My present occupation is darting in and out of the veg garden as this showery weather continues, trying to keep getting the plots ready for planting. It is good weather for digging, not so good for the spirit because it is a lot cooler, which means I am slowing up. The lower the temperatures and the higher temperatures have me lessening speed, somewhere in the central zone of temperatures I have speediness. That is when I zoom around.
I have 35 years in which to achieve as much as I can. The other day I had my birthday. 65. Now I could think 'Crikey, I'm getting old, I don't have much time left, I'll be 70 soon, etc', but this makes me feel old, that time is ticking on, that there is not much point in starting projects because I might not be around to finish them. This is defeatism. The less you do, the less you want to do. Ask a busy person to do something and they will find time to do it. Ask a person who has the time to do that particular something, and they will probably say that they are too busy.
I have a lot of things that I want to do, mostly to do with my work, most of which involves a million miles of writing. I also fancy having a birthday card from the Queen / King which you get when you are 100. I suppose that would still apply if one is not resident in the UK. If not, then the local mairie (mayor) will come and congratulate me. If not, then I shall be pleased that I have had my money's worth from living life as human being. I think that 100 is a good innings to have. I would have long history to reflect back on.
I am not fussed with doing activity things like climbing Everest, or going on treks down the Amazon, not because I think my body would not cope, but because I don't want to. I would like to ride a horse, but do not have the huge urge to do so. If I had that urge, then I would have a go. But on a very slow horse. I wouldn't want to fall off. Being sensible about what I allow myself to do needs to be thought about, if I am to have those 35 years.
So, this is my philosphy:
- that the winds of life can knock you about. This gives you life experience and makes you wise. If you let yourself live long enough you could become a wise guru. This I fancy being. But you must not get bitter, nor must you hold grudges or angers. Let these go. They only make your face, and you inside, miserable.
- that you must keep busy with projects, even if sometimes those projects make you frustrated and impatient. Keep your head engaged with learning new things. Don't say 'I can't do that. Say 'I'll have a go'. Better to have tried and failed rather than not having tried at all. Anyway, there is no such thing as 'failure' because you would have gained some modicum of experience.
- that you must live with your capacity of self, and be accepting of this, but not indulgent. It is easy to make excuses not to do something. Try not to do this. Have a go anyway.
- Keep the body on the move. Sitting for long periods of time in one position tends to make the body stiffen up like a plank. Learn to fidget. Keep stretching, moving, changing position. It might irritate others around you, but what the hell! At least you won't feel so planky.
- Enjoy the blessings of being an eccentric. You have earned the right to dress as you want to, and be who you want to. The years have given you this right. But to not be cranky. That is unpleasant for you and for others. Instead, adopt a charming dodderyness that is not elderly in nature, but eccentrically driven. What I mean is, be yourself, but in a calm, gentle way, but always be yourself no matter who others try to pursuade you to be.
- Keep your voice strong. Learn to sing, or do singing exercises, or hum, or chant. Anything to keep your vocal chords flexible. Singing is good for the soul. If you let your voice become crackly with misuse then that will rob you of energy.
100 minus my present age of 65 means that I have 35 years to go. Thinking like this has dropped away from me the feeling of getting old. I am on countdown now for that 100!
.....just a pile of feathers. Taken by a fox we think. Worse than that, she was sitting on a large clutch of eggs which were just about to hatch. The gates were all closed, so we don't know how the deed was done. Probably scrambled up the gate, the wood of the gate having become plumped up with rain so its claws could get a grip. The death filled us with much sadness. She was our best laying hen. It was a sad ending for her.
Not so sad was the old ewe we have put in to the freezer, which is the second sheep we have culled. We have also sold twelve of the lambs, so our flock numbers are reducing. We have to lessen the numbers otherwise we shall not have sufficient grazing to get the remainder of the flock through the summer. We didn't like selling the lambs. We got a good price for them, but we do not want to earn our money acting as a production line for the public, this we have learnt. Not that we were attached to the lambs. Just that we do not know what their futures will hold. Whether they will be treated right, whatever their destiny is to be. We had to harden our hearts to sell them. We don't want to let that hardening become a habit. It would spoil us, we think. There is a middle line of thinking when one is a smallholder who wants to stay reasonably soft of heart. Staying on that middle line is not easy. I can understand how people who handle the life and death of many animals could become hard an uncaring. I can understand people who become so attached to their animals that they treat them as if they were their children. As I say, treading that middle line takes emotional effort sometimes.
Five of our piglets have also been sold, with two more to go in a few days time. ....and Hubs has just told me that we have the late arrival of another black lamb. Am secretly happy about this new arrival. It is the life of a petite ferme.