know thyself


Between the ages of twenty and forty we are engaged in the process of discovering who we are, which involves learning the difference between accidental limitations which it is our duty to outgrow and the necessary limitations of our nature beyond which we cannot trespass with impunity.

I love the quote above  from W H Auden.

Maybe it is because Mr just turned 40, and maybe it is because I’m next? (Technically I say he is a year older than me, but in reality it’s 6 months!)

But I do feel like I have been going through a process of discovery and acceptance.

Discovering I am in fact creative, discovering that I am stronger than I think I am, discovering who I am as a mother.

And yet also accepting things that are just me, like my extreme sensitivity to imagery in film and television, my absolute aversion to ironing (who I am kidding, that was accepted long ago), the fact that when I need to go to bed, I just have to go to bed.

Recently Mr and I spent some time in the South West in our favourite part of the country, and that meant a lot of trips to the beach.

As we left one day I mentioned to him how energised I felt. And I realised the sea, the sand, the wind, they all give me energy.

I keep an internal list of  things that relax me, things that help me calm, like candles, flowers and music, but I don’t have a list of those that give me energy. I have come home with a determination to discover that about myself.

know thyself

There is a sign up at the Arts building at the University of Western Australia that reads “know thyself”.

And I walked past it every day in my Uni years (oh, yes Arts student through and through), and it was just a sign on the wall, one that was always present but barely noticed. And now many years later the wisdom is sinking in … “know thyself”.

I hope that inspires you on your own journey today,


PS – I also have a thing for bright and cheery shoes, they make me happy. Hmm “things that make me happy” … I can feel another list coming on!



One thought on “know thyself

  1. Great quote! I love Auden. I think you’re onto something here—things that energise, things that make me happy—listing that helps us know ourselves. Mmmm…. Lots to think about. xx

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