It’s 2 am and sleep remains elusive, in spite of having taken two sleeping pills. It’s almost like I don’t want to go to sleep, there are too many thoughts chasing each other in my head. Not unpleasant ones, just everyday kind of thoughts; the kind which may appear trivial during the day but assume great importance at night. At night these thoughts matter and make sense. I have a suspicion that my subconscious welcomes them.
I have made up my mind that I won’t live longer than 80, if I get that far. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t, we have a good number of nonagenarians in the valley, so why not octogenarians. Right now, old age doesn’t raise the same terrors as it does during a day of assorted aches and pains. Still, 80 is probably enough.
I have several wardrobes full of clothes, some of them totally unsuitable for a lady well-travelled down life's highways and byways, with a few experiences under her belt. Some of the items in the wardrobes suit different ages, lifestyles, shapes, and purposes no longer relevant to me. I even still have work clothes. A clear-out is imminent.
Still, during the years I’ll allow myself to live I shall wear clothes to suit my mood; bright and unusually colourful clothes, just a touch out of the ordinary, without causing others to point fingers at me and snigger behind hands. I am not a beige or greige person, I must have something more suited to my personality and attitude. Actually, I no longer care what people find acceptable; a wonderful perk that comes with advancing years. I might don Mum’s fur hats and maybe even Aunt Josephine’s mink coat on very cold days.
Then there are the shoes, My daughter called me “the Imelda Marcus of Hertfordshire when we lived there, - you have to be a ripe old age to remember Imelda - when she could still bring herself to speak to me, that is, my daughter, not Imelda. I’ve never spoken with Imelda. I have scores of boxes of shoes, most of them hardly worn and therefore still pinching. I will take them out of their boxes, give the ones I no longer like to charity, and wear the others; at first in the house to wear them in a bit, then outside. It’s a great pity that wherever I go in Valley’s End I meet mud, soggy fields, and narrow roads bordered by deep ruts and puddles. Realistically speaking, wellies are the most suitable footwear round here, but when I die, I shall leave some really posh and expensive shoes behind. Enough to make me ask for some to be buried with me. I daresay I shall still be buying shoes when I’m in a wheelchair. I recently gave some black and gold satin shoes to Dee, my daughter-in-law. She takes a smaller size than I do, but she loved them enough to wear them with a bit of padding.
And then there’s yoga. Several years ago I broke my leg and ankle in several places, needing the insertion of a collection of metal plates, nails and screws. Recovery took a long time and at the end of it I had a stiff ankle which would not bend in the required yoga contortions. Ever since then I have given up on yoga which was really of great benefit to me before the accident. I must start again, somehow, either by myself or with the friendly yoga teacher who lives in the village. Because of my panicky fear of driving up steep hills and down again (only here in Valley’s End) I shall have to walk up to her house above the village, a fair climb, which I might manage after some initial difficulties. I will have to take frequent breathers and admire the view.
And blogging: I will do more of it and make new friends too. It’s such a pleasure when I put my mind to it and find something to write about. Comparing daily life with others on other continents is informative as well as fun; how else would I have got to know some of you who give me insights into your days. Besides, I enjoy writing, something else I’ve almost given up completely. So many writing projects require completion. A friend, who reads this blog, spontaneously said : You write very well, I do so enjoy your blog. You really should write more again. Somebody else asked me to write regular book reviews for a local news sheet. I’ve already turned her down.
Come to think of it, I will try and make friends elsewhere too. I have so few, in spite of many invitations to join groups. Beloved and I were talking today about loneliness; neither of us is at all capable of nurturing a friendship. I have an inkling why that is so: we are sufficient unto each other. Sadly, that may not be for very long, and the quality of our sufficiency has changed. It’s hard to keep each other stimulated after years of marriage, particularly when one of you is fading in mind and body; luckily dementia and/or Alzheimer’s are still a way off but age brings a slowing down of the faculties of even the sharpest and most agile brain that roamed the earth in company with the dinosaur. Yes, that long ago.
So here we go, friends have to be found. I shall make a very careful selection of suitably like-minded people and throw myself on their mercy. But I’ll draw the line at the Senior Citizen’s Club. And the Women’s Institute.
I actually wrote this collection of thoughts between 2 and 3 am. I’ve reread it and corrected many spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, otherwise it’s what came into my head unprompted.
Conscious thought: Isn’t the management of life easy in that state between fully awake and semi-consciousness.