me.

Today, for the first time in literally ages – and not only to do with the cancer, but also exams, time of year etc etc – the girls and I will go on a canoeing expedition. At least, the girls will go paddling, Mum will second.

And it feels good to be, mostly, back in that saddle again.

Getting into a boat for me is sporadic and is about feeling fitter and whole and that my muscles aren’t going to tear 😉

It will come, though.

The interesting thing is that, for me, being ‘me’ is not about what I look like – or so I’ve found out. I’m still me with or without hair. After all, I don’t have to look at me all the time. It is also interesting, though, how most people just go ahead and treat me like me, even though, as Paul joked last night, people might have thought Nataniel was in the (candlelit) restaurant!

Doing things, being things, wearing things. That doesn’t necessarily define us as just make us feel ourselves.

And that is who we are each best at being.


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