Let’s face it. This writer has every reason, at times, to feel like Methuselah. I sort of deserve it. He lived to 969 and I sometimes feel I have done the same. Packed a hundred lifetimes into one and yes, the body has been felt to be broken, the heart stopped a few times, but have I ever said: ‘ I feel old’ or ‘I am old’, never escaped these lips. Because I do not.
The little wisps of wisdom count I suppose. Experience done, but feel old, not a chance. And it saddens me when I meet other exciting people in their Silver Street who sort of, capitulate and blame life on the fact that they are old. I am old now, they say, I cannot do this, or this, and I am settling for … what I wonder? All the time, wonderful individuals who are interesting, experienced and just bloody beautiful going … oh, I am old now. Seriously, may I say, you piss me off.
I am for the never settling. Not going to ride a pony in the jamboree or begin a career as a dancer in the company, but neither am I going … ‘oh I have a bucket list and maybe when I am eighty going to don the purple wig and jump out of a plane’. Why do we do this to ourselves? My legs may be showing signs of those little bits of crumpling, actually google why my stomach looks like a roof after a storm. The belly wobbles on its own, without any invitation and well, the boobs, the boobs are no longer pert and ready for attention, but still, I am not for the ‘oh, I am over the action station, sort of gone to seed, it’s the way it is and I am going to spend my life getting all agog about knitting a square or waiting for the children to visit’
Talking of the bucket list, I loathe the very idea. Buckets are for water for mopping floors, and the defeatist attitude of the ‘bucket list’ rather than the future itinerary of things to do is just, plain, stupid. You are greater than the bucket. Call it a wish list or a to do list, but a bucket, dear Lord save me from the bucket listers who think that time is running out and we are going to the Andes and being a mascot at the football game before it’s all over. And why do I rant so?
Because we are not old, we are present and alive.
Age is not about giving up, but about wanting different things.
And I choose the company of Karen, another Karen. Whilst others are complaining of life and succumbing to age, Karen is writing a musical, creating a Persian garden in Spain, writing a novel and travelling the world. Our regular meet ups in London are short of ‘wow’! A chartered psychologist, specialising in the future in business, I often just have to sit and listen and think, get off your sorry horse and go forth! So I turn instead to people, women in particular who embrace life despite the years for they keep me moving forward.
My friend Sylvia, deep in her sixties is still working and productive, owning properties, wheeling and dealing on a daily basis and never falling short of ‘I am old and this is hard.’
I follow bloggers who do the same. Find them, like ‘We are ageist‘ and ‘Parisbreakfasts‘ and ‘Chic at any age‘ and ‘That’s not my age‘ and so many more if you are looking for a different, more fulfilling life than going ‘I am old.’
There are so many prolific bloggers out there, full of life and taking on the challenge in our Silver Street and I learn from them. Every day. They continue to inspire and challenge me to a different level. And on that note, I have been a waitress in a coffee shop for the last two years, doing tours of London, running a travel company and a Wedding and Events specialist and stopping, no way?
Why am I writing this tonight?
Today someone I love dearly kept talking about feeling old. Not being able to do what they used to. Feeling as if the children were taking over, as is good, but a little redundant. Just feeling, well, a little out of place in their lives. As I listened to the conversation, the word, old, kept creeping into it. Wanted to shake them and go, No!, don’t do that, don’t succumb because others are telling you this.
Perhaps the fault lies with me. Should I blame or laud my mother who would have not one grey hair showing, ever? Or blame the gods perhaps because, really, I do not feel old. I feel heartbroken at times, redundant in the fast moving world, a little out of place with the new technology and trying hard to keep up. I do feel some things have passed me by and I struggle at times to keep up, but I do not feel old, I feel incredibly blessed.
I have survived. And lived. Born children, worked hard, had relationships, some good and some not so good and learnt from them. Still love travelling, my workouts, a little botox and colouring my hair. Love being there for friends and family and making new plans, all the time. Love good food, a full diary and sex. Love waking every morning with so much enthusiasm and ending the day with a glass of good wine, wonderful memories and sleeping, not to sleep but to energise myself for tomorrow. Love thinking, I will do this and try that and maybe, if I wanted to go skydiving, it’s not for some bucket list rubbish but because I have not done it before.
Love this watercolour from Carol Gillot at Le Grand Colbert. My 60th birthday perhaps?
Rant over. We are amazing, at any age, even better at this age. Paid the dues and open to so many possibilities. My year is full of them. A business that allows for growth, a trip to Paris and Lake Como, a sixtieth birthday to plan, and London.
If you want to spend most of your day talking about getting old, feeling old, I will listen. Only for as long as I am here, and then I am gone. The bikini awaits, the cocktails on ice, the maybe who knows … but say I am old, not for me.
You are never too old for anything.
You must never compromise.
You must be the best you are now.
Image: The daily mail. The Independent.