I used to fear growing old. I would look in the mirror and see the gesture of grey hairs and wrinkles starting to accumulate and I would feel distress. I think society has taught us to fear old age, the drug stores have whole aisles lined with anti-aging creams, hair dyes and supplements. Metastatic breast cancer has changed that for me.
Its not getting grey hair and wrinkles that I fear now. Simply put, growing old is no longer to be taken for granted. When I was told that some people will live two years and some will live up to two decades, I realized for me at 35, the most optimistic age working with those stats is 55. That is not old.
I have always had this pictured myself coming into my own as an eccentric old lady. No longer would I be bothered by what is in fashion or how the world expects me to behave. My husband and I would move out to the country where we would build our dream home. The house would be laid out in such away as to be just the right size for the two of us and a couple of dogs. The house would be able to somehow fold out and become the hub for family gatherings. It would be a magical place where our children and their children could join us for all sorts of adventures. There would be cozy story corners, hidden tree forts, places to scamper, places to hide and of course places to run and climb.
I picture myself as a potter and a gardener, with well worn hands and a calm, patient and relaxed demeanour. I would be wearing bright comfortable shoes. They would be preferably red and most likely mary-janes. My striped or patterned wool socks would go just above my knees to hide the traces of my time spent kneeling in the garden. Over my brightly coloured socks would be a billowing layered neutral skirt that would in some places fall down to my ankles and in some places fall just below my knees. The whole ensemble would be pulled together with a hand knitted wool sweater and a dazzling yellow scarf that would tie up my messy long grey hair. Every time I would leave the house my husband Ian would warmly shake his head and smile knowingly at my unique fashion sense. There would be a sense of humour in my swagger, a sparkle of mischief in my eye and grace in my self-confidence.