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portrait of the blogger as a middle-aged woman




Time is swift and unapologetic.

The duality of aging is that even though time leaves it signs distinctively on the flesh, the spirit within remains untouched by it's determined march. In fact, the spirit blossoms with time and experience.

The old adage "Youth is wasted on the young" rings particularly true for me at this point in my life. In my youth I was physically strong, but unfit and my body remained unchallenged. I was in the best health (no lower back pain to impede motion) yet tended to be more inactive, preferring to spend my youth in the clouds, dreaming of independence and freedom and love. My mind was sharp and clear but I lacked patience and understanding and I went through life with blinders on.

Now I am an open vessel, I want to take everything in, all perspectives, varied opinions, challenging ideas, inspiring new thoughts, willing action...Eager to be heard, not cowering, not afraid to be judged.

I will approach my 50's with reverence and grace and with a determined heart.
I am very aware of the fragility of life,  it hangs like a sceptre over me (my mom and dad died in their 50's; cancer and angina coded in my DNA)

But I will play the hand I'm dealt, and I will do so with courage, armed with information and a plan of action well thought out and executed:

  • For the physical body:  a great exercise regime, and a healthy lifestyle.
  • For the mind: creative thought and disciplines (writing, photography, poetry and self-expression), and learning, always new things.
  • For the spirit: yoga, connection, meditation, travel and prayer.
I gave some thought to doing a bucket list. I had to think long and hard about what I would add to such a list to make my life complete. I struggled, started out with No.1: Climb Kilomanjaro and got stuck. Thought I should add all the places in the world I'd want to see, thought about what I'd like to accomplish...And remained stuck. Maybe the question for me is not What do I want to do? but more along the lines of What/Who do I want to be? That makes more sense for me:
  • I want to be a great mom.
  • I want to be a good wife, sister, friend.
  • I want to be someone that cares about the world and others.
  • I want to be a citizen of the world with a conscience.
  • I want to be happy...

And above all, I want love and acceptance...for my fellow man, for this world we live in and for myself.

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Dazed I wake up for a second time, opening heavy lids to find that Monday had dawned softly. Ribbons of red are slowly beginning to caress the darkness as I stretch out lazy like a cat, lying in the middle of the kingsize bed, my thick winter frame engulfed by fleecy bedding the colour of candy floss.
"Sweet!" I utter out loud to an already empty house as soft light filters in through aluminium blinds making stripes like tattoos on my pale skin.
I should get up, but I am perplexed by the day which stretches ahead of me demanding nothing!
I'm at odds, not used to so much time on my hands, "busy" being my usual setting.

I'm beginning to like this new reality.
The ticking clock by my bedside sets a steady rhythm, as all around me the world is on the go, moving in circles. It's as if the world's forgotten about this one, tiny space. In my cocoon I groggily sit up, twisting m…

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Furrows deep and pronounced line my brow. I contemplate them,  willing them away, stroking them gently, each stroke meant to iron them out. I am their canvas, they are my storylines.

I seize my ironing, and listen to their tales.
I feel the cold to my bones!

Not the usual Cape Town cold I grew up with in the Southern Suburbs, but an iciness matching any day spent in Tewkesbury more than a decade ago in the UK.  The kind of cold that requires down feather jackets and knee-high fake fur boots.  The kind of cold that leaves sleet on windshields, and soup pots full.
Central heating!Pah! Our homes in Cape Town are ill-equipped for this kinda torture!
I hug my hot water bottle to me like a long lost lover, it's squishy, and pot-bellied and jiggles when I squeeze it. Raising the white mug to my lips, I slurp the almost scalding coffee quickly. My fifth cuppa and it's only 10:42am. Two bars glow bright orange at me. Mikey hogs the heater, and Georgie sits on top of the TV cabinet like a …

Jack of All

My professional life is marred by the ordinary.
By the humdrum thank you ma'am.

It remains puzzling, even in my semi-retirement phase.
I am not someone with an aversion to "success" or money.
I was raised to have a strong work ethic and I tend to show up, and I’m 100% tied-in to my endeavors. I've been at the receiving end of accolades and positive performance appraisals,  and I have over time broadened my scope of learning and my skillset, and I have tried to keep up with the times and technology.

Still...
Always in circles.
Round  & round.
Forward; then back to square 1.
Everywhere, but up.
Lateral moves and Plan B’s.

Hmmm…
Maybe I am a dreamer?
Maybe it’s because I’m the youngest sibling, the other one?
It could be because I’m fickle?
Or easily bored?
Or difficult?
Too demanding? Not demanding enough?
Too nice? Not ruthless in the least.

Yikes, maybe I think too much?
Maybe I should think some more!
Or deeper?
I could go back and make like Freud and delve into…