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Jane Hutcheon

broadcaster/journalist/author

18 Dec
2019

My Answer - What Do You Want to Achieve in 2020? Personal Life One Plus One deliberate life

Jane Hutcheon

Dear MaryAnne,

Thank-you and many others for your responses to my question: what do you want to achieve in 2020? 

I have to say I’ve enjoyed our interactions since I started this series and once again, I love your spirited response.

I don't think I want to achieve anything. Does that sound hopeless or without motivation? What I am trying to say is that achieving is like having a vision of what you want to happen...for me achieving something is pressure to perform, or accomplish.

I admire your resolution and your grounded character.  I admire how comfortable you are with yourself.

How I wish I had more of that!

After reading your response I decided to probe my discomfort.

In the last few years, something has happened to make me realise that I have a use-by date.  Some might say it has already passed!  It’s that small voice in my head that drives me to question (and it is always about the questions)

What do I want to do with the rest of my life?

Some years ago I interviewed a British peer.

Jean Corston was raised on a council estate and left school at sixteen because her family needed the money.  Her first daughter died at birth.  Jean went back to her studies and became a barrister in her forties.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair made her a peer in 2005 and she became the Right Honourable The Baroness Corston.  After a commission to study and report on vulnerable women in the criminal justice system, she became a campaigner for women in prisons.

MaryAnne, the thing that stuck with me most about Jean Corston was something she said about the House of Lords on One Plus OneAt first it seemed to her a stuffy organisation which frustrated legislation.  But once she got among her new tribe she had a revelation.

I went down and found that it (the House of Lords) was for the people. They were remarkable.  I began to realise that these were people who would not have stood for election but who had nothing to prove.  They didn’t want anything from anybody.  They were beyond ambition.

Beyond ambition. 

Well, I cannot say I have reached that stage yet, but I fully intend to.  I intend to extend myself by creating work that’s important to me. I hope it's important for other people too.  I intend to make the most of my available time to create and experience pleasure and to have purpose.

I love that you are not a people-pleaser MaryAnne:

I don't believe I have to achieve anything, prove anything, or create anything....I think I just have to show up, be willing to do whatever comes, walk through whatever door that opens, be kind and present to whoever is before me... Isn't that achieving something?

I chose an image to go with this post entitled Woman on a Tangerine Ribbon by the Chinese artist Su Xinping.  I bought it nearly twenty years ago and I love it. Watching acrobats flinging ribbons across a stage, I visualise a ribbon as having two sides: shiny and matte. The slinky material throws up unexpected bumps, softens and stiffens at inconceivable moments.  And yet it doesn't rest.  

What I'm saying is that I don't think there is a wrong path.

MaryAnne, thank-you for your provocative and inspiring response.

I will try to post more thoughts before I go on tour with David Suchet in January.  Then this series will take a break for a few months.

I want to wish you all a joyous Christmas and a healthy, vibrant 2020.  Thank-you for answering my questions.  You have helped me so much.

Love,

Jane x 

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