This year our 2nd son is 60, our 5th 'child' is 50. Last year our 1st son was 60, his son was 30, my brother-in-law 90, and we celebrated all of them. We never lack an excuse for a party.
I was recently thinking of 'Life begins at 40' (a 1932 book on 'Self-Help'), more realistically Daily Telegraph research shows 'The fourth decade heralds the beginning of the end' (very cheering). Then you have the 'Seven Ages of Man', apparently from Jacques, in Shakespeare 'As you like it' who was 'Jaded, cynical and melancholy'.
So, in my 9th decade, have all milestones been notable? Well, you decide. 10 years old we had bonfires to celebrate end of WW2, and I started grammar school (scary) and got used to flashers on the bicycle route! At 21, I already had a child, and was interviewing our first employee. The phone went, I handed him the child. Plaintive cry 'Your boy's being sick over me'. We're still friends.
The decade 35 to 45 is 'lost'; five children, three house moves, and manic depressive – hospitals, scared of going mad, endless changes of drug, two operations – how we all stuck together through that lot beats me.
But, at 40, I had my first article published and paid for! A real milestone, given what it lead to. At 50, I went to University (the decision was made when very drunk, never regretted). At 60, real life change – living in France, and a writer, researcher and historian. 70 – Lovely clothes (see blog on 'Target') and dancing in the fountains in Paris.
Then, this decade - biggest challenge of all. Leaving our lovely historic house and converting an old shop to provide an 'ambience' which would please me aesthetically and deal with the practical needs of a very sick husband.
Among our pictures is the 100th birthday of my mother-in-law with a telegram from the Queen. I don't think I'll aspire to that – I think her purse won't stretch to all the centenarians. Should she still be alive, she'll be 109, not impossible and poor Prince Charles 87!
So are your 'milestones' joyous, tinged with sadness, or a complete blur?
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