In other words, I got my mojo working.
Now, this doesn’t mean that I wake up every morning like Mary Poppins, thrilled with the way my life has turned out in every tiny aspect, but neither am I so daft as to believe that:
(a) anyone really feels like that every day (with the exception perhaps of the Dalai Lama and I’m sure even he wakes up occasionally with neckache and wishes he could bunk off) or that,
(b) having had a family would have solved it.
But back to that mojo thing. It’s funny stuff, a bit like love. You can muddle along without it, but it’s not until it comes back into your life that you realise what you’ve been missing. It’s like someone just turned all the lights back on.
And what I realised was that what had missing from my life for a long time was joy. But, even more importantly, that the missing-in-action nature of my joy had had absolutely nothing to do with the usual suspects of divorce, money problems, career hiccups, illness, depression or infertility.
I lost my mojo because I lost my meaning. I forgot, and neglected, my why.
Viktor Frankl, the Viennese psychiatrist, wrote a deeply moving and important memoir about his internment in Auschwitz called Mans’ Search for Meaning in which he quotes Nietzsche: “He has a why to live can bear with almost any how.” Having a reason to survive internment proved to be a major factor in determining who was alive, and who wasn’t, when the Allies liberated the camp…
Our why connects us to the larger purpose of our life; it lifts us up from our mundane day-to-day reality and gives our souls and hearts space to sing again. It reminds us that we matter, to ourselves. And that we have a mission that we, and we alone, are uniquely equipped to fulfill.
This is a message our culture keeps pretty close to its chest as it’s actually pretty subversive. Because once you realise that what you’re really looking for is meaning, you stop buying stuff hoping it’s going to fix that hole. You stop numbing yourself with food, relationships, holidays, property, sex, drama, alcohol, work, TV, celebrity culture, whatever…
You wake up in your life and, like the brilliant Talking Heads’ song wonder how did I get here?!
I got my mojo back because I understood that it wasn’t motherhood I craved, it was meaning. Being a mother is deeply meaningful, but it’s not the only route.
I got my mojo back because whilst I understand that giving birth is the primordial creative act for a women, there are many ways to be creative, many ways to serve and many ways to be a mother. And that my mission is to share this message with other childless women so that they too can make the joyful transition from childless to childfree – to being a nomo and proud of it!
To help them remember what their mojo’s for. What their why is.
And then to proceed to rock out Ladies. Rock out!
Jody Day (48) is a London-based writer and the Founder at Gateway Women. She set up the Gateway Women network in 2011 to support, inspire and empower childless by circumstance women (like herself) as they develop meaningful and fulfilling lives without children. Jody runs groups, workshops and retreats for hopeful mothers-to-be who are ‘running out of time’, as well as for those women reluctantly coming to terms with the fact that motherhood didn’t happen for them. Jody also consults with individuals and organisations and she regularly speaks out in public, in the media and online about issues and prejudices facing childless women in our society today. Neither a bitter spinster nor a dried up old hag, Jody puts her heart, mind, and soul into lovingly and mischievously subverting the stereotype of the ‘childless woman’. She is living proof that your Plan B can rock too!