If I had 50 more years to live …

I love some of the gorgeous magazines that are created in Australia.

John gifted me with 2 of my favourites today – Dumbo Feather and Womankind.

Mary had subscriptions and we used to love reading the articles together and exploring ideas.

Both magazines inspired me in many ways.

I’m starting a creative reflection/writing challenge for Womankind mag today.

5 Minutes in nature for 5 days and write about it. I’m off to the ocean in half an hour.

Dumbo Feather had a piece about a woman who started writing poetry when she was 90 and she died last year aged 107.

Peggy Freydberg lived in a tiny cottage with her pet and her one collection of poetry ‘Poems from the Pond’ was published only a few months after she died in March 2015.

I adore the picture of her and this beautiful poem.

And after I read the poem I said to myself

‘ What If I lived to be 107? That’s another 50 years’

In a notebook I wrote – If I had another 50 years I’d ….

My list looks like this and it’s linked to the Why of the post I wrote earlier today:

If I had another 50 years I’d:

  • swim and cycle heaps
  • learn how to sew
  • learn about growing food and flowers – permaculture and biodynamically
  • explore my own creativity more – writing and visual – and have a studio
  • find/self build a small small house [make it as off grid as possible] and create gorgeousness in my life that included animals – specially dogs
  • research ways to create affordable and beautiful communal living spaces for older women like me
  • be debt free, live low cost and have creative ways to earn money
  • learn more about design – visual as well as design eras
  • create gorgeous food and relaxing spaces for people and do some interesting cooking courses
  • be a lot like I am now as a person – I like who I am in the world
  • learn some bodywork such as feldenkrais or alexander technique to honour my body
  • create new ways to meditate and have conversations with my unconscious

Later in the evening I wrote in my notebook some of the things I will do in the next 3 years to honor this list:

These are the things I want to learn in the next 3 years before I’m 60

  • growing food in WA using permaculture and biodynamic methods – follow up my email to Perth City Farm to volunteer a day a week
  • research small house and communal house design – already doing it
  • explore doing a Masters/Phd in Research, get scholarships and look/create models of affordable communal housing for older women – already started chats with people who are linking me to people in Notre Dame and other unis in Perth
  • set up studio in 6 month housesit and experiment with different photo transfer ideas – house sit starts September 2016 and there’s a whole huge room that Teresa uses for crafts
  • learn Illustrator so I can play with images in my studio – check You Tube vids for free
  • learn sewing to repurpose second hand clothes and eventually make cushions, curtains etc for small home – ask Liz to teach me
  • learn simple woodwork so I can create small things like tables and herb rack and maybe even teeny tiny home! – ask Dad to teach me in his workshop one day a month
  • learn gentle self sufficiency – lots of websites and videos online
  • join Inglewood Aussie Swim for 6 month housesit
  • explore cooking courses to do in 2017/2018
  • get resume clarified and send to organisations and people so I can get some steady income – started
  • find a friend who knows feldencrais and barter their skills for something I can do for them

Doing this writing has really helped me shift a critical perception about my life.

At 57, and since Mary died [and even before], I wasn’t actually looking forward to living more decades.

I’ve been tired at a core level.

Reading about Peggy becoming a poet at 90 shifted something inside me.

Even if I don’t have another 50 years, I can live like I’m going to.

The other thing I realised is that a lot of the things I want to learn over the next few years are about Time not Money – and I’m a Time Billionaire!

p.s many thanks to the fab people in Dumbo Feather and Womankind for the beauty of your words and design – you inspired me.

Anyway, here’s Peggy’s poem


Every morning,
even being very old,
(or perhaps because of it),
I like to make my bed.
In fact, the starting of each day
is the biggest thing I ever do.
I smooth away the dreams disclosed by tangled sheets,
I smack the dented pillow’s revelations to oblivion,
I finish with the pattern of the spread exactly centered.
The night is won.
And now the day can open.

All this I like to do,
mastering the making of my bed
with hands that trust beginnings.
All this I need to do,
directed by the silent message
of the luxury of my breathing.

And every night,
I like to fold the covers back,
and get in bed,
and live the dark, wise poetry of the night’s dreaming,
dreading the extent of its improbabilities,
but surrendering to the truth it knows and I do not;
even though its technicolor cruelties,
or the music of its myths,
feels like someone else’s experience,
not mine.

I know that I could no more cease
to want to make my bed each morning,
and fold the covers back at night,
than I could cease
to want to put one foot before the other.

Being very old and so because of it,
all this I am compelled to do,
day after day,
night after night,
directed by the silent message
of the constancy of my breathing,
that bears the news I am alive.

Peggy Freydberg from ‘ Poems from the Pond’

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