I am sixty-three, and it's getting to me. I noted, and decided to remember, the first time I groaned when attempting to get up from the floor. I was forty-two years old. I recall this as it occured to me mid-groan the other day, that I now ooh or aah (and sometimes both) going down too. So I have decided to go to the doctor and get it made official. Middle-age has sailed off into the sunset and old age has grabbed the tiller.
I don't care. I'll go on Tuesday and sign up for a hip replacement and a test for gluten intolerance, and I'll carry on doing what I do as cheerfully as I can until the Guy With A Sythe calls a halt.
You may wonder what has brought about this broadcast of sailing and harvesting metaphors that skirt so amiably around the topics of decrepitude and death.
I went on another Retreat.
Last year's Retreat was a Death Party when I decided to write my Demise Agenda and Fumeral Plan. Well, I kind of got round to the first with a 'switch me off after 12 weeks no matter what' doc., but the funeral is yet to be completed: partly because only six of the obligatory attendees will know the hymns, so it needs more work. Ha! If it gets no further, I shall file it away as my 'Unfinished Sympathy'. (Hohoho -I bet someone got there before me with THAT one.)
This weekend's retreat was entitled, 'The Vulnerable Heart' and was an introduction to a series of meetings for women. Well, some women were a bit put out - why should women need their very own agenda? I say, Humph, don't worry, you put vulnerability out as a topic, and I bet no men will come anyway, but I was told, ascerbically, that wasn't the point. Besides it was unfair. Sorry, men.
I love everything about my life. I embrace it's joys and sorrows with equal energy, making them do what they are intended to do, to let me know that I'm alive, to help me to understand that nothing is permanent, and to prepare me for the last stage of my earthly journey before I die.
But that's some way off yet. The twinges, the gripes, and the growing pile of pills to lower this, and ginger up that, are not so big a deal.
Today I walked in bluebell carpeted woods, ploughed through mud, followed the twists of a fast-flowing river, and stopped to listen to birds. On the way home, I called in to take tea with one of my daughters, and I played with my grandchildren. I came home thinking:
However it ends- it was worth it.