I’m packing death.
Have just realized that I don’t know if anyone other than an Aussie understands that phrase … Well, it means that I am shit-scared, basically.
Nothing to fear about moving (next Wednesday) into an absolutely delightful unit – roomy, bright, full of gardening promise, ditto cooking – how could there be ?
No nerves regarding future living in a place where I can walk for 3 or 4 minutes to a cafe (on my premises) that sells exactly the kind of edibles that appeal – cheese & salad rolls, arancini and all that kind of stuff.
No anxiety re being able to go to a gym whenever I want, or join a choir, or do a daily walk (dream on !) of exactly one kilometre …
What causes the sweat on the brow and the sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach is actually simple: this is my last move. I must acknowledge that I really do fall into the “elderly” category, regardless of how I see myself as a person. Forget the jeans and the runners and the clipper job on the hair. I’ve reached the stage where I have to step over a line – and it’s a vital one.
It’s the line between being sufficiently carefree as to be able to look around and think how many people there are who are so much older than I; and reality. The line between offering my seat on a bus to an old person; and not doing that. The line between telling myself I will, one day, find somewhere to live that I can be happy with; and knowing that if I’m not happy where I’m about to move to, then it’s tough shit.
This is it.
I think most people don’t have to face a step like this: by the time they’re in their mid-70s they’re well settled into whatever is their lifestyle. Of course there are many who have to go into care places – but when they’re still healthy and … erhmm … ambulatory ?
It’s the very reason I look on this offer as a gift from the gods that causes fear.