I have one. So how does that work?
When I say I am not keen, I am not. I don’t like seeing heavily tattooed people, either men or women. But especially women. Arms heavily coloured, and increasingly legs. I often think “that is going to look bloody stupid when they are 70”.
Yet I have one. Is it a cute one? Nope. Is it hidden? Nope. It is black and on full view.
We lost two dear friends, Sam and Debbie, in the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004. Two amazing people who were the life and soul of every party, very much in love and enjoying the holiday of a lifetime in Thailand. We watched with horror as the story unfolded into New Year and Mr B by then had to drag me, literally, away from every 24 hour news channel. We were all beside ourselves as we began to realise they were not coming home.
A few months later I had an epiphany. My parents favourite expression was “life is not a dress rehearsal” and over the years I had tried to remember that. Then I heard the expression “one life. Live it” and decided to adopt it. It is now the mantra by which I try to live my life. Either by grabbing opportunities such as entering competitions I think I have no chance of winning / buying tickets to concerts / the way I try and treat other people and the way I parent my children.
Losing Sam and Debbie reinforced to me that you just don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow.
I recently read Jeanette Winterson’s book “Why be happy when you can be normal” and in it she says “Not just being alive but choosing life”. This quote struck me so much that I wrote it down and put it on a post it note above my PC.
How many people do we know that just coast through life? Living but not actually showing that they are alive?
I don’t want to be one of those people and to reinforce this and remind me everyday that life is for living I had this done right in the middle of my wrist, on the top where I can see it all the time:
Ask E what it says and she will tell you “chicken fried rice” (so all I have to do is show my arm in the Chinese) but it is the symbol for Chi. Chi being the Chinese for life but also tea. And with my nickname being T, it seemed appropriate.
I look at this several times a day and it reinforces to me that today is the only chance I will get to live today and that is shouldn’t be wasted.
So next time you see me you will know why a very straight laced seemingly normal mother of three has a tattoo right in the middle of her arm and know that it is not something I got at 18 and regret.
I got it at 35 and if I regret anything it is that it took losing two friends to make me wake up and start living.
This is my day 24 post for NaBloPoMo