This week’s whingeing


So why did what should have been a brilliant day for any normal person leave me in tears?

Lovely weather and a barbecue on the beach with a tripod cooking apparatus by Heath Robinson out of Bewitched! Delightful people: Anita Loughrey, Kathryn Evans and Candy Gourlay and then Hanna the Hungarian, plus a batch of assorted great kids. Even a bit of a splosh in the rather refreshing sea. Couldn’t fault it. So how come I felt so low?

The usual suspects: my innate sense of inadequacy and general patheticness. ( Told you you’d want to slap me.)

These are real people persons – oozing genuine warmth and affection for their children. Something of a contrast to my parenting skills. Gorgeous high-achieving but unspoiled offspring. I try to brazen it out about my lot – not an  ‘A’ level among them and me a teacher. Ho ho ho. No one is amused.

 I’m also shaken by their general talent and interestingness:

  • Candy – superb photographer, website designer and published author

  • Kathryn – brilliant blogger, belly dancing  beauty and funny farmer -with an agent

  •  Anita – witty, pretty and much published – I’ve even used her resources, for goodness’ sake…

Me. Mmmm. I have life on a plate and I still can’t get my act together.

I feel at sea with people  – I don’t get out very often. I try to tell a tale in ordinary conversation  but it falls away. People talk about something else because I’m boring. Or I miss the moment and an anecdote that might have been relevant becomes pointless. I try to be assertive: I just sound rude and pushy. What chance have I got at self-promotion in a hostile or indifferent marketplace when I can’t manage to get myself across in such a supportive environment?

Let me be quite clear I am not fishing for compliments, dear friends who read this. (Though, if you insist…) I’m just attempting to be honest in the faint hopes it might help

  1. me
  2. others who feel the same
  3. normal people to  understand us oddballs

‘The proper study of mankind is man’, Alexander Pope wrote. Well,  I think I might just have  a CSE in it.  Not brilliant when character is all important to a fiction writer. I expect I must be somewhere on the Asperger’s continuum – and so must Eeeyore and Puddleglum.

Reproduction of an original picture of Puddleglum by Illustrator Pauline Baynes

“Speaking as an outsider, what do you make of the human race?” as  our Dawn, my best friend, put it.

12 thoughts on “This week’s whingeing

  1. let me let you into a sneaky secret – the vast majority of us feel hopelessly inadequate and boring a lot of the time. I am always amazed when people think I’m funny, interesting etc. I think we get to be so down on ourselves – so, here’s a trick I learned – stand in front of the mirror every day for a few minutes and say to yourself “I love you”. When you do, all those feelings of not being quite good enough will wash away – and you’ll discover that, actually, you’re just as funny, interesting and accomplished as everyone else. I can tell just from this post that you’re undoubtedly a good teacher, a warm and funny person. So there you go, you’re off to a good start already!
    And by the way, the last time I looked, I was a real person, not a spammer, well not unless you want to buy my er, um, erm…oops, got nothing to sell!

    • Nicky – you are an absolute sweetie.
      One of the few advantages of being an oddball is that you can say the stuff that everyone else thinks without looking any more weird than usual.
      I am touched by you offering your mirror idea – but I would feel a complete and utter twit. Besides it would be a lie: I do not love me. I amuse myself and I do have my moments – but ‘love’, nah.
      Thank you for commenting, you non-spammer you!

  2. Flipper, I think (I hope it’s not just me) we all feel like that a lot of the time! Having the courage to follow your dreams makes you a lot stronger than most! I spend most of my time feeling like a slightly ridiculous failure, and slowly driving my Fiancé insane with what he calls my ‘insecurity drivel’. Count your successes not your failures. At least that’s what I’m told to do. Helps a little, sometimes….!

  3. I got the wrong blog post! Good job I came back – you big banana: Philippa: diver, writer, teacher, brain box ( about to start her MA and I’ve seen Greg Mosses comments on some of your work, clever clogs). everyone does feel like this – I think the difference on the beach is we were all half an eye on our children all the time – it makes a difference when they aren’t there. And we all knew each other before- I’m so sorry you felt like that, I had no idea :O( Maybe I’m the one with Aspergers?! xxxx

    Nicky, Philippa is from up north, there’d be no truck with any ‘I love me’ business – a good practical shoulder shake and a realisation she has happy, settled kids ( I doubt my son will be heading down the A level route – every kid is different) a beloved husband, a future career in writing and a previous career in teaching are what she needs! Chin up chicken – we all have down days – i might have an agent but I don’t have a book deal – I think of myself as the woman who was so nearly good at quite a lot of things x

  4. Philippa you’re as daft as a really, really daft thing.

    It makes me feel sad to think you were feeling so low and I was on such a high, after that wonderful bbq.

    But, I want you to know, I thought you were incredible. I was in awe of your knowledge. You are so clever. I don’t retain anything. I still don’t know what that spirally little fossil is called and I must have heard you say it over three times. I was calling Emily the wrong name for most the day, even after I had been corrected. My brain is an empty vessel. That is why I try to make witty comments – to hide how dumb I am!!!

    My sons went to you to ask you the answers to their questions because they had sussed out you would know and I wouldn’t. What does it matter if your children have no ‘A’ levels? My children are too young for me to know if they will get any or not. Every child (and person) is different. We all have our strong points and our weak points. Like I keep telling myself with my kids I can’t do the exams for them – what will be, will be! It is not a reflection on parenting skills.

    So Philippa, as well as saying ‘I Love You’ to yourself, write yourself a post-it note and stick it on the mirror – “I am a wonderful, vibrant and intelligent woman and my friends all love me.” Because, we do and I am proud to have met you at the bbq and be able to call you my ‘real’ friend now.

    • 1. It’s Turritella
      2. I do NOT want you to feel sad on my behalf.
      3. Read what Kathy said about us Northerners – what I need is a boot up the backside.

      Thank you sweetie for commenting.

  5. Er, is this a private whingefest or is anyone invited?
    All I can say is, heaven knows I feel inadequate most of the time – though oddly I’m probably the reverse of you in that I feel good in company and worst when I’m on my own. But I think that’s probably all about insecurity too, the need to be noticed. Look, I’m doing it now!

    I was terribly introverted in social situations for a long time and still am, from time to time. I think it’s all about practice, getting out there and loosening up and realising that no-one actually cares what you’re wearing or what you say – they’re too busy worrying about how they come across!

  6. [Came here from KE’s lovely blog (via her entrancing guest post over at Norm’s), and couldn’t resist. Forgive impertinence, please.]
    Ms Puddleglum/Eeyore/incarnation-of-Philippa-Somerville: this is Mrs Malaprop speaking to you. So just listen, right? First of all: by writing such an engaging blogpost, you’ve contradicted all the premises or assumptions about yourself expressed therein! Secondly, comparisons are odorous. Yup, they … stink! Thirdly, you have children? A job? A home? I’d kill for one of those let alone all three!
    Consider your posterior metaphorically booted, kidder – even if by someone who really is all those things you describe – and an awful, bullying old busybody to boot… ;-)! Bon courage.

    • Thanks for your engaging response, Minnie. I don’t have a job however and two of my boys have left home. No. 3 has returned to have another go at his A levels. I was teacher – but I don’t seem to have helped my own sons education much. Ho hum.
      I appreciate you taking the time to boot my behind.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.