Here I am picking up my blog after three years, with a new title and a new perspective. The posts below this one are from Beside Ourselves from 2015 to 16. Coming back to it is scary but exciting. I believe there are lots of women who, like me, can’t believe they’ve somehow reached old age, still feeling 11 or 25 or 40 or even 55 inside, while another birthday looms.
I take quite a lot of meds, I struggle with stairs and I’ve given up having my hair dyed…but….and this is the thing, I’m still the child who sang for a sweetie, the young mum who was always ready to play.rather than clean, the fiftyish divorcee drinking too much and having dodgy liaisons. What I’ve always done is draw and paint and now I have the time to do more.
I just spent a weekend at the Royal Academy in London trying to move on from the didactic life drawing experience of my teens and later to something freer and more abstract. I’ve joined a local art group and have just made a collage about my mother, finding the process of selecting and assembling pieces of songs, photos, fabric and drawings satifying and therapeutic after putting my grief aside for a number of years.
I used to sing along to The Who ‘I hope I die before I get old ‘. Changed my mind about that. My mother predicted I would change my mind about lots of things, but I’m still a member of CND, still an atheist, still an idealistic socialist with SNP leanings. I still wear too much make-up. I have tattooed eyeliner and plan to have lace tattoos on my arms in addition to the tiny Chinese symbol on my back. My sister says old age frees you from having to behave ‘properly’. You can do what you want – drink in the afternoon, swear in front of your children (not grandchildren), watch Netflix all day and say no to stuff you don’t want to do.
Let me know if any of this strikes a chord. There is a comment box below or you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
I recently sat with my two boys in a café. The 15 year old moaned about something. The 19 year old commented precociously that ‘this must be hormonal’. I squinted and said to the older one: because you think YOU’ve grown out of puberty? To which he responded: wait, because you think YOU’ve grown out of puberty, mum? I guess he has a point. I act imprudently, sometimes, can be a drama queen. And other times I feel like I’m 85. Mostly as a result of one of my pubescent actions. However, I have the certainty of living my life to the fullest. And THAT just makes me smile before I fall asleep at night.
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