COLUMN: The most important person is the one in the mirror...
We love plane journeys, and one thing that always makes us smile is the reaction of people - mostly mums - when the aircrew get to the bit about the oxygen masks in their '˜what to do in case of an emergency speech.'
‘In the event of cabin decompression, a mask will fall down in front of your face, place it on like so...those that are responsible for children please ensure you put your own mask on before helping others...’ GASP!
We hear - ‘what sort of mother would I be if I did that?!’
So why do they say it? If you think about it for a second, it becomes clear - an initial reaction is to put your kids or loved ones first. We think that putting ourselves first would mean we don’t care about them, but the truth is it shows that we have the wisdom to know that, in order to do our best by others, we must first help ourselves.
In a plane - as is in life – what good are we to anyone if we are gasping for breath, turning blue and near to passing out, when the people we care about most need us to be strong and calm? If you ask either one of us who the most important person in our lives is, we would both reply: ‘I am, because how can I be the best mum, partner, friend or colleague I can be if I don’t take care of myself?’
Of course it does depend on what we are actually talking about. For instance if we are talking about saving a life, then of course we’d look out for our loved ones, but if the issue at hand is who’s going to have the last chocolate biscuit, then we’re sorry, but in order to function as a good mum, friend, etc, I’m fairly certain we need it...
It’s like when a friend comes round seeking advice - what’s the first thing most of us do? Open a bottle of wine. It’s amazing how after a few glasses we give the most wonderful, if not sensible, advice. Although it probably seemed sensible at the time.
And when it comes down to the pecking order, after our children, who really comes first? Is it our partners, or is it our friends? It all depends on how close a friend, because we ladies do tend to have a closer relationship with our friends than we do our partners.
So here’s something to chew on: if your partner and your best friend both fell over board, and there’s only one life belt, who would you save?
In our opinion, it probably depends on which one of them annoyed you most recently, which is most likely to be your partner.
So there you have it - friends forever!