Unsuitable Girl


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  1. As time goes by, in the still watches of the night at times, the notion of just what is happening crowds in, unbidden, to the mind.

    Largely it is a realisation of  and adjustment to loss.  Joie de vivre, which still resides in my head, is thwarted by the simple fact that one of the main springs of joy, our children, have grown and are in their own lives.  This is as it should be.  We raise them to be independent and able to find their own way, with a good person by their sides, and able to earn their way in a  fast changing world. That in itself is a a source of pride, to see their success in the widest sense not merely the narrow career oriented view. We did our utmost  to give them the best start, a loving family and freedom to choose what to do with their talents. But it is a painful thing not to see them.

    Other loss to be  accepted is the status of work, of having relevance, and with that comes the invisibilty cloak which arrives at our advanced age. It is a fact.  We disappear!

    Then comes inevitable loss of fitness, much fought against by me,  in the gym twice a week and in the garden.  The loss of the ability to just get out there and hack, prune and plant stuff is a bitter pill to swallow.  Even the act of asking someone to do it, for money, sticks in the gullet.   There's an inner rant going on ,'I can really do this myself you know.  Look at this garden.  We made it all by ourselves...a short time ago...'

    The other loss is time.  Suddenly it's looking back down the telescope of time and seeing that it's all gone, and we have but a short time left on the planet.

    So the lesson I've learned is that I need to become better at letting go.  Perhaps Buddhists are better at growing old. They do not attach, so to let go is not difficult. I am too attached to the vibrancy of the beauty around us, the huge joy at going to The Globe, going to the Festival Hall, the National Galleries and listening at home to all our music, doing Italian and  writing.  Oh yes writing...why didn't I start earlier? 

    The other lesson is to savour each moment, each day, now as a gift, not to be wasted in regrets, and to act on my impulses, as they are usually right.

    The much quoted line used in the film Quartet...'growing old is not for sissies' is absolutely true.  The process is a cruel one at times, but with luck and good genes, it can include good times with friends, matinees, coffee and cake and visits  gardens, galleries and perhaps visits to Turkey!


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