Musings on ageing and death

Sadly, it is a sign of our age.  Two friends in a month have lost mothers. Those of us in our 40s and 50s are afflicted most by this passing of our parents from natural, age-related causes. If we live long enough, we will probably get some life-threatening disease.

I wonder sometimes how long we should live.  My grandmother made it to 103 and died at home.  But the last two years were certainly no treat for her.  She was mentally all there and physically had no disease.  But her legs gave out on her at 101.  Those great legs did a lot of miles over the years. I can’t imagine the frustration at not being able to do for herself any more.

Nan was a widow for 38 years and although she was a heap of fun to be with, she did not seem to mind her solitary life. She never thought of herself as old.  She would not join a Seniors group because she thought they did ‘old people’ activities. In her 70s she enlisted my mother’s help to find a pant-suit so she could lose the skirt and get out on the sled on the back hill with the kids in the winter snow.  I remember her saying “you kids look like you’re having such a grand time and I want to get out there with you”.

Coincidentally a friend emailed me yesterday to say her mother-in-law had died. She reminisced on how she went to Drexel Hill for the first time with me to visit Nan and how she ended up spending so much time there over the years with her beloved in-laws. At the time we did not know it, but her mother-in-law was a neighbour and fellow parishioner of my Nan.

My husband scans anything that will stay still long enough and we just happened to be scanning pics from the era of that first visit to Nan’s in the early 80s.  So here it is.

May we all live long and have legs as good as Nan’s.

The tyranny of the day job

In itself, my job at the documentation factory is not that bad.  I am currently redesigning forms for a credit union using Adobe LiveCycle Designer.  “Designing forms, how boring” I hear you say.  But, believe me, if you like technology and getting to play with new software, and feel good about process improvements and that sort of thing, it’s actually a great job.  In the main, the people I work with are funny and interesting and have interesting skills and knowledge to bring to the team.

The problem is that I spend five days a week at work and there are so many other things I want to pursue.  I am not getting any younger and the days are not getting any longer than the standard 24 hours. Most days go by so quickly. I have not written in this blog since the new year’s long weekend ended and I went back to work. Perhaps I am just not disciplined enough.

On a more positive note, I began my stint for 2010 as a volunteer with the Adelaide Fringe working in the workshop where the opening night parade floats are built. Adelaide’s Fringe is second in the world only to Edinburgh, Scotland. And it’s the largest fringe festival in the southern hemisphere.

Some familiar faces at the workshop: Tsubi and Katherine who I met on the 2006 Fringe.  Both women are parade designers and both are talented, easy-going and fun.  I look forward to working with them again. Wednesday nights and Saturday afternoons. The parade is on the evening of 19 February in the streets of Adelaide. Be there or be incredibly square.