Monday, 5 January 2009

When I'm 64!

Anyone remember that song from The Yellow Submarine? Maybe you're too young!

Well, now I am 64! Hard to believe, but it’s true, good grief 64, that’s ancient! Well that’s what I thought when I heard The Beatles singing this song.

I remember thinking about the Millennium when I was about 20, heck I’d be 55 years old, that’s if I lived that long. I didn’t think I’d see the year 2000 never mind getting to 64.The odds weren’t that good really. For the females in our family longevity isn’t that good. My Mam an only child, died at 48 with leukaemia, her Mam, my Nanna died at 53 with heart failure. My Dad’s elder sister died in her forties with an untreated thyroid problem and his younger sister died before she was 60 with lung cancer. So the odds were that I wouldn’t live to a ripe old age. It just shows that the odds are often wrong. Here I am.

I remember this Beatles song and laughing at the lyrics, good grief, people who were 64 were ancient. Have to say I loved it, it was so quirky. You could always rely on them to come up with something different. You could identify who was singing the song, but the songs were never alike, they always surprised you. You never imagined that one day they would be 64. Well sadly 2 of them didn’t make it, my favourite, the lovely George Harrison and John Lennon. Luckily Paul and Ringo did.

Well when I look in the mirror, yes I do look ancient, nothing like that teenage Beatles fan. No long, thick fair hair and no slender figure. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of myself in a window or a mirror when we're out shopping and for a second I don't recognise me. Yet I don’t really feel any different, so apart from appearance, what’s changed about me?

  • I think I’m more tolerant of people than used to be. I’ve always disliked that expression people use “ I don’t suffer fools gladly”. It always seems to me to be an arrogant thing to say. So hopefully I’m more patient than I used to be.When I was younger things were right or they were wrong. Now I don’t see things in black and white, for me there’s often a big grey area. Things are not always clear cut and there’s two sides to every story.
  • I worry less than I used to. It wasn’t surprising that I was a terrible worrier in my twenties. My Mam had died and my son had a serious heart condition. I wasted so much time worrying about the future and what might happen that I couldn’t enjoy the present. I try to take each day as it comes and enjoy it. “May you live all the days of your life”. Jonathan Swift.
  • I get pleasure out of ordinary everyday things, blue skies, my cats, cups of cappuccino, nice glasses of wine, music, telly, listening to the birds etc.
  • I am much more conscious of what I eat now. When I was younger I just ate what I wanted, enormous amounts of everything and I stayed very slim. Now I don't eat meat, I eat very little fatty food other than cheese, my main downfall. I tend to follow what my Nanna used to say, "A little bit of what you fancy does you good".
  • I take more exercise than I used to but I'm not addicted to it. I tried the gym and it wasn't for me so I tend to stick to swimming now.
  • I procrastinate much more than I ever did. I think it's because I'm much more cautious than I used to be. It's also because as I've got older, I've got more critical of myself and what I do.

So what hasn’t changed?

  • I still love laughing and have a strange sense of humour. I don’t always find the popular comedies funny. I never got Friends, Cheers, Frasier or The Office. Like Peter Kaye and Billy Connolly, I think things and people in everyday life are really funny.
    Here’s an example, last Monday I saw a woman in Aldi doing the weekly shop with her husband. Bear in mind it was about 30 degrees Fahrenheit, no snow but there was a bitterly cold wind. The woman was dressed for winter apart from the fact she was wearing pink plastic flip flops. What was that about? What on this earth possessed her to wear them in this weather? She didn’t look or sound like she had any kind of learning difficulties, there weren’t any bandages or plasters on her feet, but she certainly looked daft and her feet must have been absolutely numb with the cold. I was shopping by myself and I really struggled to keep my laugh in.
  • I still love all the crafts I learned when I was younger like sewing, knitting, crochet, quilting etc. I keep on trying new hobbies though and over the years I've filled the house with "stuff" and books on new hobbies like stained glass making, cake decorating and petal paste flower making to name a few. I've promised myself I'll stop and go back to the earlier ones. The house just isn't big enough for any more equipment and books!
  • I'm still a perfectionist unfortunately and I know that if I'm not happy with anything I'm making, it prevents me from finishing it and I just leave it. A friend once told me that was arrogant, so I've tried to be a lot less critical of what I do. I know the perfectionist streak also lies behind the procrastination!
  • My tastes in music haven’t really changed. My first love is still love pop music and dancing to it, if I get the chance. My old favourites come out regularly, Neil Sedaka, Gene Pitney, The Shadows, The Beatles and later ones like ABBA, Elton John, Take That and Back Street Boys. Also still love lots of classical music and especially classical guitar. I can listen to a wider range of music now but I still can’t hack jazz.
  • I still love swimming although I haven’t improved. Still can’t do the crawl. That’s my ambition for this year.
  • I’m still struggling to learn Spanish. I improve but very slowly. I need to live in Spain for a few weeks or months even. Now that’s unrealistic at the moment, maybe one day. Oh yes, that's something else that hasn't changed, always the dreamer!

Well enough about me and my aged witterings, what do you think has changed about you? Maybe you'd like to tell us!