EDITORIAL: Free at last

As the clouds roll in again, I’m relieved when I realize I won’t have to go to the garden after work.

As the clouds roll in again, I’m relieved when I realize I won’t have to go to the garden after work.

I can remember when I would eagerly wait for quitting time at my paid job to run home, grab a sandwich and head to the garden.

But those days are gone. I’m getting too old to do two jobs in one day and unfortunately, it’s the gardening that has to go.

I cleaned out a flower bed on the weekend and my hand is still bruised from working with the claw – a great tool but obviously better suited to younger hands.

Many of my previously well-tended garden spots are now returned to grass, another casualty of my advancing years and when I look for low-maintenance, I’m actually searching for no maintenance.

But getting older has it’s advantages. I don’t have to prove anything to the world. Whatever I once claimed I would accomplish, I either did or didn’t, but it really doesn’t matter.

My family is actually approaching self-sufficiency. My job has become one of enjoying their company, hearing about their exploits and sharing in their dreams for the future.

Don’t get me wrong I still have things I plan to do as I age but they won’t be the lofty dreams of youth, they’ll be the mellow musings of an older, wiser woman.

I’m planning a vacation – all by myself. Something I’ve never done before and my focus for the entire trip is to see new things. My brother lives in the Comox Valley and I want him to be my tour guide. He’s only two years younger than me so we’ll share a common pace. My best friend lives in Victoria and I hope to stroll through the legislature and maybe take a glass-bottom boat tour.

And my sons in Vancouver have all sort of plans for their time with their aging mother – all on the common theme of things I’ve never done.

I’m not afraid of aging. I find it freeing. I can rest on the wisdom I’ve earned with every bad decision, every wrong path and every success. I’m going to enjoy this part of the journey.

 

– Annie Gallant, Observer reporter