Now this is a tricky question. Would I rather be me now or me as a much younger person? Of course there are many disadvantages to age. I was never the most agile person, but I am less so these days and, of course, I’m realistic enough to know that life doesn’t last for ever and, in terms of three score years and ten, I don’t have that many years left.
But against that you have to set the advantages. Now for me, being retired is the best job in the world. I’m just about as busy as I was when working but I am doing the things I want to do and not things I’m told to do or am supposed to do. Now that’s just wonderful. It’s simply fantastic that in the world of the volunteer, people say ‘thank you’ for the things you do. I’m afraid my experience of the world of work, and I hear it from many others too, is that being thanked rarely happens.
Part of the wonderful job is being a grandparent – and I recently gained a third one of these wonderful little children. But I’ll start by looking back 34 years to the birth of my daughter who has produced the new grandchild.
My daughter was born 5 weeks premature and was quite a tiny scrap and needed an incubator for a while. The joy of the occasion was mixed with worry and of course, back then there was no such thing as paternity leave. Somehow I had to manage work, getting 3 year old son cared for and hospital visits to see wife and babe – 20 miles from home. It was all a tad stressful.
There’s daughter in her incubator and its obvious all turned out well or daughter wouldn’t have just produced her second child.
But birth of grandchildren is such a wonderful experience. For mum and dad I’m sure it’s stressful, as it was for us back in 1980. But for grandparents it is just an occasion to enjoy.
So her we welcome little Evie to the world. Did I say little? She’s nearly twice the weight her mum was.
Now aint she gorgeous.
I get to thinking about the changes in 34 years. I took black and white photos then because I could get home and process them myself. This enabled me to distribute images quite quickly by what we now often call snail mail. I had colour photos of Evie within 10 minutes of her birth despite being 100 miles away. My daughter has already taken some ‘arty’ black and white shots. Interesting how the young find them arty and those of us who grew up with nothing better see nearly all of them as ‘a pity’.
Of course, back in 1980 I took colour photos of our baby girl, but they had to be sent off to the processors and then sent back – a substantial wait.
Back then the relatives abroad had to wait for photos to be sent overseas on the slow, lumbering planes of the day. That took ages. Gosh, communication is so easy these days.
But I still have no answer to that original question of would I prefer to be younger. I reckon I enjoy life much more now – but long may it continue.