I was happy to retire at sixty because I had lots to do with the energy to do it. I am now sixty seven, satisfied with my achievements and who I have become. However I do fear being dependent upon a health service which may not want to look after me. I am also afraid that the home I have worked for will be lost to pay for any care I may need. My generation were the first working class encouraged to buy our own homes and these homes are a form of legacy to give to our children and grandchildren and yet we will, more than likely, have nothing left because of low interest rates on our meagre savings. I am of the post war generation where we were lucky enough to be able to swop and change jobs, we had long apprenticeships and saved for what we needed as our parents had taught us from their experiences during the war. I am of the generation who looks after our own, yet we are left dangling as to what will become of us the generation who will outlive all generations before us. We are part of the statistic ‘heavy burden of the elderly’ which politicians describe.
How can I argue that I am not feeling my age when after lunch the pull to fall asleep in the chair is irresistible, accompanied by husband, dog and cat we all zed for an hour before dinner, mind we are all of a similar age in terms of doggy and cat years. Nowadays comfort seems essential, removing certain items of female attire to let everything hang free, husband moving his belt down a notch with a sigh of relief.
As a young woman I never considered how it felt to be getting old and indeed why should I? Although I watched my mother age, she was ninety-four when she died as was her mother. I was blinkered with the unconscious philosophy ‘It won’t happen to me’. Aging starts when the doctor starts to put every thing down to it, and the dentist tells you about your gum recession.
Next news I’ll be reading the obituaries to see how many people I know have died.
I think the best bit about getting older, is the freedom to rant at the telly, to become an arm chair critic. I can see myself as the old lady who shouts at passing cars and having the pleasure of criticising the young. Being foolishly fearless, perhaps facing down a gang of yobs or shouting at an injustice in the supermarket. I think I have learned a confidence that has made me both bold and ignorant of the consequences.
Maybe with this rant I have stirred you enough to want to jump up and prove me wrong.