Monday, 16 April 2012

100 minus 65 = 35

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!

Unfortunately, a long life was not do-able for one of our hens because this is all that is left of her:

.....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.


John Gray said...

you philosophy points are wonderfully observed...
well said that woman

Vera said...

John, thanks. Just trying to stop myself from thinking like an 'oldie'!

rosaria williams said...

You do know that I feel a kinship of sorts with you!
Now, you are most active and that's a wonderful attitude that will carry you forward to 100+ still busy, still most productive up until you decide you need to take a long holiday.

Keep it up, Vera. You are most inspiring.

Horst in Edmonton said...

Hi Vera, had no idea that you were 65 already, you are a real trooper to start a small holding with lots of animals. Good for you, this will keep you a young woman for quite a while. Sorry to here about your best hen, those darn Foxes. You may have to fence in the top of your chicken run, to make it impossible for the Foxes to get in. Have a great week.

Vera said...

Rosaria, I have thought the same after reading your blog, that we have a sort of kinship and that you are the sort of person 'to keep on going'!

Horst, yes indeed, I am of that grand age, and smallholding is keeping me busy! Hope you are keeping well....

Nezzy said...

Oh how I love your philosophy girl, it'll keep ya young far past 100!!!

Sooooo sorry 'bout your hen!

God bless and have a glorious week my sweet friend!!! :o)

DUTA said...

Why 35? It's 55 till 120, the age we all pray to reach.

I'm all for your philosophy. I especially like that part which recommends singing. You're right; "singing is good for the soul".
Happy belated Birthday!

Vera said...

Nezzy, God bless you too. I love the way in which you write your blog, so full of descriptive phrases. I find myself occasionally using one or two myself!

Duta, oh but 120? Now that's a thought! Thanks for the birthday wishes, and hope you keep on singing as well!

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Visiting your blog this morning was a "mini" falling in love. Hard to explain, but I was so taken with your post..(and I will catch up on the others!!) that I called my husband in and read the entire thing to him. For some reason, by the time I was finished I was near tears and couldn't speak. I only have 25 years left and no chance of a card from the Queen. Any Queen. :)
*I will try and remember to stretch and move around as I sit here.
*I am printing up this post and sending it to my grown children who are now in their 40's and 50's.

I am a new followers now and am more than delighted to have found, YOU found me and I am so happy you did! With so many almost goes crazy trying to visit them all and each day is a new adventure.
I keep thinking of things I want to ask and to tell you..
And also..Happy (belated) Birthday to you. My life changed completely at 61 and I am still many ways.
I, also, shall return.

Vera said...

Mona, my life changed completely at 60, and I am glad it did because it made me too busy to dwell on my advancing age! Thankyou so much for your kind words, ...I don't know what to say really, only that your comment arrived just at the right time as I was feeling a bit down about things. I, too, have met lovely people through blogging, and it has been lovely to share a bit of time with you. You are a special lady as well, so God bless you, and sending you many blessings.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Belated Happy Birthday, sorry somehow I missed this post. We do not get any younger, I will be 70 next year.
Sorry to hear about your best layer. Time to go fox hunting!
Thanks for visiting my second blog, it is mostly for me I am doing this, but if anyone else enjoys it so much the better :)
Keep well and take care. Diane

Vera said...

Hello Diane, thanks for the birthday wishes. Hope you are well and in good spirits.