A Golden Age

If you had to live forever, what age would you choose, childhood, adolescence or adulthood, and why? This is the question posed by the Daily Post today.

I’ll start by saying why I wouldn’t want to be an eternal child. I had plenty of fun as a child, simple fun, where I could play for hours sitting in a den under a table, covered in a chenille cloth or eating raw sausage meat when my grandmother made sausage rolls. A wooden box full of buttons was perfect to let my imagination run wild, as I conjured up the garments they had fallen from.

But I also had strange and difficult times as I struggled to know where I belonged. No, belonged is the wrong word, it was more that I was trying to work out how I fitted in, an answer that I didn’t get until I was middle aged.

My teenage years were worse, expected to and indeed wanting to go out and meet the world, I was often fearful and I most definitely did not fit.

But that’s the past. Now my skin fits. It won’t fit for many more years though, in stead it will become looser, as the subcutaneous fat redistributes itself, and I take on the guise of the crone.

So I want to stay where I am right now. I want to keep the strength I have, keep the ailments that come with age at bay. No arthritis, hypertension, high cholesterol, thyroid problems or dementia, because I need time.

I didn’t begin travelling until I was in my forties, I’d always wanted to but hardly dared to dream. I got my hit of exotic destinations watching Michael Palin, everywhere he went, I wanted to go. It wasn’t until I began to break free, that some of those places became reality.

But oh, there are so many places I need to see. Ethiopia, Mali, Uzbekistan, Namibia, Chile, Libya, Israel, Jordan, Greece. There are places that I couldn’t go to at the moment, even if I had the time and money. Pakistan, I’ve always wanted to visit, but I’ve just this evening watched a documentary, about it’s incredible history and culture.

I dream of being able to walk safely around the cities of Nigeria, to travel Ibgo country freely, meeting more of my family there and really understanding the culture. As things stand, it’s doubtful that this could happen in my lifetime. Who knows, give it fifty years and some miracles then, perhaps, it could be possible. So, I need to live forever as I am now, with the wisdom, confidence and experience that I have, and the brakes on the physical deterioration. This is my Golden Age!

I’m adding this comment I found on Facebook this morning. It’s from my lovely extra son, my daughter’s partner Steven, who has hidden talents that I hope he will use one day. Thanks Steve xx

This is a tough question. On first thought it seems easy, however who would truly want to live forever? The fact that we have such a brief sneeze of time to enjoy this crazy, heart aching, beautiful thing called life is what makes it so truly special. We live each day never truly knowing if it is our last, so we grab hold of it, squeeze it for every little drop and savour every morsel. If we live forever then surely part of that essence fades, knowing that we have forever to do the things we want. We lose the sense of urgency, the need, the desire to do today all the things we fear to delay until  tomorrow. The fear of tomorrow makes us live today.

But then I realise that I could spend forever with my beautiful family, watching my daughters play and grow. If only….

17 thoughts on “A Golden Age

  1. A very moving piece honouring Gilly now. I can feel your sadness at not being able to visit Nigeria, and your eagerness to be at that list of other destinations. And I love the glimpse of Gilly under the table, eating raw sausage meat and playing with buttons. Lovely then, but hardly a pastime the mature you would relish!

  2. Did every child play with a button box? I certainly did! Totally agree, wouldn’t want to be young. Too much angst. I like the age I am now, but hate the way time is speeding away from me.

  3. That was an interesting read, thanks! I relate a bit, though I don’t travel widely. I loved my forties and fifties, felt powerful and happier than the decaddes before. I have also loved my sixties thus far thugh I have to say it is true, one’s body deos start to sink a bit and things are not quiote what you had hoped! Yet I feel vigorous most of the time and richly alive so I am content with life as it is today. Living in the present is the best thing–we have no knowledge of the next moment, anyway!

  4. I’m with you on the wanderlust, but I won’t travel to many of the places I would love to see for a variety of reasons…. But despite all the curveballs life has thrown, this is in many ways my best age… So let’s toast our best age, Gilly!

  5. Such a lovely thoughtful and interesting post Gilly. I too played with the button box and so did my own children – they learned to count and identify colours from that free toy. I’m content now, but the ailments have started and the weight gained during menopause won’t go away easily 😦

    I’d go back to my mid to late forties when I had lots of energy and was reasonably fit and healthy, my children were on their own journeys, work was good, I earned decent money and both the time and the urge to travel again and the dreaded menopause hadn’t begun in earnest 😀

  6. Beautifully written, Gilly. I’m with you, I like to live now forever long. It’s great to be able to travel with the online information. I love the fact we can use computer, iPhone, iPad, and camera to connect with people around the world and share photos and thoughts. Enjoyed reading your post! 🙂

  7. HI Gilly,
    Like you I think now is the place I love the most. My youth was all about finding me and fitting in. I was surrounded by family but have very few shared memories with my many siblings. I might enjoy going back to my 30’s but without the worry that surrounded me then. Why worry – things are gonna happen so I should have just enjoyed the ride. Now – it’s still about discovery with myself but I’m more certain and centered.
    Thanks for your insightful post – all the best to you -Marge Katherine

  8. Thank you for your insightful post Gilly! Grandma’s button tin,; making “pies” out of rolled oats and water with a little girl friend; hiding under the jarrah dining table when the air raid alarm sounded—al memories of childhood. I think my late 50s and sixties were my golden time, when my (late) husband and I lived our dream of combining country living with being “boat bums” Wonderful times before arthritis and my husband’s cancer caused another life change. Thank you for reminding me.

  9. You make such a great case for staying the age you are and I hope that someday you get to visit some of the places that you so greatly desire. Miracles do happen you know. Wonderful post Gilly.

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