The news has been read, the weather forecast follows. Nothing unusual: highs and lows, temperatures, fronts, expectations for the week ahead. A menacing southerly is approaching, snow to low levels, icy roads. A warning for those who have to travel is broadcast:
Please drive to the conditions.”
As I’ve got older I’ve learnt the value of the radio’s advice. I’ve also learnt something else. Not only is driving to the weather conditions essential at any time of the year, but it is also important to learn to live to the conditions that occur as part of the ageing process. Slippery slopes and tricky intersections can make our passage through the last stage of our life as demanding as negotiating an icy road in the middle of winter.
When I was younger it was physically so easy to move around, dashing here and there, organising family life with working life, going places. Lots of friends. Snap – this, snap – that, changing tack during a task when something more urgent came along. I enjoyed those years with their challenges of living, I loved my family and nothing was a problem; flexibility and resilience were keywords. I wasn’t afraid of getting old. I had plenty of amazing role models to observe, people whose energy and purpose I admired. I liked their way of thinking: if you can’t do it today, there’s always tomorrow. But I was not at all prepared for the challenges that came when our Down’s daughter had a stroke just before she turned 40. [Read more…]