This week I am going to do something completely different. I am going to share someone else’s story with you. My Mum quite often writes blogs for Turmeric Australia, and I recently asked her to write one about the decades of life. She wrote about her life, and I thought it was such an enjoyable read that many of you would relate to. It’s a little long, so grab a cup of coffee, take a break and enjoy a little read about a real life, that is my mother’s.
Hot at 30 – Damn Good at 40 – Flippin’ awesome at 50 – The Best I can Be at 60.
Advice from a grey-haired lady:
1. Don’t prioritise your looks because they don’t last the decades. What is inside is the real you. Your face carries your memories.
2. Don’t get to 80 and say, “I wish I had done that.”
3. Sprinkle kindness like confetti.
4. Be authentic and be generous.
5. Smile, agree and then do whatever you want anyway.
6. Don’t kneel on the floor without a plan to get back up.
7. Start each day with a grateful heart.
8. Laugh, smile and sing every day.
9. You will not be judged by the mansion you own when you pass away.
10. 1955 – 2042? It is the dash in the middle that means everything.
When I was 30, I thought I was the bee’s knees and thought I knew it all. I cared what everyone thought. My body was in supreme condition. Even though I had 3 kids, there was no stretch marks or cellulite. My skin was tanned and gorgeous. My thick hair was permed and curly. Remember the 70’s???? I could wear mini- skirts with free abandon.
Around the squash court, I was belting balls up and down the wall with the strength of a man. There was training for tournaments, kids to feed and a husband to mother. Coaching the girls’ netball team, sewing, knitting, cooking, keeping a pristine clean home governed by organisation. Systems and time management – those were the important issues for this housewife. And the downside? Always a bookworm, I couldn’t read as often as I might have wished.
Feet on the floor as soon as that alarm buzzed. Wonder Woman had nothing on me. I even did the admin for my husband’s business. Then I entered the work force full time and gained my financial independence. Best of all was my husband cookiI rolled over into my 40’s with a career change into the travel industry. Was I still hot? Debatable. Still damn good though. But I stopped caring what everyone thinks. With boundless energy, we socialised, travelled, and spent many weekends on the sea or lake, in the boat. We renovated the family home and sold it, many times over. It was a gypsy lifestyle in a small coastal city.
My reading ventured into subjects about aliens, conspiracies, politics, biographies, and history. Favourite TV shows were Dallas, Magnum, Mash and Star Trek. That decade sped by the fastest. Life was comfortable, but the marriage was in trouble. Relationships are minefields that can blow up at any time.
By the time I sprang into my 50th year, I was living in a new country and divorced. But I was flippin’ awesome with my mental attitude to life. You better believe that there was great trepidation and angst tackling a life alone on a single income. My security and comfort zone had demolished. Poof! Gone!
ng dinner. Oh lordy, thank you. I detest the kitchen.
Menopause meant my bum and boobs dropped, and the inevitable weight gain leaped aboard. Plucking whiskers from my chin became normal. Thoughts of embarking on another relationship drifted on the stratosphere in the never-never. Now I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. No more compromising. I was alone, but not lonely. Reading in bed every night was bliss.
I began devouring books by the hundreds, downloading them into my Kindle. With every book I read, the information gleaned was soaking into my consciousness. During my younger decades, no thought was ever given to bureaucrats governing my life. I did what I was told and believed what I saw on mainstream media. I was your typical compliant citizen. Now I was questioning and researching everything. A rebellious streak evolved.
Scotland beckoned me with its historical reverence. After a year of living in Edinburgh, I took a hit with the 2008 GFC and lost all my invested divorce settlement. What do you do? I cried for a day, jumped on a plane back to Australia, then lived by my motto – there is always a solution.
The universe really smiled upon me when I was offered a FIFO management job in a mining camp. Ten years working long hours and constantly saving saw me spin into my 60’s, buying a small unit and retirement. Asking myself “Where did all those years go?” And when you are 60 you realise that no-one was thinking about you anyway.
My body completely changed. Wrinkles, grey hair, belly fat, diminishing eyesight and a bit of arthritis. Oh, but on the plus side my brain had metamorphosised with knowledge. But do you know what?
I embraced all the wrinkles as badges of honour, the wonky knees as warrior scars and the grey hair as wisdom highlights. Mark Twain once said, and I quote “Wrinkles merely indicate where the smiles have been”.
Two turmeric capsules daily conquered arthritis and joint pain discomfort. I was finally the best I could be with my life’s eventful and normal encounters. Nevertheless, I wasn’t about to sit on the couch and let retirement take me into my 70s without expressing a voice. So, I thought maybe if I continued helping others not so fortunate as myself, there was more of me I could give.
• I became a member of Death with Dignity to assist in achieving extended euthanasia laws and educating the public. My childhood was growing up on a sheep farm which gave me a logical view of life and death. And a dignified death, free of suffering and pain, is the end goal.
• I attend protest rallies to fight for the freedoms that the current government seems intent on taking away from us. Digital intelligence has and will change our lives.
• I look after a dementia patient for a few hours each week. She is delightful.
• I knit baby cardigans and hats for the hospital maternity wards to give to new mums as gifts.
• I write letters to MP’s and the local Mayor with suggestions and complaints.
• I have challenged myself to finish a novel I started writing a decade ago.
As the winter years bring me closer to end of life, I will be going to rock concerts and dancing around the lounge to Keith Urban. Visiting my son who lives in Canada is earmarked for my 70th birthday. My second girl lives in NZ and there are 3 beautiful grandchildren to visit every year. My eldest daughter (a widow) is 50 next year. She and her son live close by, so that puts me into the blessed category. As I write this, I am so very fortunate to still have my mum alive and I hope she still has a few years left yet. Surrounded by love, I am content. I am happy.
It has been just normal life, but in my 60s I am the best I could be. And you can be too. Don’t feel daunted if you are in your menopause years. They might be regarded as the ‘change’ years but consider them your best growth years. Getting old is a privilege that is denied by so many good people.
Have you enjoyed the story? Do you have one of your own to share? Feel free to add a comment below.