I fell in love with my Mini the moment I saw her on the garage forecourt. She’s a cream-coloured Mini Cooper Clubman and her name is Adele Vivienne. She’s an old girl now, wearing a few dings, and she is at the repair shop today getting a new clutch. I still love her and, even if I could afford a new one, I wouldn’t swap her. She’s taken me all over the country and never let me down; my two girls have learnt to drive in her – which may explain the clutch problem – and she is an absolute Tardis: you would not believe what I can cram inside that little car.
She’s not exactly fast, but then, neither am I.
I have had to face this truth in the last couple of days. I awoke at 1.30am on Friday morning knowing something had shifted. I went downstairs and made a cup of tea. No shaky legs; no spinning far-off world. In fact, everything had edges again. I was better! This depressive episode was, after 42 days, at an end. I wanted to dance around the kitchen. Instead, I drank my tea and sensibly went back to bed.
When I was younger, the abrupt end of the depression would see me instantly on the go again at full pelt. People around me would say, “Take it easy,” and I would look at them blankly and ask, “Why?” I was better; I was back to normal; I could do normal things with my normal energy at my normal speed. I could do 0 – 60, like the Ferrari SF90, in 2.5 seconds.
It isn’t like that now. Yes, I’m better, but I must accept the energy and stamina is not fully restored. In fact, with my sixtieth birthday approaching, I must accept it will never be restored to the same levels it was when I was thirty, or even forty or fifty. We age, and bits of us stop working; our batteries no longer hold a full charge. These days, I’m more like the slowest car tested by Motor Trend, the Chevrolet Spark, which takes 10.1 seconds to reach 60mph.
So, there have still been naps. I backed out of visiting my Father-in-law in the care home. I chose not to go to church, even though I miss it dreadfully. I still ordered easy food and had it delivered.
The end of the depression, thankfully, sees a return of enthusiasm. When I wrote my blog last week, I was scared it wouldn’t come back, but it has. At least now I want to do things. But sensibly; yes, slowly and sensibly. Maybe that’s the lesson learned from this time around.
What are the things you find yourself relinquishing to old or middle age? Is there a graceful acceptance, or are you raging at the limitations age forces on you? And, for those of you still young, what is your views?