Being a Free Spirit and an Aging Gypsy
Children are resilient, so is the child in me. Circumstances change, I’ll adapt. Nothing is impossible, my mind renews like shedding skin. I’ve wept, it made me strong. I loathe mediocrity, apathy and dullness. When I'm hopeless I live one day at a time. When depression knocks I walk to find joy. When a friend was dying I watched a body disintegrate but witnessed a spirit growing stronger until it refused to be encumbered by its heaviness.
We all age. I choose to embrace it, and I relish my independence and freedom. I celebrate my passions, cooking, photography, writing, reading, playing bridge and travelling. If I lose my independence I’ll take it back. My mantra is "Be still and know I'm God"!
Twenty odd things I do:
1. Bird watching and listing, in my garden, friends think I’m an expert!
2. I "see" people and listen to their stories, they enrich my life
3. Make an occasion of mundane routines e.g. sip Tipo Tinto and orange juice for breakfast in Tofo.
4. Cook passionately for every person who eats at my table, especially for those I take for granted, even a simple sandwich needs a garnish! The appreciative smile makes me happy.
5. Always have an open mind – consider options and suggestions, change is as good as a holiday
6. Anywhere from home however short is a “road trip”, we take binoculars, camera and a picnic basket
7. I'm a tourist in my own town, street photography is looking through a lens and seeing extraordinary things.
8. Hair and nails grow, lipstick washes off, I change them as my mood does.
9. When bad things happen I do something I never have time for e.g. when I have flu I sleep, when we’ve had a flat tyre we make tea and watch the world go by. Sprain an ankle and catch up on my reading. When I’m sad I watch a movie.
10. Be the person I’d like my children to be.
11. Belong to clubs, they motivate, encourage and teach.
12. Be an active member it pushes me to the limits creatively, e.g. photographic club, teaches me to appreciate criticism as a tool to improve.
13. Change with the times, learn new skills and be renewed.
14. Be adventurous, have a beer at the shebeen, and a meal from a caravan
15. I’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain, fear is a stumbling block.
16. Explore “unchartered” waters, not popular destinations. Pack a sleeping bag, some food and wine and hit the road, just make a left turn then a right and so on, keep on going, we’ve always been surprised.
17. Write reviews, they make me taste, smell, see, experience with a purpose, making the ordinary extraordinary e.g. TripAdvsior
18. Learn from the past, examples e.g. Beethoven was deaf, travellers who excite have been blind, Stephan Hawking reached for the stars, Christopher Voelker a brilliant photographer bound to his wheelchair. A 90 year old recites poetry, is au fait with technology, plays Bridge, wears stilettos and considers breast implants! Michael Strauss drove to Italy on a Vespa! What handicaps me? Nothing!
19. Never say never. Life is short, a wink and it’s over, regret is a useless emotion.
20. I’ve forgiven myself for my mistakes, shortcomings and idiosyncrasies and accepted that I can’t be perfect or a perfectionist. I’m just human.
21. I can’t change anyone nor their opinion of me, thankfully that’s their problem.
22. God counts my days and nothing I can do will ever change that, but what I do with them is my choice.
In four years time we’re going to pack our Overlander and travel until we can’t. It could be one day or 10 years who knows? We’ll start in Worcester and just keep on going. Our most exciting times have been trips to Namaqualand, Kruger, the Karoo, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. We’ve been to India – an adventure I still dream about, Vietnam, which made me doubt the propaganda I was breastfed on. I’ve been to Europe and Canada, I loved Thailand, but abhorred the prostitution. France I say " I'm home", England, soothed my spirit and Portugal inspired passion; in Germany I cried and saw man’s inhumanity towards his fellow man. In Mexico I made peace with myself.
My motto’s are:
- Have passport will travel.
- He who travel’s light travels far (my emotional baggage is light).
- Never miss an opportunity.
- The bottle is always half full.
- Laughter is the best medicine.
- My choices are to be happy, joyful and content.
- Precious says "happy wife, happy life". I smile
- I can be Burnt-out-actress or a Wynonacha-cha
On April Fools' day this year I announced that we'd sold everything that we were packing up and heading North, following the road and our whims. We were overwhelmed by the positive responses we received from our worst critics. Most friends wished they had the courage to do the same thing. Some of course thought we'd lost the plot and would repent at leisure! Very few thought it was a hoax, that was a surprise. Maybe one should throw caution to the wind, follow one's heart, live in the moment. Of course reality always bursts the bubble, but the seeds have been sown and we are exploring new possibilities and far horizons. Soon it'll be Au Revoir