I am afraid I am a bit cynical about what can change a person. I don't, for example, think that you can mould another human being much beyond primary school age. The things that as a parent you may shove into your offsprings' heads (only one each obviously!) are absorbed sponge-like until secondary school beckons and you cease to be the most important thing in their world.
Likewise I think that any attempt to mould a spouse, prospective or already acquired, into anything other than what they are is bound to be fruitless. What does change people, in my experience, is circumstance. The throw of the dice. Fate.
By way of explanation, I alluded in my last blog to my beloved's dislike of lists, much to the amusement of my children who knew this in any case. I, of course, am 'woman of many lists' - I even have lists of lists! But the one with my beloved's name on it is never left on view. I have to sneak up on him with a request - in the singular please note - and if I am lucky and there is nothing more pressing (going to Booths for a sociable cruise round the aisles, cleaning Bertha the Land Rover, going to the pub or indeed anywhere that sells the irresistible combination of alcohol and good food) it may get done. I try not to put a timescale on the request either. Flights have to be booked only before the date we actually leave. You get my drift?
I am not faultless. I fail to prioritise - in fact, I should have lists headed "Do this or die" ie the most important stuff, "Do this or members of the family will be upset" - priority 2, "Do this or don't get paid" - work-related list, and finally "Do this because it is the little things that make a difference" and "Do this because you want to". That would make lots of sense, I think.
But having digressed into the labyrinth of lists, the important thing is the way that circumstances change us. The three pivotal changes in my life took the form of meeting my beloved in January 1982 ('Don't you want me, baby' by the Human League was Number One), learning that number 1 daughter was profoundly deaf and the latest, being treated for cancer. Other things - utterly lovely, like all my beautiful children, and less lovely things, which we won't dwell on - changed my life for good or ill but they did not knock my world off its axis.
So these are the three things that have changed me and I am just learning to deal with the latest. I would like to think that I can make every moment count, put the important things front and centre, love my family and friends without prejudice or restraint, listen to my body and be the person I always hoped I would be. I am not sweating the small stuff, however much it may accumulate.
...Although all the small stuff will still be on a list somewhere...!
Postscript: I was looking for a picture of my beloved and our beautiful children to post but we haven't been together since September so that will have to wait until we reassemble in April. Then I found this one which is dawn over Burton Leonard - or 'armageddon sky' as I call it. But I may be turning into Fotherington-Thomas 'Hullo clouds, hullo sky'?
And finally, if you are wondering about the hair, I am no longer Sinead O'Connor or indeed Stuart Lancaster but I am not quite Annie Lennox - working on it though!