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.
My life has suddenly and unexpectedly changed. Well, its framework has. Its setting, I suppose.
When I arrived down here in early 2016, I fairly soon discovered a lovely retirement village called Sirovilla. Yes, I did say ‘retirement’: in your 70s this isn’t a word (thinks: gosh ! – I suddenly recall all the posts I once made on words and their wickedness) that causes dismay – especially when you are without assets. I put my name down for the Highton one and struck it from my mind for the next roughly 5 years, such is the size of their waiting-list.
In the unit I’m now in, where I’ve been for 6 months, I stirred things up a bit by insisting that various repairs and replacements were done – the major one being putting down new carpet. Now, only days after the large expenditure so reluctantly made, I have tendered my notice. I suspect the owners would cheerfully strangle me if they could get their hands around my neck; and the agent isn’t the captain of my cheerleading team.
Back to Sirovilla. The woman who virtually runs both villages called me last Friday, out of the blue. She told me of a different organization (turns out she is good friends with its CEO) that has a vacancy and I should contact them. So I did; and so is everything new again. :)
This place will be my sixth address in Geelong; but there’s no more need to keep searching for the right place to call ‘home’: I’ve really found it. Not only tenure for the rest of my days, but absolute security in terms of whatever direction my health takes: the unit they’ve offered me is large, beautiful, has a garden, two safe areas for Lui to sit in the sun and blink, and is completely self-sufficient and private … I can’t think of anything that’s missing in it. BUT ! – were I to become less physically able, there’s a huge number of units for the semi-independent, and ditto for actual aged care – all for me to move into whenever I need|want. No, I do NOT want; but whose nose ? (One of Chic’s favourite philosophical statements, that.)
The sole photo of those I took when being shown ’round that’s of sufficient quality to let you see is this one:
Please take on board the fact that my current kitchen has ONE powerpoint, and far from enough cupboard space so that I’ve had to add a full-size set of shelves (for which there is only just enough room), and you will possibly grasp my enthusiasm for le kitchen. It has more power-points than I need and much more pantry|cupboard space than one greedy person will be able to use ! [grin]
At LAST I can stop this frenetic never-settling-down. I shall do so with joy.