a weekly blog about my thoughts and life as I try to age gracefully – or not!
Author: Halle McQueen
I am a herbalist by trade and have a Ba in Complimentary Medicine. My passion is plant medicine -- that is what took me to the Amazon jungles in Peru in 2006. My blog about my 8 years in Peru is now a book titled 'PERU: THE BEAUTIFUL, THE MYSTICAL AND THE UGLY'. You can check it out on Amazon.com or via my website http://amazonhalle.com
Yes, I am no different to many others as far as making new years resolutions go. I made one! I want to lose a bit of weight and make every day count.I have done well so far with this month.
Having a close friend die is a real game changer and each day is more precious especially being 70 years of age .I had a rethink about what things I really liked doing over the years. One passion was painting with oils, I love the smell of oil paint! I dragged out all my stuff and once I made that first stroke of paint on the blank canvas I was off and running and finished an abstract painting of a cyclone. I might even copy it here for you to see – maybe. No, I will! I need to stop not doing things because I will worry about what you may think. This year I will post photos of stuff and I won’t give a rat’s arse about what people think. I will add that to my new year’s resolution!
I also do a bit of writing as you can see the book about my 8 year experience in the Peruvian amazon jungle. My friend who died was on the verge of publishing when she died so I did that for her this year. So you see I have been making every day count (so far).
But wait, there’s more! I have always loved growing things by seed so I have built a little seed raising house and have sprouted some Bauhinia trees and Moringa trees. I also managed to get a Boab tree and a Poinciana tree to sprout – I’ll keep you posted on them as they are more tropical than Perth, Western Australia. Here is that painting I promised to add.
Yes, I know I said I would write a weekly blog and here I am 3 months after my last one. I have had good intentions, however when I get to writing I think about all the millions of people who might be interested in my blog and think “I can’t write that!” I know what you are thinking – ‘did she say millions of people?’ The reality is that if I am lucky 5 or 6 people? So it really does not matter what I write does it; that is my new thinking so I will try again and get writing.
I had a reality check recently. A very close friend died a few weeks ago. She had Hodgkins Lymphoma and had chemotherapy. She was told that if she survived 5 years after the treatment she would probably have many more years of life. BUT….as life often deals out blows, she lasted the five years which gave her a lot of positives about her future then WHACK; it returned and she was gone in 4 weeks. It was so quick.
I was asked to be a pallbearer at her funeral and feeling the weight of her body in the coffin was a really strange feeling. It was not just a box – it had my friend inside it!
That sort of changed my attitude about each day. Before that, I would get out of bed every morning and automatically do my routine of the day. Now I get out of bed and go stand outside and be still. I let all my senses kick in and feel the breeze on my skin, listen to the leaves on the trees whispering, make a mental note of the birds calling and check out where the sun is positioned in the sky. Yes …. it’s corny but it seems to have reconnected me with my time spent in the Amazon Jungle in Peru where my senses seemed to be at a peak. It was pretty bloody nice I can tell you.
I now think of my friend’s death and silently thank her for getting me back to a place in my mind that is very satisfying.
Having said that, let’s see if I can make more regular blogs here! I suspect it will help me with this ageing thing and just accept it.
And guess what – nothing is different! After all my fretting about the big birthday, it is just another day. My family treated me to 3 days of celebrations so I can’t winge can I?
I treated myself to a trip to Melbourne (I live in Perth, WA)just before my birthday. I went to attend ‘An Evening With Jane Fonda’ and it was fantastic. I have always been a huge fan of Jane’s. During the 60’s and 70’s she influenced my life by being a courageous, strong woman who spoke out about her beliefs. I was a bit of a timid little mouse those days and pretty much scared of everyone and everything that was going on. I found that if I was in a bit of a pickle, I would ask myself ‘What would Jane Fonda do?’ An answer always popped up – usually something like ‘Just get on with it and stop snivelling.’
I can’t believe some people still hassle Jane about the Vietnam thing! I mean, it is over 50 years ago and she still gets shit. What a brave and courageous woman Jane was, especially in the days when women were 2nd rate citizens. I just love the woman and being in the same room as her was a huge highlight in my life!
Well now I am 70, I have been taking Jane’s advice and take stock of my life. She said don’t be like Christopher Columbus who set off on his journey not knowing where he was going, didn’t know where he was when he got there and didn’t know where he had been when he got home.I like that!
Being 70 makes me think of the reality which is I may have 15 or 20 good years left. I never thought about that before.
So what would Jane Fonda do? I reckon she would say ‘Just get on with it and stop snivelling.’
Yes, a few weeks away from my 70th birthday. There’s no turning back.
It’s funny because when I was 40, 50 and even 60 yrs old, I never thought about being old but this one; 70 – jeez I suddenly feel dispensable.My used by date is getting closer!
I decided to write a blog about how I am feeling, what I am doing and other trivial stuff just to add meaning to my days.
Will this be a lifestyle blog? Maybe but it is more like a diary which gives some insight to the things us older people think, what worries us and how we fill in our days. Let’s say it is wisdom and honesty! Yes, I like that.
I think wisdom comes with learning from many years of doing things for self satisfaction and finally after a lot of pain and torment, realizing it was not so good. Honesty is when we can sit down and acknowledge what a dipstick we were and not punish ourselves for it.
Growing old is sort of liberating like that because we can see the last 20 or so years approaching and I know I want to make them the best years of my life.
It’s been a few weeks since I decided to do this blog and I have realized it’s not easy. Deciding what to write is the hard bit. With everything going on around the planet, my trivia is quite boring but maybe that will be a good thing.I mean who will give a dam about it? Maybe no-one! However,I will begin with today!
It is a freezing cold day, wet and windy here in Western Australia. It is so cold that a Bandicoot with a baby in her pouch came inside through the cat door to steal cat bickies and she stayed in the warm for a while.
I have the fire going and the radio on 1080 (an old fart’s station) listening to the Bee Gees. No really!
I am in a defense mode at the moment. Every year for the last 3 years I have had the flu at exactly the same time – just before my birthday every year. I am a herbalist by trade so I should be more attentive to my own health shouldn’t I? It’s old age creeping up I reckon. With hormonal changes and gravity dragging my physical body down south, I freak out when I look in the mirror. It’s time to change all my habits and my thinking and get on with this aging thing!
Till next week – see you.