Monday, 21 August 2017

Crete Diaries June 2017. Another Decade Begins.

Today is 30th June, I'm in Crete and tomorrow I will turn sixty. I spend time today thinking and wondering what it means to be entering this new decade.

 TEN

When I turned ten at the end of my first decade I had what I remember as being my first and only birthday party of my childhood. I think on other birthdays I had a cake with my family and was allowed to invite a friend.
There were conditions to this party. No one was invited until about a half hour before it began. The reasoning was, my mum didn't want any of our neighbours to buy presents they could ill afford.
I don't think children's parties were so big back then in 1967 certainly not the way they are today with themes and soft play area and bouncy castles. Oh what we wouldn't have done to jump on a bouncy castle. I did receive a few gifts from girls whose mothers had ran to the corner shop in a rush to buy something for their daughters to bring. I think my mum had just made it harder with the last minute invites but she meant well. They were probably cursing her as most people wouldn't go to a party without at least a card.
When my dad came home from his work a short while after the party started he had seen one solitary child playing in the street at peever. He asked her why she wasn't at the party as she stayed just across the street from us. The truth is we had fallen out and I hadn't invited her. I wasn't best pleased when she appeared at our front door with my dad to join my party. I was taught a few lessons on that tenth year.
A friend's presence is more important than any gift money can buy.
Never leave anyone out. It's awful to be on the outside looking in.

TWENTY

I remember the joy of turning twenty and I was no longer a teenager. It was also the year I would be married so it was a very exciting year. I  had the milestone of my twenty first birthday the following year to look forward and my first as a married lady.

THIRTY

When I turned thirty I had two children of five and three.  I celebrated this birthday by going out for a meal to a Greek restaurant with four of our friends.  I remember being reluctant to leave my twenties behind. I had to be a proper grown-up now.

FORTY

It was party time when I turned forty. After only remembering one party from my childhood I was determined to have one now. We hired a hall and a disco and invited all our friends, it was a great night and I still enjoy looking at the photos. It was marred by the fact that my parents couldn't attend. My dad wasn't feeling well and mum didn't want to leave him. We didn't realise it was the start of something serious and he passed away with a sudden illness a few months later.




FIFTY
I have no recollection how I celebrated my fiftieth birthday. Hubby and I probably went for a meal. I don't think I liked turning fifty and just wanted the day to pass.

SIXTY

HOW do I feel tonight,on the last day I can truthfully say I'm fifty something? Well, I'm on the beautiful Island of Crete, the sun is shining everyday and I have my lovely husband beside me.
 I have two children whom I love dearly and who are happy and settled with their chosen partners and to top that I have three beautiful and amazing granddaughters.
How I feel is thankful. I am thankful that despite not always being in the best of health I'm still here, alive and kicking (although not very high admittedly.)
A few months ago my long time childhood friend passed away very suddenly not long after her 60th birthday. My brother passed away three years ago after a short illness at only 54 yrs old. 
So tonight on the eve of my birthday I am thankful and happy that tomorrow I will have reached the age of sixty. I will swim in the pool here in Crete and hubby and I will go for a special meal tonight and toast absent friends and family,the ones we wish could still be here. When I return home I'm hoping for a small celebration with my family.
Another hope is that when this decade comes to a close I will still be here writing about my seventieth year. Until then I rather agree with the idea that 60 is the new 40!
     


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