I spent much of the morning getting to grips with the paperwork for last year’s auctions. Russell has always been the one to deal with it all and he’s been to see the accountant too, for my affairs as well as his, but we agreed last year that it’s to be a joint effort now. So he wrote it all down and I made sense of it. yeah… it was okay for the three sales we held last year, once I’d worked out the idiosyncrasies in his accounting (which normally our good-natured and very expensive accountant does) but I was bemused by the addings-up for the most recent sale, which seemed to show that we had paid out more to the vendors than we had taken in, never mind expenses, which is not the case. So I’ve got all the papers and will check them through myself. It’ll be fine. And it was the last auction, after all.
We’d normally be getting ready for the next one by now and I can’t say there are no pangs of loss, though relief is the main feeling. Knowing when to retire is a matter for stringent self-evaluation, and having difficulty with the paperwork is a sign. Luckily, there’s nothing wrong with Russell’s memory and, when asked questions, he knows all the answers. His reasoning ability is slipping a bit, sadly.
My blogfriend Irene in the Netherlands wrote this the other day and, though we only share an age for a few days, we seem to be sharing an attitude of mind, because this is what she said Today is officially my birthday and I have turned the ripe old age of 59. I am completely going to indulge in being this age and get whatever benefits there are out of it. I think I am now allowed all sorts of liberties and that there are a lot of conventions that I don’t have to worry about anymore. I will do pretty much as I see fit and live my life accordingly. Just imagine how great it will be when I turn 60. I am going to practice for being that age this year. Indeed, though I’m on the opposite edge of 59 from her, I feel much the same way. It’s worked out a bit awkwardly that I’ll be away so much this autumn, when I spaced out my holidays better last year, but I’ve been asking R for years to come away with me and he always refuses, and he agrees that I can only get away from work when I’m away from home. And then Wink will have her new hip this autumn or winter – don’t have a date yet, of course, but I’ll spend a couple of weeks with her.
I had (going back to what Irene wrote) thought that it’s around 80 that one is truly liberated. A middle-aged woman has to be more careful of suitable clothes, hair colour and so on, than an older one. However, without consciously intending to, I’ve taken a leap forward and, I’m afraid, regressed somewhat. There is a point at which you can be uninhibited and I thought it was later than this. But a sudden wish to wear tight jeans, ride a motor bike, run round exuberantly with small children (I haven’t yet been accosted and asked to get off the swings, but I suppose it’s a matter of time) is more a sign of age than youth. I don’t seem to mind in the least. And it doesn’t make me irresponsible, which isn’t really in my nature – I’m quite dull, truth to tell – though I love to have fun. And, if on the eve of my sixtieth birthday I have a resolution, it’s to have fun.