Saturday, 8 May 2010

Every woman needs a place to think

So I was walking down the South Bank on a rare trip to London, and I came across this bench. It reminded me of Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own which had such an impact on me when I was 18 and at Uni the first time round (can't believe that's 16 years ago now - wow!). It's funny that now, as a 34 year old woman, I still feel the need for a space of my own and somewhere to think. It seems that as women we don't always get space, and perhaps even more importantly time. With the expectation on us that we will look beautiful, we spend - to differing degrees - time on our clothes, our hair, our appearance. We are told our houses should be beautiful too, and in our domestic arrangements women often shoulder the greater cleaning/tidying duties, in unbalanced relationships. We are told that in this allegedly post-feminist day (don't get me started on postfeminism, dear reader!) that we have have our cake and eat it, but in amongst doing the childcare, cleaning the house, going out and having our careers and looking as fierce as we possibly can, we lose our most precious asset - time.

Since E was born, nearly 17 months ago, I've been struggling for balance in my life. I'm trying really hard to find something that works for us as a family, but that allows me to retain some sense of who I am. This blog is one part of this search. I feel that I need to cultivate space and time in my life. And in that space, I need to find the creative part of me again. Music, design, art, culture. In short, a life that cultivates beauty. Writers like Virginia Woolf and Helene Cixous talk about women finding their creative selves; actively seeking time and space to do so. And this might all start from finding yourself a place to sit, a place to think.

Photo via ruburton on Flickr


  1. Well put, couldn't agree more! Hope doing the blog helps...although it is one more thing to put on the list of 'things to do'...but reflection, and time for reflection are vital.

  2. Yes, hope the blog helps. I find I have far too much time to think and it's often counterproductive. Will be glad when I can get back to work and not contemplate my navel from the comfort of my sofa. Must organise a trip to London. I miss Borough Market.

  3. Excellent Sarah. I miss my time on the beach, walking the dog, or sitting on top of a hill. My bedroom is my space now but only to grab 5 mins here or there. Long gone is the time when there was no time. Always things to do, places to go, things to sort/organise.