Saturday, April 02, 2016

Facts of life

Lux (5) was explaining to Cecilia (3) how everything moves on and everything dies:  "Even I will be dead and gone one day, Cecilia. And all the things that are past are in the memory box. Like my memories of when I was four. That was a happy time. And now I'm five, I have to understand more things and it's harder."

I'm 66 and I feel just the same. But I would like to be five again and get out of bed in the morning and walk downstairs for breakfast without being aware of my body in any way. 

It needs focused, concentrated effort to ignore all the twinges that signal its deterioration, as well as cultivating positivity and hope in the face of the current state of the world. That's why having something that absorbs me completely - playing with the children, writing a sitcom, or trying to cycle to the top of Longstone Edge without getting off my bike - is such a blessing.

This isn't meant to be another whinging post, more a recognition of what's involved in being a cheerful older person. I told a friend recently that I was looking forward to being 70 because I'd feel able to sit by the fire and knit or read on a biting afternoon and not feel compelled to do anything more creative or energetic. But actually, I don't think that will be possible because of my mother's genes. I remember ringing her up one teatime when she was ninety and she said she felt awfully guilty because all she had done that afternoon was light the fire, read the paper, and do the codewords.

And now, for no reason at all, except that I adore it:


Anonymous said...

The 'I feel guilty' phrase makes my heart sink like a lead weight whenever I hear it. I want to reassure people it's fine to stand and stare for a while, to take pleasure rather than do the chores etc. But then I catch myself thinking those same blasted words! 5 and 3 year olds aren't bothered by that awful thought so where does it come from? I want to be 5 again too...


Sue Hepworth said...

It's nice to hear from you, Chris. I haven't responded up to now because I have been unwell.

Anonymous said...

Erroneous nowadays to associate knitting with old age and decline. It's been taken over and utterly transformed by the young. Check out the site for an update.

Sue Hepworth said...

I don't think I do associate knitting only with old age. I have been knitting since I was seven - all my life. But it is a gentle activity to do by the fire. And I know about Ravelry.