They say a purpose in life is what keeps you going. Some purposes change but a constant one for me is to make sure my eighty-nine-year-old mum is okay, even if she doesn’t want me to sometimes. ‘Butt out Mandy’ she says. That’s all well and good and I respect her independence but actually I think that I am a purpose for her as well. My life has been well documented in her diaries for the past thirty years or so, I feel like I’m her entertainment. ’Better than Eastenders’ she says grinning. However, as my own personal little silver-haired purple-wearing guru she is very helpful for my spiritual wellbeing, because when I feel glum she reminds me that inside my soul there is a wild woman who I should not ignore, one who cannot be bound by constraints, ‘But what about the Covid restrictions, emptying the dishwasher, work and paying the mortgage? They all have to be done’, I say throwing my hands petulantly in the air. The drawstring of conformity is pulling tight for all of us at the moment, but she is emphatic that there are ways to set ourselves free in our inner life so the burden of these earthly necessities don’t flatten us. ‘Use your imagination – sing and dance even if you don’t feel like it – especially if you don’t feel like it. Feel the joy of being alive’, my guru says. She does indeed practice what she preaches. I call her in the evening and Neil Diamond is always a’blarin’ and she’s a bit puffed from her kitchen disco.
Like the way TV detective and not-mum Vera fearlessly takes on her villains, I’m taking what my guru says on board and am on the verge of aiming my varifocal sights veraciously on being my true-self, ripping off my sell by date, escaping the bottom shelf and heading for the glittery upper echelons of womanhood. I’ve been listening to Paul McKenna’s trances on YouTube and he tells us to imagine the best and most wonderful you and then step in to that image. I’m slightly disappointed that my most wonderful me seems to be wearing dungarees and is looking very relaxed with a book and a G&T, when I really would have preferred her to be wearing a wonder woman outfit and be saving the world. And talking of saving the world, being a not-mum is doing great things for my carbon footprint, I’m saving at least 58 metric tonnes of it per year in fact. All I have to do now is buy an e-bike and wire my hot flushes up to the grid to charge it up and I’ll be ‘cooking on gas’ – or not.