I was inspired by my friend Jean, taking the plunge to marry at 82 and I’m immensely glad I flew over to London for her wedding in December 2016 (see my earlier blog). I hesitated due to the expense (well, just a little) but what a precious time I had, and it seems even more precious now that she has died. I watched her memorial service online and I was inspired all over again.
You see, Jean’s legacy was love. This was made abundantly clear at her memorial service. Jean had enriched the lives of her children, grandchildren, and friends She made you feel valued and cared for, she listened, she was discerning about what you needed (a glass of sherry or an expenses-paid holiday), her ‘darling, how good to see you’ was magic.
I am so fortunate to have had her in my life. And I want to be more like her.
However, it’s not always easy, juggling all the ‘wants’ and ‘shoulds’. It’s a fulltime job as any retiree will tell you! The art of adjusting to age-related limitations (wonky joints, lapsed IT knowledge, need for afternoon power naps, sagging, etc.) is something I’m working on. There is the sorting, the rearranging of priorities, the culling—not only of stuff but also of expectations.
I don’t want to slip into some doddery caricature of myself. I want that sweet spot—caring for me and caring for others—while having fun, interesting, and fulfilling experiences!
Given that life is messy, it’s not all sunshine but so far I’m doing ok at being older. Of course, I’d do even better if clothes shops installed rose-tinted mirrors.
Got any tips for the good old life?