It’s not what you’ve done, but what you have become –

architectook You are …


These are not my words, but those of a women I had lunch with today.  Last seen about thirtymertygirtyabobbleuerty years ago. Catching up meant going way, way back to the leotards and pink ballet shoes days; she told me her story and I told her mine – we baby boomers are a tribe of note.

Got onto the CV thing, working and motherhood, and back to the CV.  Long gone are the days of noting the Brownie badges and prefectship. Even longer the part time student work, the charitable volunteering and anything, literally anything that could possibly convince a prospective client or boss of your stellar qualities. Today, one page – one frigging page to land the proverbial.  One, uno, single page.

‘How to prove one’s worth on one page?’ I lamented.

‘Don’t try to tell them what you have done.’ She said. ‘Tell them what you have become.’

Suddenly the CV lost prominence on the thought train. Life worth flipped over.  For too long we keep looking back at the goodie things done, the hard work, the perseverance or just trying to skip over the stepping stones in the middle of the pond of life.  We collect the achievements and feed off each one as ladybirds do on aphids – all of them, all the time, this is what I am worth, this is what I amount to?  Seldom do we simply rack up the vat of doings and turn it into a whole new philosophy. What all those little gold stars add up to is this – what we have become. Meaningful.

We can collect all the words of poetry and literature and weave them into ode for change.  Word threads have become wisdom of experience.  We can collect the tapestries of kindness and create a masterpiece of difference in business, in our social lives and towards those who yes, need us for we are brimming with optimism and the ability to take on any challenge without fear.

We can gather the sadness of loss and turn it into a positive channel for others who will resonate whilst swimming and not drowning from their own.  Letting go of futile ambitions born in the wrong place and say ‘we tried’ but not dwell in the house of snakes of disappointment.

Resilient in times of not winning the cup in the gala of being the favourite one.

Found beauty in body fading in youth.

Forgiving of those who do not understand us, tried to fit us with labels we did not like and built our own go-carts.  Crashed and burned and stood up, bruised and bloodied but full of the joys of ‘let’s go again.’

We have become, because of what we have done, and what we have done is the making of us today.

Ambassadors, teachers, debaters, nurturers, deal breakers, linguists and world explorers.

Pill poppers, wine drinkers, late night chefs.  Spouses, parents, orphans and queens – always with the buoyancy of amazons and saints.  We have become the best at what we are.

We are the diva with the bouquet when the curtains fall.

Thank you for teaching me something new.

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