Milestones

Today I am seventy five. It’s raining outside, we are about our normal business, international news continues to spread gloom and despair at human fallibility, I have a dental appointment. The world goes on. Asked whether he felt different when he broke into the teenage years, my eldest grandson, I remember, said he felt just the same. Of course. But today I do feel different. It’s not that I feel older, though today’s weather hardly lightens one’s tread. It’s that I feel for the first time what has been true for a while. Not older, but old. That’s what happens to other people; being old. I’ve been their friend, have watched them and tried to understand them though sometimes been impatient over their problems. Now at 75 I am one of them too.

This reference we have been making in these articles to ageing – what it means and how to meet it – has not always lightened my days. ‘It’s not ‘them ’ that you are writing about’ I have often thought to myself.

’It’s all about you’. I hope there’s been lots of encouraging news and views in the blogs but there’s been no escaping from the thought that we have been facing the end-years of life. This morning I feel that more keenly than usual.

So, it’s count your blessings time. And I have a superabundance of them and have been totting them up as the morning has progressed. Much of my life has been my work and although like any job there have been difficult times, I have been fulfilled and totally engaged in it. I have a wonderful family. I live in an interesting city, surrounded by beautiful countryside. I have many precious continuing friendships, gathered through the years. I still have work to do. I can keep awake when I am watching TV for quite a long time( by about 9.30!), before I nod off. I keep walking, and am looking forward to sowing seeds on my allotment.

I am in reasonable health. My wife and eldest daughter are taking me out to lunch today…and when I got to the Dentist, he said ‘it’s not so bad, only come back if it starts hurting all the time.’

And the next milestone? Eighty, I think, and if I get there and in some sort of recognisable form, I think a major family party might be appropriate, and if no one comes up with the idea, I’ll suggest it myself!

Bryan