When I was newly married, my mother kindly bought me, at my request, a subscription to Good Housekeeping. I imagined that I was a proper housewife, who cooked and cleaned and bought all the best appliances. While I still enjoy flicking through a copy at mum's house when I visit, I realised that, at 22, I wasn't really in the target age-range. So I switched to She. This was much more of a young, independent woman's glossy, although it's not quite Cosmopolitan. I was always excited when it flopped through the door and, on one level, believed that it held the answers to becoming beautiful, glamorous and together. I was waiting for that one article that would change my life. After a few years, I noticed that I felt shabby and not good enough after reading it, so I switched allegiance again. This time had a subscription to Woman Alive. This magazine for Christian women was much more healthy and wholesome and contained some great articles, but felt a little dry and, well, good for me. At one point I was also a Runner's World subscriber, but this also had the effect of making me feel that I wasn't up to much.
This Christmas, my mother-in-law bought me, again at my request, a year of Writer's Forum. This is part of my year of discovering if I can be a writer. March's edition arrived yesterday, setting off the usual internal bickering: 'you're never going to be a writer', 'I could be', 'you've nothing to say', 'yes I do', 'your writing is pretentious and shallow', 'not always and I'm learning'.
I feel that, from all of these titles, I have been hoping that there will be something between the covers that will transform me, into a domestic goddess, a sassy young woman, a model of Christian virtue, an athlete or a writer. What I really want, and need, is to know and be happy with who I am, just as I am. Now I've noticed this, perhaps I'm on my way.
ps The children are still poorly and I was very grateful to my neighbour who went to the chemist for me yesterday to get some infant ibroprofen to supplement the Calpol! 'Night in the Museum' did arrive, and reminded me that I'd left the US Civil War out of our brief history of America!