Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Place to Start

I hate growing older because it means I'm running out of time to learn and see and do things.

I don't like the physical effects of ageing either, but mostly that's just vanity and since I've been a bit dismissive of older people all my young life then I deserve some payback now. I must admit though that the shock of seeing some old lady looking back at me in the mirror is continually disturbing! She certainly doesn't reflect the way I feel like I look.

Not being able to get my body to physically behave the way I expect it to is also frustrating. I watch my daughters play netball and while I can't quite pinpoint the moment I realised I could no longer do that myself, I do know that I would break if I tried. I want my own Avatar. My 50yr old brain in my 20 yr old body and I would be a super star!

Most of all however, I despise the inevitability that time will rob me of the chance to keep teaching and learning and travelling. I think about how quickly the last 20 years have passed and what huge shifts in technology have occurred in that time and I lust to know what life will be like in 40 yrs or 100 yrs.

To compensate and to keep my mind off my mortality, I try to fit far more into every day than I previously thought possible in an attempt to feed my thirst for knowledge and new experiences. Blogging is one of the things on my bucket list and I've put off the first post for a long time because I couldn't decide what to blog about (and because of point 9 below). Today it's cold and raining outside so I'm just going to begin....

I've called my blog 'In Hindsight' because I believe reflection is the key to future learning. Making mistakes is how we learn but making the same mistake twice indicates a poor attention span or a flawed attitude.

So for my first ever blog post; in hindsight, what are the top 10 things I have changed or would have changed about my life if I could?

1. I would never, ever have smoked a cigarette. It took me 30 years to stop the filthy habit and it has most likely robbed me of quite a few of the years I am so worried about keeping at this end of my life.
Don't think you will be the one who can just give it away whenever you want to. Addiction doesn't work that way.

2. I would never have left the house without sunscreen. That tan I thought looked so healthy at 16 certainly doesn't look so flash now.
Skin cancer kills people.

3. I would be more grateful for what I have and less envious of what I have not. Envy is a wasted emotion. You make your own luck. I wish I had spent more time chasing my own goals rather than thinking how lucky other people were.

4. I'd have more kids. The three I have (aged 26, 19 & 7) are truly wonderful, amazing creatures and I love them to bits.They are my greatest achievement and my greatest joy. I never cease to be amazed by the miracle of childbirth. If I'd been a better family planner I would have one more in each of the gaps to keep each other company when they were little!

5. I would be nicer to people. Forgiveness is so much healthier than bearing a grudge. Anger is a very negative emotion and causes you to act in an irrational way that generally embarrasses you and your family.Sweating the little stuff sucks up the energy you need in case major stuff happens.
Choose to be happy.

6. I'd worry less. You can waste a lot of time making contingency plans for things that never happen. I tell my kids, 'drive carefully, wear your glasses and watch out for bees'. That covers most circumstances but it doesn't stop me from jumping every time the phone rings.

7. I would have travelled further, sooner. Thank goodness for books and the internet which have allowed me to 'virtual travel' to every corner of the Earth and beyond.

8. I would be more assertive. Stand up for what you believe in and don't be a bystander to bullying. I've learnt to do this more often recently and I like the way it feels.

9. Stop procrastinating and just get on with it. This is a work in progress.

10. I wouldn't have cut my hair the first time when my dad paid me to do it, the second time when I decided I was too old for long hair, or the third time or the time after that for the same reason. Don't feel the need to conform for other people.

What would you put in your top ten?


  1. Anne - boy can I relate to all your comments. The person looking through my eyes is still 30ish and I have no idea who that older lady is in the mirror either! I read a quote the other day that said you don't look back on life regretting what you did, you look back on life and regret what you didn't do. I think that's why I encourage my kids to set sail and do all the things they want to do. Great blog post and great first blog. Well done. Marg Murnane

  2. Thanks Marg
    I think there should be some sort of support group for getting old! Your quote is so right. I have few regrets about stuff I did ( with the obvious exception of the cigarettes and the sun) but I certainly regret leaving so much on the 'to do' list. Hopefully we'll get around to a fair few of them before the kids lock us into an aged care prison!