The one lesson I’ve learned from life: Singer Lesley GarrettApril 22, 2019
The one lesson I’ve learned from life: Singer Lesley Garrett reveals how she learned to ‘wait until it passes’
- Soprano Lesley Garrett, 64, has been on screen and radio for nearly 40 years
- The singer, who lives in North London, used to live by ‘when in doubt, run about’
- She now ‘waits until it passes’ and said never to ‘forget to mother yourself’
Soprano Lesley Garrett, 64, has been a star on stage, screen and radio for nearly 40 years. She lives in North London with her husband, Peter Christian, 66, and their two children, Jeremy, 26, and Chloe, 25.
DON’T FORGET TO MOTHER YOURSELF
About six years ago, I went through a bad patch with the deaths of a lot of people I loved desperately. Over 18 months, my uncle died, my dad and mum both died of cancer within nine months of one another, my oldest friend had a fatal heart problem and my sister’s husband died, too.
Death was all around and I found it very difficult to cope.
At first, I panicked. I’ve always been the kind of person who lives in the moment —spontaneous and proactive — but suddenly I found myself in a position where I couldn’t fix things.
Soprano Lesley Garrett, 64, pictured, said she has learned to ‘allow life to come to me instead of trying to drive through it’
One day I was out walking in the woods near our home and the idea came to me that I wouldn’t always feel so sad. It made my heart lift to see the buds coming out and to hear the birds singing.
What also helped my almost spiritual sense of renewal was all the youthful energy of the people living in our house — not only our son and daughter, but also some friends’ children who had come to stay. I love it — I get so much out of watching their development.
Now if I find myself in a difficult or frightening situation, I say quietly to myself: ‘Just wait until it passes.’
It was a big lesson for me, because, before this, ‘when in doubt, run about’ had always been my motto.
I’ve learned to value stillness and I mother myself more by being kinder to myself. I used to be more driven, but now I allow life to come to me instead of trying to drive through it.
Although I agree with Cher that ‘ageing sucks’, psychologically I’ve found that ageing is a wonderful comfort because it makes you understand that you are just part of that stream of life which goes on for ever.
A river is a wonderful metaphor for life — and when it finally goes out to sea, who knows what it will find.
Lesley Garrett is performing with Sir Cliff Richard at a London fundraiser for Lost Chord, which helps dementia patients through music. Tickets £200 from lost-chord.org.uk or ring 01709 811 160.
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