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!