Still contrary at 60 years old

Still contrary at 60 years old

I’m now past 60 years old. I always feel like I should start these posts with “Dear Diary, You’ll never guess what”.  Anyway. With my birthday firmly in the rear view mirror, I have a confession to make. I’m surprisingly content.

Been a horrible couple of years, with stress beyond belief and I’m still grieving hard for mom. I miss her every day. I have the odd cry when I lean over to tell her something funny and she’s not there to laugh with me. But over the past few months, a sense of peace has caught up with me. I realise saying this in 2020 is a certifiable act, but I’ve hit a sense of equilibrium. The years have been a frenzy of hospital stays, doctor appointments, helping mom with her exercises, making sure she ate properly etc. Anyone who’s taken care of an aging parent gets it, without further explanation.

Now, I have time to .. do nothing. Sit on the balcony and just watch the sun set or prop my feet up, with a glass of wine one hand and a trashy novel in the other. All knowing I no longer worry whether mom is okay. Don’t misunderstand. I would give anything to have her back. I miss her so much, it physically hurts at times. But that isn’t what reality allows. Mom had fun. We had fun. Together. We muddled along through her illnesses and had a lot of laughs along the way.

It’s just me. Me and the million thoughts that run through my brain all the time. Mom had things left unsaid. She wanted to share her thoughts with you and she was cheated out of that chance. I’ve been reflecting on that a lot over the past week. It seemed so unfair. But, as mom would say, no one promised fairness in life. She was very much a working class philosopher, in her own way. I was lucky. I had to chance to listen to her and understand her life and struggles. So, I’m going to share my thoughts on what mom told me over the years, especially the last 4 years. Much of it will be seen through my personal lens. I’m not as kind hearted as mom so much of what I say may be a little more cynical than mom would have been.

Mom had a soft heart. Well, except when it came to Trump. Whoa! Talk about swear like a sailor. My mom, at 83, would rail against her contemporaries for being blind and selfish fools for supporting his style of politics. She was more concerned with the younger generations and what kind of world they will have, than she was herself. If she could have, Mom would have put on a pair of steel toed boots and kicked a lot of asses. She was peculiar.

And funny.

And fierce.

Life dealt her a pretty crappy hand. But she was able to be something I’ve never managed. Despite it all, she remained a contrarian optimist. I know, sounds like a contradiction, but stick with me over the weeks as I tell you about her, myself and our world view. I’m debating about keeping the vlog portion. I’m not very patient when it comes to editing. It was something mom really wanted to do but cancer had the final say in the matter. I’ll likely keep it, for mom. I tried scripting out what I want to say in the videos, but that’s just boring. You can listen to anyone read to you. I’ll have to figure out a balance. Something between me editing everything down into a  bland pudding to a full on me glaring at you through the camera lens.

I tend to get mouthy when I’m off script. I’d love to say I’ve mellowed with the years, but the opposite has happened. I’m to the point where I simply don’t have many fucks left to give. Mom had a lot left. She was the optimist in the house. I was the pessimist.  We balanced each other nicely. Guess I’ll have to channel a bit of mom’s better nature before I turn the camera back on. Tap into this sense of contentment I’ve acquired. So mask up folks. Take care of the people around you and buckle up. I have a lot more to say before I shuffle off my mortal coil.

Photo of the writer at 60 years old wearing a mask with black cat faces on it

Buckle up, I have a cat mask and no fucks left to give.

 

Still contrary at 60 years old

Ok, here’s the new plan for turning 60

Drinking beer in anticipation of turning 60

Portrait of a blogger

I’ll be turning 60 in a few days. Unlike many, I’m not dreading it. My opinion has always been, the further I get away from my teen years, the happier I am. I don’t see each decade as a dreaded milestone, but an event to savour.

I’ve come up with a plan for turning 60

I don’t intend to “grow old gracefully”. No interest in that notion, whatsoever. Instead, I’m going to be as opinionated and irritating in my senior years as I have been most of my life. I’ll kick more shins (yes, I’ve done that), raise an eyebrow at stupid people and continue to be a pain in the ass.

Learning isn’t just for young people

Every day I want to learn something. Maybe a little thing, maybe a new skill. But I will keep learning and exercising my brain. Turning 60 years old means it’s more important than ever to keep my brain working. New ideas, challenging old thoughts, learning a different skill are all important.

What the hell happened to my knees?

Knee bends. Boy do I ever have to do more. Don’t know when they became so creaky. When mom was recovering from her various surgeries, I bought her a little set of purple weights to help get her arm strength back. I would often see her, at 2 in the morning, Kindle in one hand, a weight pumping in her other, exercising her arms. It always amused me. She’d walk too, for miles. Even at 83, with cancer closing in, she still managed to walk 3 miles without resting. I need to be more like that.

Be open to different voices

I will continue to say I don’t know everything.  It’s not a weakness to admit it. There is always more to learn. That means being quiet and LISTENING to people. It’s not always easy, but there it is.  BLM, First Nations, Women of colour, immigrants, millennials – all have stories to tell.  It isn’t their job to teach me, it’s my job to learn. The older I grow, the less I know.

Challenge people who blame millennials for everything

One thing that pisses me off is the constant “you millennials, you young people are destroying everything” crap coming out of the mouths of my peers. Seriously? You don’t remember the dumbass crap we pulled? You haven’t looked around and seen what the mantra “greed is good” has done? We were lucky, there weren’t cameras taping our every move. We didn’t have helicopter parents telling us what a terrible world we live in. For any young person reading this – carry on, be a pain in the ass and change the world. Just because that’s the way it’s always been, doesn’t mean that’s the way it has to be.

Don’t forget the food

Lots of and lots of food. From every corner of the world. There are still undiscovered corners of the world to be explored. I want to start with Canada and work my way around the world on a culinary adventure. There will be disasters in the kitchen. But it’ll be fun.

Oh and more beer. There is always time for more pints of good beer.

And wine. Definitely wine too.

And pizza on the balcony with a friend, watching the sun set over the city.  Much more of that.

Final goal?

Work less in the real world and chase subscribers and donations for this site. I am haunted by something mom said, shortly before she died. While preparing to make YouTube videos for her and she said “I have a lot to say about the world, and it’s so different from what I used to think”. She died before she could share her thoughts with the world. I’m not waiting. Mom discovered late in life how to be “pushy”. Funny how a tiny 82-year-old woman was considered pushy when she refused to be treated as an invisible person.

I’m going to be pushy.

REALLY. FUCKING. PUSHY.

Come along for the journey. Enjoy the ramblings. Get irritated occasionally. Tell me what you’re thinking too. Lots of room for comments.

Love
Catpaw