Hi. I’m Judy’s husband, Peter, and she has invited me to be a guest blogger again. Perhaps she thought that I might have some more wisdom to share about life in one’s seventies, since I’m in my eighties and I’ve been through the full catastrophe. But I’d rather talk about life in my decade. Judy’s next one.
This morning, at breakfast, I stopped reading the newspaper and paid attention to what I was eating – a good piece of bread, toasted, spread with unsalted butter and topped with orange marmalade. I’ve been ignoring my breakfast while reading the paper for years.
But when you’re in your eighties, you realize that the number of breakfasts you’re going to eat is finite. Oh sure, they’ve been finite all along, but small numbers are more finite than big ones. As there are fewer of them left, they are getting more precious.
It’s not just the days that are getting fewer. So are the things I can do and enjoy. I can no longer ride my bicycle to Harvard Square, let alone down the “D” roads of France. I can no longer see well enough to drive at night and one of these days I won’t be able to drive at all. I’m losing my sense of smell. My memory isn’t what it used to be.
However, having less left is making what I still have seem more valuable. I think Martin Amis got it right when he said “I find that in your 60s everything begins to look sort of slightly magical again. And it’s imbued with a kind of leave-taking resonance.”
I’m finding that leave-taking resonance in my 80s. I suspect that it’s findable at any age.