As a friend posted this morning on facebook ‘Enough now world! Seriously 31 days into the year – at this rate no one will be left by Easter’. She was, of course, talking about the announcement of the death of broadcasting great, Sir Terry Wogan. Last year we lost Christopher Lee, Leonard Nimoy, Cilla Black and Terry Pratchett to name but a few and, so far this year, David Bowie, Alan Rickman and now, our Tel have gone already. The voices and personalities of my childhood and growing up years. Well known people who, being in their late sixties and early seventies are almost from my own generation. Not that much older than me. It’s a scary thought.
My wise old Grandmother always used to say that you knew you were getting old when your childhood favourites started dying. She was talking about silent movie stars and singers from the 30s and 40s and famous politicians from the 40s and 50s but I am now getting to understand what she was talking about. Hearing that the men and women who were such a huge part of my life, whose faces and voices were so familiar to me, every day, have died certainly is very aging. It makes you start to realise that time is passing and that you too are really getting older. And that makes you start questioning what you have done with your own life? What have you achieved? Have you made a difference? What will you be remembered for?
All this sounds very miserable and maudling but that was not my intention when I started to write this blog. Instead I want to look at my own life, at my first half century and decide if there are things I need to do, things I want to do in my next fifty years so that I can, if possible, leave a positive legacy.
So. Firstly. What have I done? I’m not sure. By far my proudest achievement is the fact that I have raised two amazing children from birth to adulthood. The next generation of my family. They are now doing their own thing but, I hope, the values, morals and ideas I have introduced them to over the years will hold them in good stead for the rest of their lives and allow them to be happy and successful in whatever the future holds for them. Then there is my working life. Until recently I was an advice and information worker for older and disabled people and I would hope that, in my own small way, I have been able to help make things better for them. I hope I have been able to guide people towards a solution to some of their problems. It sounds very big-headed to me but I hope I have made a positive difference to their lives too through the help and guidance I have been able to offer.
But now, thanks to illness and disability, that part of my working life has, largely, come to an end and I’m now into stage two and the future. What shall I do now? How can I go on doing my bit? Well, so far I haven’t worked out how to earn any money but I am hoping that my newly found ability to write is the way to go. I have always enjoyed playing with words but now, thanks to my blogs, some people seem to want to read my musings. I have always had an opinion on all types of thing but now I’m letting those opinions out to a wider audience. Whether people agree with me or not is immaterial. I’m doing something. Maybe, if that means that a few people will end up with a better understanding of how what happens in the wider world affects the narrow life of a middle-aged disabled woman in South London, that will be a good thing. Who can tell.
I can also try and do what I have always wanted to be able to do and write a novel. Getting my own book into print and onto some people’s shelves would be so special. Over the years I have started many but only finished the first draft of one. Lots of ideas keep racing round in my head but only one has ever made it, in it’s entirety, onto my hard-drive. Maybe my next challenge will be to get drafts two, three and, possibly, four done so I can publish it. Now that would be something to be proud of as well.
I suppose reading about the deaths of the superstars of my youth, and then, adult life is going to be something I will just have to get used to as the years progress. There’s nothing I can do about that. But living my own life to the full and having no regrets is something I can do. So I will.