Age Needn’t Define You
This is a very personal post. I’m currently over in the UK, and my mother just turned 90. And I have to say, she is inspiring.
We often get ideas about what being in your 30’s, 40’s, 50’s … looks like. I had an idea of what being in my 80’s would look like, until it was totally redefined by watching my parents.
As my Dad relaxed into his 80’s enjoying the odd beer in the garden and reading the newspaper he was content to pause, observe his surroundings, and count his blessings. Every day he would say how grateful he was simply for being alive.
In contrast my mother seemed to get even more curious about the world around her. She got an iPad which quickly became her favourite thing. She learned about internet banking and soon took over running the finances as Dad enjoyed looking at the roses with a glass of rosé. Both happy. Both doing it their own way.
Meanwhile Mum de-cluttered the house, put it on the market and sold it so they could move closer to my brother and his family. And then she completely renovated the 17th Century house and re-designed the garden.
My father was so content and happy in this beautiful new home. And he continued to drink the odd beer, in the garden, read the newspaper and sip a glass of wine while looking at the roses. He had a wonderful life, and was very content as it gently wound down.
When my father passed away 5 years ago a friend commented that his life was ‘a triumph’. And it truly was.
My mother adjusted to her new life. She continues to be curious about the world. Determined to keep her mind active she does sudoko and a crossword puzzle every day. In fact SHE is the one I have to remind to get off her iPad when we are eating!
She does her own garden, with a little help (from a lovely man in his 70’s who my mother says doesn’t know a weed from a flower but is great at mowing the lawn and digging up unruly plants.)
She finally let go of her beloved 27 yr old Peugeot 205 and bought herself and little Audi A1 with sports suspension. (Well I say ‘let go’, but it’s still in the driveway used for the odd trip to the garden centre because she doesn’t want to dirty her new car.)
And in this, her 90th Birthday month, she has gone go-karting in a field twice, flown (and took controls) of a small aircraft, and cleaned out the gutters on the roof of her flat in London while leaning out of a window.
I feel enormously lucky having two inspiring parents. Each in their own way have relished life at all ages.
For 57 seconds of pure joy here is an edited down video of my Mum at her 90th Birthday celebration taking off in the go-kart before my brother has even finished giving her instruction.
How would you like the next chapter of your life to look?
Don’t let any preconceived ideas about what you should be doing define you. Be who you want to be, and enjoy life!