I’ve only been 70 for a week and guess what — I’m liking it! Even though I referenced Jenny Joseph’s poem last week, I am still surprised by the actual sense of freedom I feel.
Let’s face it when you reach 70 you might as well stop trying to kid yourself that you’re going to change a lot of things about yourself, and you know you can’t change the world. We can care about the Earth and do our best for others but don’t feel guilty about our own blessings.
I am no longer going to be silly enough to think I might ever turn into the kind of housekeeper my mother was. I am not going to feel bad about not setting a better example for my children. My mother set a good example and look how I turned out.
I am going to wear odd socks because I like odd socks and I am not going to care what anyone thinks about it and I am going to carry a really cheap-looking handbag with my sealskin coat because I love the shading and design on the front flap of the bag.
I am going to embrace my hedonistic side. We all have some things that we are a bit fussy about but don’t want to seem fussy about, which is fine if you’re being considerate of someone else’s feelings. But it’s silly if you’re denying yourself a simple pleasure just because you’re being practical.
For example, when I finish this writing I am going to tell Newman that he has to help me move “my” chair by the living room window for the fifth time in three years and I am not going to be embarrassed or the least bit apologetic about it, or about the fact that with any luck there may still be a sixth move some day.
I am not being a wastrel, buying and discarding chairs willy-nilly. On Fleming Street my spot was a corner of the couch which was deep enough to support my neck and filled the requirements of facing both the fire and the TV.
When we moved here I also wanted to be able to swivel around and watch the birds. My first chair in my chosen spot in front of the window was part of a pair we moved from Fleming Street. It rocked and swivelled but the back hit my neck at the wrong spot.
Then I had one of a pair of red faux leather swivel recliners/scratching posts. I wanted to put them in Newman’s lair because they looked a bit disreputable for the living room, but you have no idea how hard it is to find reputable smallish swivel rocker recliners.
Out of desperation I tried a new chair that didn’t swivel but I sent it back. Then I found one at The ReStore which also didn’t swivel but I don’t mind having something less than what I want if I have so little money tied up in it that I can get rid of it without qualms when the desired thing comes along.
Then I saw one online that seemed to tick all the boxes. It arrived Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, the design does not allow my neck to rest easily. Newman is sitting in it right now blissfully unaware that I am about to tell him I want the two red ones moved back to the living room and the new one and the ReStore one moved to the lair.
I don’t want the coldness of the leather, but I’ll cozy it up with a throw until I find my forever chair. In all of this trial and error, there is still only one chair bought new, so if I find my comfortable TV/fire/bird-watching chair in a warm fabric I will have no hesitation to buy it.
If you get to be 70 and don’t have a chair that you love, then you must not stop looking until you find one.
Call me mad. Call me hedonistic. Call me if you have my perfect chair. Ha ha.
I wish all of you personal contentment in 2019.
Janice Wells lives in St. John’s. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.