The best thing about getting older is that you eventually realise that the only person you have to please is yourself. This doesn’t mean living selfishly with no concern for others, but rather that you learn to prioritise your life according to what makes you happy, rather than thinking you have to make others happy at your own expense. What this leads to is a more fulfilling life, doing things that make you joyful, are interesting and add value to your life experience. And the spin-off is that, because you are excited about life, you become more interesting to others who share your interests and soon you are surrounded by people who have knowledge to share on subjects that matter. That is the purpose of life – to be involved in it.
Having been the daughter of parents who were interested in everything from astronomy to zoology (you know what I mean), I am privileged to have inherited their abhorrence of the mundane, and it seems as though they are both guiding me to continue their legacy of appreciating the things in life that are free. Now it is just a question of finding the time to do all these things – photography, birding, botany, hiking (who would have thought?), painting (yes, I will get back into it), writing (the novel is nearly finished), camping (Southern Star Party twice a year), travelling locally and abroad – in stimulating, enjoyable company – while retaining the ability to sit under a milkwood tree in quiet contemplation and appreciation.
Even more inspiring is to see other people reaching this awareness and stepping out to become their own person. Who knows – perhaps the Camino beckons?