Today is the day that I embark on the sixth decade of living on Planet Earth. And here I'll firmly stay for the rest of my life. You won't get me volunteering for one of those space missions to Mars. We were shown the toileting arrangements on one of those spacecraft in the Science Museum once and I don't want to be doing that for a few years. No, I'm better off staying down here. There's plenty still to see.
So, my forties have now been and gone. It was a rich and eventful decade. Here I'm passing on some of the things that I learned.
- I'm pretty nifty with a blowtorch and can now turn my hand to making something out of precious metal when the mood takes me. But my crack cocaine of crafts is lino cutting, something I'll be exploring a lot more of in the fifties. By the way my lovely necklace isn't one of my own creations but was made for my birthday by Sugar Plumb. Thanks Tanya.xxx
- It's not normal to have levels of anxiety that make you feel like you're being chased by a very ravenous tiger all the time. Using meditation, self-studied cognitive behavioural therapy and yes, a bit of medication I've finally got shot of the mood disorders that's plagued large bits of my life since my teens. Unpleasant emotions such as sadness and sadness are part of normal life. They aren't a sign that I'm going to plummet into mental illness again. It's best to acknowledge and face them.
- You are rich if you have enough money to do and buy what you want. If your desires are fairly modest then wealth comes quicker.
- It's okay to write, sing, dance and have a go at stuff even if you're not perfect. Your efforts will at least give you something to laugh at.
- You don't have to be liked by everyone especially those whose values, beliefs and actions are way off kilter from your own.
- People can change but only when they want to and not at your bidding.
- Being a parent is the most important and fun thing that I've ever done. I've raised a happy, wise, funny and kind human being who's my best little mate. I'm proud of that.
- Life can be taken away at a moment's notice. Mine nearly was. It's up to us to use all those precious moments in the best way possible.
- I can drive a great big motorhome. Whoop whoop! That's in spite of the fact that I'm as accident prone as they come and words of doom from doubting Thomases . Touch a bloody great plank from a Redwood tree. I haven't done any major damage yet. I don't intend to.
- What goes around comes around. So I strive to be kind and put things right when I've done wrong or see things that are unacceptable I reckon that the generosity and love shown to me means that I'm reaping those karmic benefits!
I wonder what I'll learn in the next decade and where it will take me!