Let your life be a tall but truthful tale
Over the weekend, I caught up with a friend’s mom – a musical, wise and personable dame with whom I love being connected – and was enthralled by her reminiscences about longevity in the family.
It had never struck me that one might have not one, but three relatives who’ve closed in on a century. Mostly, we read about the odd veteran in the news, and they receive letters and cake and fanfare, since their seniority is unique.
But no, in my dame’s circle, it wasn’t uncommon for a granny, or aunt, to continue laundering her clothes with thick, homemade soap bars well beyond 80, and to keep sharing both tall and truthful stories about the past, holding the attention of a dozen or more grandchildren, well past 92.
My own aunt, May, is nearing her mid-stop between 90 and a century, and her father, Tommy, did the same.
The older I become, the more I realise how incredibly lucky I am to be getting older at all. While Marilyn Monroe may have left us at the height of her beauty and fame, I’d guess she’d have leapt at the chance to swap her celebrity funeral for a few more decades of life – even with the inevitable, mandatory slide into wrinkles and stiff bones.
I am still in the thick of growing children and my career. There are a dozen bucket-list wishes to tick and I make fevered plans at night, mapping out what I’ll do after 45 and 50 and then some.
Trouble is, I may not get there at all. I’ve never, during the course of journalistic research, found a definitive theory on immortality.
The hub assures me that within a few years, we could not only be living forever – but turning the clock back with sophisticated cellular regeneration technology.
There’s talk of this within the bowels of the Fourth Industrial Revolution theory, and perhaps it’s true.
Getting older and not dying might be nice. But that’s another topic. Getting older and realising how awesome it is – now that’s something tangible which anyone under the age of 30 won’t get until they’re old enough to get it. As I am now.
The longer you know someone and the less you see them, the more you realise how phenomenal true friendship is when you finally reunite.
I’m beginning to feel that with my friends from yesteryear – it’s no mean feat to still be best friends with your university pal, several decades later.
Trust me, young guns – you’ll get this one day, and soon. The worst way to waste youth is to spend it wishing you were better, younger, richer or more; because when you’re older, looking back, it’ll all be good anyway; as long as you had fun.
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