How I saw my life at 65

Blogs and blogging
“Blogging in Paris”
Blogging in Paris

 
I was going to write a comment on Ronni’s post, Imagining Old Age and as I started typing, it became a longish reply and I thought I’d better post it here.
You want to go there and read the post and not miss the comments!

What struck me in those young people mentioned at Ronni’s, was how they project themselves as affluent elders, who can afford living abroad and sleeping in satin sheets.
When I was in school, the teacher would ask us which century we would have liked to live in and we were not many saying that we wouldn’t have liked any century but the 20th. Everyone thought of the 17th, 18th or 19th century, always thinking that they would have been a princess or a noblewoman and not belong to the same social class as we did then.
In the same way, I remember how just before graduating, we were asked what we were planning on doing after our Baccalauréat. And most of the girls in my class were going to get married and have children. It turned out that most of us did, but before that, most of us also went to university and got a job, which was all I had in mind at the time.
I’ve always had a lot of trouble projecting myself in the future. I just couldn’t see myself married and even less having a child.
At the time, I saw myself as some crossroads between Simone de Beauvoir and Alexandra David-Néel, with a bit of George Sand and some Françoise Giroud to spice it up.
But 65! Even now, I have no idea what I’ll be like two and half years from now.
Just yesterday, my doctor asked me if I would like to have grandchildren, and maybe you’ll think badly of me, but no, at the moment I feel perfectly fine without grandchildren.

To tell the truth, when I was 20, I never actually believed that I would grow old.

  1. I borrowed the photo of Millie Garfield and myself from her son Steve on flickr.
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10 thoughts on “How I saw my life at 65

  1. Reading your post here Claude, I suspect we think a lot alike. I did by chance drop by Ronni’s this morning and was quite intrigued by some of the comments I read on that post. A subject I suppose that could cause one to pen a lengthy dissertation.

    I am pleased for the most part with my life at sixty-five. If I have apprehensions, it is with the future with regard to the years when I may no longer be able to care for myself.

  2. Wow, what a post this is! I went back and read all the quotes from those 20 year old’s and the comments by fellow bloggers. – The bloggers know what they are talking about,

    Those 20 year olds are babies, dreamers and very naive. Don’t they have any older family members who are experiencing life and all it’s ups and downs. It seems they are so wrapped up in themselves they have lost theiir eyesight and hearing already.

    When I was 20 I had absolutely no idea what my life would be like in my 60’s, never mind in my 80’s. Never in my wildest dreams could I image what I have accomplished in the past few years.

    I’ve made blogging friends from all over the world, been written up in newspapers, on the internet and maybe someday, I will be on TV!

    Life is full of surprises.

  3. I do remember thinking about being old when I was feeling especially stressed as a college student. I would say to myself, “when I am a granny knitting in a rocker I won’t care whether I got an A on this test.” And I don’t!

  4. I did just go and read Ronnie’s post and the comments and I left mine. But I think I have a different take on all of it. I found their remarks and thoughts to be “uplifting” with hope. Hope that they possibly can aspire to be where they want, doing what they want at any age.
    As I said on Ronni’s post…we all have choices. Some of us are blessed to be able to fulfill them. Living in France is something my husband and I worked toward for years and 2 years ago this month when he retired, we would have been there. BUT life intervened and we had my aunt come to live with us. France was out of the question with her….so we readjusted our choices. Living here on the island was our second choice…and it hasn’t been a bad one in the least. But all of it started with goals and plans years ago.
    PS…I don’t think you’re terrible at ALL for not caring about grandchildren. It’s you choice!

  5. If twenty-somethings didn’t think that way, I suspect our species as we know it would be extinct! The emphasis on a positive, even rosy future is what propels us forward, no matter what our age; even when we know better.

  6. I guess I never thought that far ahead when I was in my self-obsessed 20’s. I didn’t think about not destroying the only knees I’ll ever have on the ski slopes. I didn’t always wear the support bra that I should have never ever taken off.

    Live and learn

  7. When I was a teenager, we talked about the year 2000, and how old we would be when it came around. I had no earthly idea what I would be like at age 60, and attempts to write about it would have been futile. I think some of those young people who wrote did so because they had to do it for a class, and they wrote what they thought sounded good to the teacher!

  8. I think there could be a lot of truth in what Kenju said about the students just writing something because the teacher asked them to do it and so they wrote something that just sounded good.

    Makes sense.

  9. When I was 20, in 1961, the only choices open to women in the U.S. were marriage and low-level jobs like secretary or waitress. The only “professions” open to women were nurse and teacher.

    Also, from the cradle, in those days, women were taught that marriage and motherhood were the goals – period. So the only way to think about old age was as a grandmother.

    Then, life changed for women and those 20-year-olds can now think of their futures (if they do at all) in the same way men always have. And isn’t it terrific they can.

    As to grandchildren, Claude, I never even wanted children. And I still don’t regret that decision.

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