As time goes by

I can barely say it out loud, but I’m facing one of those big birthdays this year.  You know, one that ends in a  fat ‘ol zero. In my case, if you were counting your fingers you’d have had to go on to your second hand. Yep 60.  Big fat 60.

Of course, I’m not really 60, I’m really about 23.  Well, that’s how I feel (most days… Sometimes I feel 103).     The funny thing is, that I’m not thinking ‘my god, I’ll be 60 this year’, no, I’m thinking ‘my god, I’ve been eligible for saga holidays for ten years already’ and worse ‘my god, in ten years time I’ll be 70’ .  And the one sure fire thing about getting old is that ten years is most definitely not as long as it used to be.

I remember, in my youth, seeing a science programme where James Burke talked about the ‘relativity of time’.  And its true.  We all know that the ten minutes at the end of a working day can seem to drag on for hours, and yet, ten minutes lie-in under a snuggly duvet flies by in what seems seconds. Time can drag when you’re bored or race when your busy.

I can be blissfully unaware of time passing when I’ve nodded off on the sofa (a sure sign of advancing age, or perhaps too much partying??), waking up not knowing whether I’ve been asleep for five minutes or two hours.  Often the TV channel has been changed and I don’t realise it until half an hour later when I say ‘where’s that baddie bloke gone?’ and am told that that film had finished and we’re way into the next one now.

The other time when you are blissfully unaware of time, or anything else for that matter, is under anaesthetic.  They can move you about, prod you with instruments, cut you open and sew you up again, and you know nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  No pain. No discomfort. No timescale.  I comfort myself that that’s what death must be like.  A void in which you are unaware.  Completely.

Going back to the year’s going faster, I found this explanation on the Naked Scientist website, and although I agree with the main reply, I think the far more likely explanation is discussed further down in the responses, and it tally’s in with what James said all those years ago.  A year now, represents a 60th of my life, whereas when I was 10 it was only a 10th. Little peeps are almost living in dog years compared to me.

Well, I guess doing nothing so time goes slower is not really the answer.  Rather, I should cram as much in as I can.  Don’t waste a single minute and try and fill the next thirty years with wonder.  I listen to the Chris Evans show on Radio 2 in the mornings, and every day he speaks to a child who is doing something for the first time that day.  The next day he speaks to the same child and asks them to mark their new experience out of ten.  Almost without exception they say something like ‘a gazillion and twenty five’ even if its something as mundane to me as a swimming lesson. That’s the sort of enthusiasm I want to regain. Of course, its much harder to find new experiences when your older, but I’m going to do my best to be Adventurous, Brave and Curious.

What was the last ‘new experience’ you had?

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Wish I was awesome

I wish I was awesome.  I wonder what it feels like to be awesome.  To have done something special or worthwhile.

I have never done anything of any note.  Never won a race, or game, or competition.  Never got a medal.  Even my exam results were mediocre to bad.  Oh, I’ve done lots of stuff, had lots of experiences that others would give anything to have had.  I’ve ridden horses, dived to the bottom of the sea, ridden on the back of a motorcycle going at 100 mph.  I’ve starred in am-dram plays, and written stories and poems which people have said they liked.  I’ve been to fabulous, exotic, far-away places, and met wonderful people.  These days I garden, sew, cook, and still write stories and poems that people say they like and I’m pretty good when it comes to techie stuff. But honestly, I’m not good, not good good, at any of them.  Just ok. Mediocre.  Sometimes, that’s a bit depressing.

Watching some pretty awesome people on Strictly Come Dancing – Louis Smith and Victoria Pendleton, who have both won umpteen medals in their own disciplines, and Michael Vaughan, who led England Cricketers to win the Ashes in 2005, I can see that even though they are truly awesome, they can still be as awkward, self-conscious and insecure as me when they are out of their comfort zone.

I guess you just have to find your comfort zone.  My comfort zone is my home, and watching my daughters becoming successful, caring and beautiful people.  I consider them to be my biggest success.

I understand from others that I’m also quite good at listening.  I can’t begin to count the number of times people rang me at work ‘just to have a moan’ and at the end say,

‘Thanks, I feel better now’.

I was the matriarch (according to the dictionary ‘a venerable old woman’!) of the organisation, the go to lady when life was a pain. Ok, I never did anything, and usually couldn’t come up with much in the way of words of wisdom.  But perhaps being able to make someone feel better just by listening is a teeny bit awesome.

And shhh…don’t tell anyone, but I realise now that perhaps we’re all (yep, even me) a teeny bit awesome on the quiet.