Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Time Is On My Side

My nanna turned ninety years old today. Ninety. Years. Old. That’s quite an impressive feat, very worthy of celebrating, and so we did … however, she also suffers from dementia and gets very thrown by anything that veers from her daily routine, so we kept things low-key, just a gathering of her children and a few of us grandkids, with a cake and candles and pink fizzy drink.

Nan’s older sister came along to the party, too; my great aunt Alma who just last month turned ninety-five. Oi. Given that their mother and father live to ninety-eight and ninety-seven respectively, it’ll be interesting to see what number these two dear old girls make it to, with those longevity genes and modern medicine on their side.

I’m hitting a smaller milestone of my own later this year (forty, she whispers) and I sometimes find myself stressing about how fast the years seem to be slipping by, and along with that, how long it's taking me to write this book (ah, yes, my patience issue raising its ugly head again.) But these days I am able to calm my heart palpitations by acknowledging that even after four years, I am still a learner writer - not quite a wet-behind the ears beginner, but not a veteran, by any means. And this means that getting my book into shape should take time. I mean, I didn’t learn to become a lawyer over night. That took six years of hard graft, and learning to write – and to be a writer – may take just as long, if not longer. Hopefully, I’ll never stop learning … but somewhere along the track, I will finish my book.

So today, looking at my nanna and my great-aunt – and remembering my late grandfather who made it to ninety-two – I was reminded that with just a little bit of luck, I probably do have plenty of time on my side.


  1. Hi Rachel,

    Your last couple of posts have come out all funny - instead of blank lines between paragraphs, there's weird code:

    Anyway, 90 is a great achievement! My grandparents have all made 80 (my grandpa just turned 85) and a few of my great-grandparents made their nineties. I'm hoping I take after them :-)

  2. Happy happy birthday to your nanna. 90 and 95. That's kind of mind-boggling.

    You sound like you're handling your upcoming milestone birthday much better that I'm handling mine. (Same one.) and I have the same patience issues with my I can't give you much in the way of advice but I can provide loads and loads of sympathy.

  3. I think it's encouraging to know that one can live for so long. More and more, people seem to be living longer. It gives us so much more time to write and to live and to enjoy life.

    My grandparents are in their eighties and I'm always so impressed with them and their knowledge of the world. They've seen so much in their lifetimes.

  4. Helen- I don't see any strange code in either of Rachel's last couple of posts. Would be interested to know if anybody else sees the same- otherwise it might be your software/ settings playing up. The line you've posted as an example is blank on my screen, fwiw.

    Anyone else? If lots of others see weird code, I'll take a look and see if I can find out the problem.

    {Your friendly quasi-blog-tech chick}

  5. ETA: I've stripped a little bit of background HTML formatting out of the post; makes no difference to what I was seeing in the first place, but Helen- let me know if that does the trick.

  6. @Rachel- Happy Birthday to your nanna! :)

    @Claire and Helen -- I don't see anything odd using Firefox or Safari. Never have. Maybe it is the Helen's software.

  7. @ Helen - ah, sorry the post looks all wacky for you. Its lovely to still have grandparents around, isn't it? I love catching up with my Nan, even though I have to remind her who I am every ten minutes or so!

    @ Precie - ah, sympathy never goes astray! Thanks ... and yes, it is an odd feeling, turning 40. Especially when I think that in 10 years time I'll be 50 .... OK, I'll shut up now ... :-)

    @dr3am3r - it's amazing what they have lived through, isn't it? The world has changed so much during the span of their lives ... my mind boggles at what changes we might be lucky enough to see.

    @ Kristen - thanks! I'd pass along your birthday wishes but then she'd get very confused, probably think you're some relative, and there would go an hour of circular conversations ... :-P

  8. Rachel - yes, it's lovely catching up with my grandparents :-) My mum's parents live close - only a few minutes drive - so I can catch up with them regularly. Dad's family lives up on the Vic/NSW border, about 3.5 hours away, so it's a bit harder, but I try to get up there at least a couple of times a year.

    Re the weird formatting - Claire, that does look better now. I'm using Internet Explorer 8, FWIW. And my "example" code did turn out blank, so it's not just you - I guess the code actually worked and made it a blank line.

    I'll send an email with a screenshot in it to the ATWOP email, then you can see what I'm seeing.

    The joys of computers *wry g*

  9. Happy belated birthday to your Nanna! We were just with my grandmother in Turkey, who's 83.
    And yea, I've got to stop stressing about the fact that this writing things seems to be taking a long time, when really, I've only been working on the latest story for a year or so!