Confessions of a
There’s plenty to look forward to for a senior who has tailored her life to enjoy the finest things.
HOW in the world did I get to be 70 years old? How time flies! I celebrated the seventh decade of my life a month ago. I had a birthday luncheon with 40 of my friends, and the dress code was red attire, as it is my favourite colour. So, at the do, we made up a pretty picture – a sea of varying shades of red. We had a great time mingling, updating each other about our families, and mostly, just catching up .
Later, I had another do, but this time, with the family. This too – celebrated mostly with in-laws – was meaningful. Needless to say, my children from abroad came back specially to celebrate with me.
It was presents galore. However, one special gift from my children, which took me by surprise, was a compilation of my articles to the press, all collated into a book with my baby photographs in it, with the message “mummy, don’t ever stop writing”.
They had obviously snooped around and found my file of articles, and made it into a limited edition book which they distributed to family and close friends. That was such a beautiful gesture.
Another special present was from my favourite daughter-in-law (by the way, I only have one), who made me a key chain with three coins – one engraved with the names of all my granddaughters, another with my birth date, and the final one with the message “We love you, Mama.” I have strung the coins and threaded them into a bracelet. I am joyfully wearing it and proudly showing it off to my friends now!
Yes, my cup runneth over. Every night before I go to bed, and every morning when I get up, I thank my Maker, God Almighty, for the good life He has blessed me with.
For a start, the love of my life and I celebrated our 44th anniversary this year. Sure, there were hiccups in our marriage, and life was not a bed of roses. Thankfully, my other half has his cronies to yarn with, and likewise me. Friends are so important. There were trials and tribulations, of course – married life is seldom smooth sailing after all, but we survived and fervently hope for more happy years to come in the twilight years of our lives.
We have three lovely children, two married and another son still waiting for the right girl to come by, but I have decided not to worry about it because I firmly believe that God has his plans.
We have four gorgeous granddaughters (all grandparents think their grandchildren are gorgeous) ranging from three to 13 years old. They are an immense source of delight. My other half and I have decided to spoil them as much as we can, and leave the parenting to their parents. We are merely grandparents on duty.
Besides the usual visits we make and the time they spend with us during school holidays, we rise to the occasion to babysit them. When my daughter needs a break, she goes with her husband on his business trips, so hubby and I take charge of her children. We have a good time bonding with the grandchildren, indulging in their whims and fancies, and although appearing strict, we tend to dance to their tunes.
A month ago, we were abroad in England for six weeks, helping babysit the three-yearold granddaughter as my son was busy attending a series of courses. It was the longest visit ever, but well worth it, especially when my little Olivia told me that she wanted us to stay with her forever and ever! What a beautiful, heartfelt message from the mouth of a child!
And how does a septuagenarian while her days away?
There is housework to attend to, though a part-time maid comes in once a week to do the cleaning. The rest I manage with assistance from my other half. My plan is to de-clutter, but I never seem to find the time to do it.
I do a bit of gardening, too, and last week, reaped the fruits of my labour with a huge bunch of sweet bananas. My passion fruit plants have 20 fruits, which I can’t wait to see ripen.
There are activities with cronies, as well, twice a week of social golfing, culminating in breakfast at various places. Three times a week I do qi qong. We start at 7.15am and conclude at 8.30am, after which we yum cha at our usual haunts, and maybe do our marketing after that. At our breakfast sessions, our conversations range from husbands and children, to how to treat ailments, and where to get the best bargains for things!
This septuagenarian has some “sins”, truth be told. Vanity is her middle name. She indulges in facials, supposedly meant to iron out the wrinkles which she knows will be there to stay, and visits the hairdresser to ensure her hair is black and coiffured. Trips to the manicurist for special occasions and shopping for clothes and shoes are high on the to-do list, too. She has a supplement list comprising vitamins and herbs to improve her health. And the luxury of a masseuse to massage all the purported aches and pains away!
Once a week, I do volunteer work at a centre for young adults with learning disabilities. I put my teaching skills to use and educate them in etiquette and language, to prepare them for the working world. I am happy to say that, to date, many of our young adults are gainfully employed in fast food centres and supermarkets. Yes, this centre has done wonders to help and train these young adults to prepare them for work life.
But being 70 years old is not a life without problems. There are memory lapses, known as senior moments. I once hunted high and low for my reading glasses, only to be told that they were perched on my forehead! I cannot remember the times I misplaced my phone ... and that list is endless.
Health-wise, I am still nursing a frozen shoulder, and two months ago, a trigger finger, and last month, a bad bout of vertigo! There are aches and pains to contend with, too. And woe betide when I catch the flu or cough. It takes an eternity to get better!
But complain, I will not. There is so much to live for, and so many things on my bucket list to realise. My husband and I travel a bit, and we are looking forward to visiting Luang Prabang in Laos next month. Then, in December, my son is taking us to Sydney to usher in 2018 at the famous Sydney harbour, replete with a fireworks display. Who could ask for more?
Yes, I am a septuagenarian and looking forward to be an octogenarian!