Sunday, May 16, 2010

Growing Old Disgracefully - The Only Way to Live

As many of you know, I am currently in Toronto with my oldest sister, Jacquie. She lives in a nice apartment not far from the centre of the city in an area with lots of restaurants and shops so there's plenty to do.  I have slowly adjusted to life here and the different rhythms, all of which have been immensely good for my general mental and physical well being.

Jacquie and I seem to fit well together - despite having only lived together briefly when I was a child as she left home when I was 9 and had spent much of the previous years at University and working.  We knew we had a lot of common interests and have spent many short stays with each other over the years; when I was living in California I used to come to Toronto fairly often and stay a few days; Jacquie has met up with me in California, New Orleans, Spain and Morocco on occasion and we've always had a great time.

Jacquie, my wonderful sister

We imagined we would work well together in close quarters and, indeed, that's how it's turned out to be. We both have a similar sense of order and similar rhythms with food. We both wanted to lose weight and get more healthy and fit so we eat very carefully and well and we go for long walks in the nearby ravines. We've been to operas and concerts, dinners and explorations, museums and shopping.  We have enjoyed it all together.

We laugh a lot, play Sudoku (although I have to make sure not to leave my Sudoku book in the bathroom as she's quite likely to steal it and finish the one I was working on!), watch First Talk, a TV program made for the aboriginal community in Canada or The National, Canada's main news program.  Jacquie is a news junkie so the radio is on every morning and we can barely speak to each other at breakfast as she is riveted by whatever they're talking about. So I read the Globe and Mail.  I now know more about Canadian politics than I do about Irish politics, something I have to remedy when I get back to Ireland.

On the whole, you can tell, we're very well behaved and responsible people.  Last night I went out to dinner with my niece, Sinead, who treated me to a wonderful all-you-can-eat sushi meal nearby.  We solved all the world's problems and then I walked home to close out my email and head to bed.  Jacquie had gone over to her friend Marie's for dinner.  At midnight, I switched off my light and drifted off to sleep.  I woke up a 1am and saw that the light was still on in the hall, which meant Jacquie wasn't home yet.  Oh well, they must be having a nice time but it is quite late, I thought.  I drifted off again and woke up at 2.30 and she was still not home!  Now, I was getting worried. She and Marie are in their 60s so I was having a hard time imagining them staying up till all hours.  I tried her phone but, as usual, she either did not hear it or the sound was switched off.  I didn't know what to do.  I stayed awake for a while worrying and then decided that I would give a bit more time.  

I woke up again at 4.30am and went to the loo and saw she was home at last so went back to bed and slept in as I had not had a restful night.  In the morning, I could see the funny side.  She was very apologetic but also giggling about a) that I was worrying about her and how nice that was and b) how it was like worrying about a pair of teenagers who had gone out and not said when they'd be home.

Once I got over my worry, I thought how marvelous it was that two women of a certain age, intelligent and full of beans, were staying up till 4am, talking about life, the universe and how to solve the problems of the world, all the time taking small nips of brandy.  It's nice to know you're never too old to stay up late, drinking and talking and generally behaving disgracefully (by some people's measurements anyway!).  

We had a great laugh over the whole thing and now I know, if she's not home by 4am, not to worry.  She said she's hoping she's still doing it in her 80s.  Right on,sister!


  1. How Fantastic! Age truly is a state of mind (and you should see the state of my mind!!), and I truly hope that your sister and you are both still behaving disgracefully well into your 80s! Hx

  2. As usual Maya a lovely read but all I can think about is the all-you-can-eat sushi meal....bliss :)

  3. Hi Maya... loving your posts and tweets from Canada... it all sounds just lovely!

    Fair play to your sister... I have recently bemoaning my late forties on my blog.. but this has cheered me up no end! Bring it on...

  4. Thanks lovely ladies for the nice comments. Indeed, my sister reminds me every day with her actions that it's never too late to do what you really want and that being older also gives you licence to be more free.



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