I’m a vertically-deficient middle-aged* sartorially-challenged accident-prone recently-divorced Australia-dwelling British expat with social dyslexia and a weight complex.
* There would be those who marvel at my intention to live into my one-hundred-and-twenties; but having studiously avoided the term middle-aged throughout the years when it was probably most applicable, I am finally ready to adopt it at a time when others might well consider it a euphemism. From now on, I fully intend to be middle-aged right up until the time I die. Mathematically, that would give me a good chance of living forever. Realistically, Murphy’s law might well decree that I don’t ever have the need or opportunity to come to terms with being elderly. Let alone old.
Two and a half years ago, my husband left me after a two-year affair and a thirty-seven-and-a-half-year marriage. Or should that be a thirty-seven-and-a-half-year marriage and a two-year affair? Doesn’t make much difference – either way, I could write the book on what not to do when your husband walks out of a thirty-seven-and-a-half-year marriage and into the arms of his lover of two years.
Whether that advice would be much use to people whose marriages had lasted longer or were over sooner, with or without the assistance of a clandestine affair and all the myriad other variations that accompany the modern relationship breakdown, is the question that has held me back from actually writing the book. That and the fact that, while I know what I should have done differently, I have absolutely no idea how to fix things three years and many bad decisions on from discovering the affair.
Instead, I have done what all the Twenty-First Century self-help books, slogans and Facebook memes keep telling me to do – become totally self-centred, drop anything or anyone negative like a hot potato, and pursue my dreams. Given that my dream had been to stroll amicably into old age with my husband by my side, that required a bit of a rethink.
But perhaps the biggest rethink has been my attempt to develop a healthy lack of respect for my own woes and join the rest of the world in seeing just how funny a fat middle-aged sartorially-challenged accident-prone divorcee with social dyslexia can be in that split second before she explodes with self-righteous indignation at the injustice of the world.