Thursday, January 8, 2009

New Year Non-resolutions

I don't make new year resolutions - far too guilt-ridden for my liking - but I do have 2 personal hopes for 2009.

The first is to get into University. I've decided to give it a go and see if any University will take a fading intellectual-manque. I've bumbled around for three years trying to decide what to do with the life I find myself in since the Golfer died. Thought about a bookshop - too risky financially; thought about charity work - I'm not charitable enough; and then I thought "I want to do something completely different". I find that I am almost allergic to anything to do with my old life. Clinging to the wreckage of it makes me feel sad. So I'm madly trying to get my UCAS form sorted and submitted and then I just have to sit back and wait for the offers to come flooding in, or not.

The other objective I have is much more personal, and too personal to reveal here. Let me say only that being widowed has physical repercussions which I intend to rectify this year!

To be absolutely honest, I have more hope that the first will happen than the second. After dipping my toe into the baffling world of dating last year, I have come to the conclusion that I may have had my one shot at love. Now that I've hit the 50 mark I seem to have crossed some invisible line that has relegated me from the first team and put me firmly onto the substitutes bench. A bloke of my age is, more than ever, going to look for someone younger than me - why have a woman of 50 when you can have a woman in her forties?

To reinforce this point, I got a letter from an old friend just before Christmas. I'd contacted him because, many years ago, we had both fancied each other but had done nothing about it. I thought - nothing ventured, nothing gained - and emailed him to say hello. I got a lovely letter back from him. He's married, which was not unexpected, but the thing I really picked up on was that this chap, who is the same age as me, now had two young children. Contrasting that with my own situation, my son is grown up and left home and I am certainly no longer able to produce a child. It was a perfect illustration of the option open to an older man. Who'd choose a dried-up old widow when they could have a fertile younger woman?

I think that is one of the reasons I have decided to try for University instead. It's a way of turning my back on the rules prescribed for my age-group and my station. I may never have sex again but I am determined to have some fun!

11 comments:

Laura Essendine said...

Never say never!

I recently heard the phrase "middle aged prodigy" and am determined to become one in 2009. Maybe you're heading in the same direction.

Good luck with this fabulous resolution.

Laura Essendine
Author – The Accidental Guru
The Accidental Guru Blog
The Books Limited Blog

Widow in the Middle said...

I firmly believe that love is available to all of us at any age. And I've been fortunate to have met a number of decent, kind, hardworking men with no desire to have more children or date a younger woman. At 49 I haven't given up on having love in my life and I believe that although it will be different, it still has the potential to be wonderful - in fact, the life lessons I've learned from having been widowed at 44 benefit all of my relationships (as a lover, friend or parent). I've just read a great book titled "My Favorite Midlife Crisis (Yet)" by Toby Devens. It follows the lives of three women all in their mid-50s. One is divorced, another widowed and another single. Each woman successfully finds love and for me it was a positive and optimistic read, especially at the new year.

diver said...

" ... turning my back on the rules prescribed for my age-group and my station."
-----------------------------------------------

Yay, that's the spirit Puddock! If I've learned one thing since turning fifty it's that biological and social standards for middle age are an illusion. 'Customs of aging', pfft, what a load of crap.

Hey I hear those universities are dens of iniquity ... especially the professors ;-) What are you planning on studying there BTW ?

Puddock said...

I LOVE these comments - thanks girls!

Middle-aged prodigy is exactly how I feel, Laura. Somehow I've hit 50 without having the opportunity to really go for it but I feel the same passion and enthusiasm that I had when I was 18 (a bit more tired and cynical I suppose but apart from that...). I would love to make a splash after all these years of hanging back.

Puddock said...

Widow in the Middle - thanks for dropping in! I checked out your profile and I was sorry to see that your life has not been going smoothly recently.

I must have a look at the book you recommend. Until I hit 50, I was optimistic too but that number feels like an obstacle, not so much to me (I still feel more like a teenager most of the time) but to guys of my own age.

I wish you a happier 2009.

Puddock said...

Thanks diver - you give me hope! I am hoping to be a lot more disreputable second time around! I was boringly safe and conventional when I was a student at 18 - didn't sample the life at all.

I have applied to study philosophy and/or maths and I can't wait. I've loved both for years and would love to dedicate four years to learning more about either or both.

Laura Essendine said...

Good luck on making a splash in 2009. If you're anything like me, you'll make more of a splash now than you would at 18!

Laura Essendine
Author – The Accidental Guru
The Accidental Guru Blog
The Books Limited Blog

Hogday said...

Here's a thought/challenge/ for us fifty plus'ers: Cut and paste this into your browser and if you like the look of it, all you need to do is find a trusty motorcyclist and offer to be pillion and photographer. I've done this trip (parts 1&2) and intend to do another asap. More details available, so just ask if you feel the need.

50+? Don't even dream it matters. You don't stop doing things because you get old - you get old because you stop doing things.

http://www.eaglerider.com/Tours/Guided-Tours/Wild-West-Tour-I-8-days.aspx

Puddock said...

If only, Hogday, if only!

There is no way I'd be brave enough to get on a motorbike, either now or at 18.

Mind you, it looks like a fabulous holiday.

Hogday said...

What you're doing now, and have lived through of late, is braver than anything I've ever done - and as for motorcycling, well it's made to look tricky and dangerous by men to boost their egos! It's actually a doddle (once you're moving, that is;)

Puddock said...

Thanks Hogday - that meant a lot. :) (still don't fancy the motorbike tho!)