Well, here we are Saturday morning again, another week gone and what have I achieved this week? Before I answer that I'll introduce myself, my name is Linda, known as Lin to some. I've been married happily for 10 years to Mike (we got married a lot longer ago than that but in the last 10 years we got used to each other!)
The picture of me holding the flowers was taken 2 years ago on my 50th birthday, yes that's right, I'm 52 now, well done. Oops! Slipping into my work mode there, I work as a teaching support assistant for children with special needs in a local junior school.
The wooden construction behind me is a brand new hen house and run, it was delivered on my birthday as a surprise birthday present from my husband, complete with four point of lay Warrens, named Cornflake, Abigail, Chloe and Emily. Sadly we only have Abigail and Emily now. You will notice I am holding a glass of red wine. I was told drinking red wine was good for the health, I firmly believe that and try to take my medication whenever possible!
The picture of the chickens shows them clearing up after a barbeque. They really are the most bossy, greedy chickens known to man. They'll take a chop bone out of the dog's mouth and peck the cats to drive them away from any nice little titbit they've found and they can outrun any of the house pets. They've now taken to walking in the back door and eating the dog's food!
I must interrupt my introduction here, Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin has just started on the radio, I love this song. It brings back memories of hanging around in the doorway of Stringers in Stourbridge, back in the 60's. With my High School skirt rolled over 3 times at the waistband to show off my skinny legs I would be praying that the incredibly beautiful Robert Plant would notice me as he wafted by on his celestial cloud, his long blonde curls flowing in the wind. He never did. Oh well! (Anyway, I've worn better than him!)
Back to The Mansions and what happens here in the present day. Why the Mansions you ask, it's actually just an ordinary semi blessed with a large garden, my husband started referring to it as 'The Mansions' in his local radio programme and it just stuck.
Besides Mike, me & the chickens, there is Harper the dog, the 4 cats, Willow, Fliss, Merlin and Morgan and somewhere lurking in the undergrowth is a pond with some goldfish, I think, as the heron comes around regularly I'm not too sure how many we have.
Our four children are all now technically adults, almost financially independent and only the youngest stays here from time to time when he is on leave from the Royal Navy.
The reason I put the picture of me on my 50th birthday is because, for me, that was a turning point. After nearly 3 decades of bringing up children, suddenly ........What? What am I supposed to do with my time?
These days, if you are blessed with reasonable health, it's not a winding down to your retirement, it's the start of a whole new life. I've never been so busy in my life as I am now and my friends say the same. But what are we busy at? For a start I got a computer and started researching my family history. I knew nothing, I was totally self taught and I've traced every line back to the mid 1800's at least but most back to the 1700's. This has included some very interesting days out to see where they lived and take photos and the real bonus is I 've met up with and talk to new found relatives around the world. It also uncovered a few shocks, don't let anyone tell you sex before marriage is a recent invention.
I've joined a gym, to try to halt the slow descent of certain parts of my anatomy. I have a love/hate relationship with that. I hate going but I love the smug feeling I get after I've been, that holier than thou feeling of 'I did something healthy, while you sat doing the crossword'. Trouble is Mike's talking of joining now, that means it'll get competitive and could get nasty.
I try to see more of my friends and have just met an old school friend I hadn't seen for 27 years and am meeting another one next week I haven't seen for over 30 years. Little did we think, when we last saw each other, that the next time we met we'd have a combination of fat stomachs, grey hair and double chins. Or horror of horrors, grey hairs on our chins!!!! And then what about the topics of conversation, how many of our parents are still with us? Operations we've had? Dear me, some aspects of being older are still depressing.
So what have I achieved this week?
Went to Swansea on Thursday to see where my great, 2 x great and 3 x great grandmothers lived. That was good. Planted half a dozen plants in the garden and tried to keep the house tidy. Do you know, I thought it was the children who made such a mess of the house. They don't live here now and it's still a mess, there's only Me & Him and I know it's not me but he says it's not him. I think there is a third person living in my house, who is invisible, called Not Me. This person is responsible for not putting the tops back on containers, breaking glasses, finishing the butter and putting the empty container back in the fridge and leaving the toilet seat up, I therefore know that Not Me is male.
For a whole week of when I'm not working it's not a lot really is it? Yet I never seemed to have a spare minute. I'm facing up to a growing realisation that it now takes much longer to do things. Not sure if that's because I'm less capable or if it's because there is now less pressure, so I do things at my new, relaxed, speed?
Am I the only 50 something who feels they should be filling their life with more meaningful stuff but somehow never find the time?