So, I’m supposed to write. Having acquired a laptop, finally, I am sitting in a trendy café that is bustling with life. Easy chatter permeates the atmosphere with infectious good humour and limitless optimism. My attempts at invisibility are thwarted by the incessant yapping of my dog, who’s agenda is somewhat in conflict with my own. Why a small Maltese shitzu believes it can take on a huge black Labrador is a question only it can answer … or not. Nevertheless, on my part, I am attracting more attention to my quiet corner than I had bargained for and here is where my story begins…..
I believe that life, or essentially my life, begins now … at fifty! That is not to render insignificant any of the major and minor happy events of my life so far, or indeed any achievements to date. I have a wonderful family, a first-class degree, a driving licence, ace friends, decent figure, a stunning town to live in and POTENTIAL. These things I cherish as gifts, gifts to be enjoyed, reflected upon in challenging times and the elixir to nourish my future ventures. Being a reflective person, however, I am painfully aware of what I have missed along my journey to fifty; painfully irritated by the missed opportunities, absence of confidence in myself and procrastination. This latter probably emerging as a result of the former, but that is another tale…..
Realisation, not Reinvention at Fifty
Why then, is this a beginning? I have a theory which is underpinned by optimism. This optimism is a newly acquired garment which I am wearing as one would wear a brand new coat from Reiss, or whatever your version of Reiss is. I wear this for the feel-good factor and in the knowledge that when I wear it, I can change the world …. Or at least my world. Many people have achieved a great deal by the age of fifty. Some have not. If the best case scenario is that I will live to one hundred, then I have another fifty years to start again and fill in the gaps, to achieve as much as, or more, than I did in the first fifty years, minus the learning to walk, talk and potty etiquette stuff. Remember this is against the backdrop of optimism, so no talk of age related immobility, incontinence or brain fog.
Positivity is Anti-Aging
My greatest achievement, having my children, I will never be able to match but that's as it should be, for me. I am in the position of having many responsibilities yet being master of my time … to a certain degree. If anyone notices and complains that there are crumbs on the floor, well, I’ve had something better or more important to attend to and what’s done (or not done) is done (or not done).
''You live but once; you might as well be amusing''
Procrastination has been the thorn in my side of my personal growth. In phase one of my life, I have been blighted by a lack of confidence – I can’t do that; others will do it better; too much effort or money required for something that could fail and blah blah blah. Boring with a capital ‘B’. Consequently, I have this laptop and the promise of a fresh start.
Knowing what you want at fifty
Many motivational speakers discuss finding your passion, your spark, the thing you would engage in even if you were never paid to do it. Interestingly enough, I already do that. I eat, and no one pays me to do it ha ha. I am interested in veganism and healthy but yummy food. This includes plenty of devilish chocolate cakes, in fact, anything related to chocolate is bordering on acceptable…. Ok, is absolutely so much more than acceptable. However, I do not wish to cook for a living, having to weigh out ingredients, assess in minute detail the nutritious value and mineral content of a recipe and achieve the precision of consistency in a final dish? Not for me. So what else am I interested in? There are many areas that grab my attention, but will I be taken seriously? Whilst I prefer to be aware of, what is happening in the world around me and am happy to venture an opinion on Brexit in a bar with friends, I do not find the exploration of a world of economics, number crunching and trade laws in any way appealing beyond that. These things are important and significant and I would not advocate an existence in an oblivion of vacuous inconsequential indulgences of reality TV or false eyelashes. When the question of how I wish to spend my time arises, it has to be related to … language; language and the power it has to reach beyond the facts and figures. Language has the potential to shape thoughts, change habits and develop understanding of the world around us, as much through lies and deceit as through truth and integrity. It is a creative medium afforded to human beings alone, that allows enables accountability. How else could we explain ourselves? Defend ourselves? Attack? Express ourselves?