During my early twenties, I picked up the bad habit of smoking. By the time I moved an hour away from home, I have six years’ work experience under my belt. I struggled to find a new job in unfamiliar territory and to settle in in a strange city. It was a difficult time sorting good influences from bad and keeping on the straight and narrow.
I met the man I would later marry and went down to 104 pounds. I bought a house. He moved in with me and I thought I knew what I was doing. I had always fallen for the party boy.
In my thirties life was more eventful. I got married, had a baby, had a hysterectomy and got divorced. Not a great decade but I survived. Did it make me wiser? Probably more careful and more selective. But that’s no guarantee, is it? Time would tell.
Once the forties arrived, I was OK. I worked, slept and looked after my daughter. I met an older man (by 19 years) who was totally taken by little ole me. I made it clear I would never marry again before there was a chance for the subject to come up. I bought another house. I even quit smoking. My boyfriend moved in and my daughter made three. Everything was hunky dory for several years.
By my fifties, I decided life was slipping away far too quickly. The face in the mirror wasn’t quite the same. How many good years did I have left, I wondered? My live-in and I finally split up after almost ten years together. Guess I’m not great couple material or once burned…twice shy.
Then, my daughter wanted her boyfriend to move in with us. I was against it so she moved out and had all the hanky panky I never wanted her to have yet. Had I made a terrible mistake? Life could have been sweeter between us but they did get married a few years later.
All alone in a big house again, but still in the workforce, I became a homestay host for international students, which kept life very lively and interesting. I also became a grandmother and fell helplessly in love with my new granddaughter.
Hitting the sixties brought the relief of retirement and another gorgeous granddaughter. The homestay hosting was becoming unpredictable and the students less respectful. I decided to throw in the towel after nearly ten years of service. I’m glad of the experience as I travelled the world from my armchair and got to know a lot of really nice and interesting people.
Alone in the big house yet again, carrying high maintenance costs and taxes, I came up with the perfect plan—IF it got accepted. I decided by the time I reached sixty-five, it might be a good idea to sell my house but I couldn’t imagine living in an apartment. I asked my daughter if she and her husband would be interested in buying a house together. I only had the one daughter so nobody’s nose could get out of joint. Her husband was harder to convince but he was soon on board. The perks were too hard to resist, I guess. Instead of waiting, once we ‘girls’ started looking at houses, well, you can imagine. We found a great house within seven months instead of three years down the road and it was time to move.
What would I change in my life if I could? Would I want to go back in time to relive a particular time? To be younger again? No and NO!
I couldn’t face being young again especially in this new age. Once is more than enough for me. I’m not greedy. I’m comfortable with myself and am finally doing the things I’ve been waiting so long to do. Without a doubt, there are things I wish I could have done differently or better, but I’m more than grateful for what I have been able to accomplish. I laugh more and occasionally cry more. Age has made me softer.
It was a blast in the past, but I tend to look forward with anticipation. New adventures and discoveries await—I hope. On second thought, I wouldn’t mind not having to age anymore and just staying the same for say another forty years or so? Now THAT would be SOMEthing to look forward to? Wouldn’t it?