Thursday, October 16, 2014

All Life is Precarious

I have an old friend who insists we are old, and that I ought to act my age. It is time she claims to move to a retirement home in Florida and begin to die. I say Florida just makes you want to die. "Your life is precarious," she said to me over coffee yesterday. "You need to take it easier. You are too old to go hiking by yourself, or camping in remote areas, or climb ladders."

My mother, a firm believer in taking it easier, died at 67. And her older brother mowed lawns with a push mower until 87. But all life is precarious as the recent Ebola epidemic here in the states is proving. And if it was not a pandemic it could be volcanic eruption. There have been swarms of earthquakes around Mammoth Mountain just up wind from us. I married and divorced a man eight years younger than me. He died three years ago. We do not come with expiration dates though nobody has avoided the final exit yet.

I see no advantage to living each day so that I do not hurt myself. In fact, I can see a lot of advantages to living life at full tilt. I may be past the live hard, die young and leave a beautiful corpse but I will not regret having not done something. And I do not pay a lot for exercise classes. I have two cords of firewood to stack between packing for my four day photography trek. My friend is driving to Taos to take a senior yoga class. I probably do not get things done as fast as I did in my youth but they get done. And I feel very empowered by the things I do.

This morning I took both my dogs on a pet sitting job. They think it is their job too. Mardi Gras is 15 and at times I think it would be easier to leave her home. But I would hate myself if she was not given this opportunity to ride in the car, run the fields (yes, she still runs) and bond with her pack buddy who is just 11. If she drops dead in mid dash across the pasture I will feel I have done my best for her. My friends and family should feel the same way if I collapse hauling in firewood.


  1. Marvelous post Jacqui. Good for you and I love your attitude. I think and act the same and am 71 on the 28th of this month. Mind you I can not be as active as you re the tramping etc as I do have heart and breathing problems but, I sure don't sit on my backside doing nothing and feeling sorry for myself. Love my garden and am very fussy inside too. Have many interests of a creative nature and am in the process of learning how to do stained glass creations, and jewelry making. Even thinking of getting my paint brushes out again. Keep on as you are and to hell with what anyone else thinks, that's my motto!

  2. Thumbs up to you - and to me and sorry, a thumbs down to your friend who is killing herself off before her time. Yes we are all getting older - it starts from the day we come into this world. For those of us who are over 60 and active, we give thanks for that blessing and continue happily on life's adventurous journey. I firmly believe that age, unless we are unfortunate to be stricken with an illness which we cannot do anything about, is just a number. I hold down two full time jobs both of which are supposedly part time but the demands of both, which are linked, make it hard for them to be part time. I sometimes take work home. I am involved in other activities eg I am presently involved in A Catholic Women's Conference which in November is bringing in four well known international speakers who are based in the US; last week was the fierce Stage Manager of a successful concert with local and international artistes and when I can, I write. I run a household (with great help from the other half), am still nurse to him and presently a very sick daughter; adviser, counsellor and confidante to friends and family members; administrator on local political pages on FB; an ardent local political voice; a party goer to end all party goers, wearer of high heels and normally the last to leave the party after dancing the night away!! It's a state of mind and when I get tired (which I do), I say 'no' and retire until I'm ready to face it all again!


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