It’s another new year and the beginning of my 50th one on this planet. I don’t feel like 50. Some would say that i don’t look like 50 either, sometimes i think they are just being nice, other times i take their compliments, run with them like the wind and scream ‘Wahey!!’….Well, in my mind i do. I’m far too introverted to actually run and scream out loud…more’s the pity.
I’d be lying if i said that hitting this milestone is a breeze, but it’s certainly not as bad as i thought it would be 30 years ago when i hit my 20’s and just couldn’t imagine ever being as old as 50. But i do believe that i am so lucky to be able to stand up and say, ‘Hey, i’m 50. And i don’t actually care who knows it.’
So many of my old school comrades either haven’t made it this far or are in poor health and therefore struggling to make it through every day in this disablist world we now live in. I can call it that. Although i am fit and healthy, i work in the care sector and see every day how people with disabilities are discriminated against behind the guise of political correctness. Just don’t get me started on the idiots who think it is ok to park in front of a dropped kerb…i guess they have never tried getting a wheelchair onto a pavement without one, but ignorance is never a reason, it is just an excuse for bad behaviour.
But i digress. What have i achieved in the last 50 years?
- I have survived (yes, that is the correct word, it has been touch and go at times).
- I have brought up my three sons just about single handed and i am as proud of the men they have become as any Mother could be – let’s just gloss over the fact that my coping mechanism when they were all tired and teasy and bickering at each other was to just tune out and let them get on with it…
- I have educated myself through two undergraduate degrees whilst working and bringing up my boys on my own.
- I am currently half way through a Master of Arts degree in Creative Writing whilst working full time …can no longer lay claim to the bringing up the boys though, the little blighters are just about self sufficient now.
- I work in the care sector, and have done for 18 years. It’s a hard job at times, but, for me, the pros far outweigh the cons.
- I have been published as both a poet and a theatre reviewer. I’m still working on the fiction thing. See point number 4.
- In the last year i have finally been brave enough to go on holiday on my own. It was a frightening and enlightening experience for someone as initially timid as me.
- I have loved and lost. Far too many people.
- But ultimately, i have survived, for that i am grateful.
So what about the next 50 years? Would be handy if i could have a peek inside a crystal ball, but on the other hand, where would be the fun in that?
I have no idea what the future holds but i do know that i am not intending to let ‘old age’ and ‘diminishing years’ hold me back from my plans for the future. I intend to write more, make my voice heard. I may be quiet in person but my mind and my fingers are itching to tell you so many stories…once i get the words in the right order that is…
I intend to live more and not rely on just surviving as i have in the past. I am bored with letting the fact that i am single dictate my social life and stop me from doing the things i want to do.
Finally, i intend to be happy. For all those who haven’t made it this far. For all those who have and are struggling to get out of bed unassisted or just make it through until bedtime.
We all deserve to be happy.
Make today a happy day too!