GORDON SANITAIRE by Gordon Urquhart (IX)

At My Age

When you get to my age, life starts to look a bit different. It slows down, in parts, and speeds up in others. You realise some things aren’t important and some are – some things truly are worth taking time over; while others, drinking Merlot for example, are simply a waste of time.

Now when I say “my age” I mean my vintage. I mean people of mature years, like me. The experienced members of our community who have seen a few things and learnt a few things, and are not easily trifled with. I mean the exact opposite of those people who appear on advertisements for insurance geared to over 50 year-olds. The opposite of “grey nomads”, as the media sometimes refers to retirees who travel around the country in a caravan – in conditions worse than the slightly embarrassing room at a Best Western, the one with the mysterious smell which is only given to families who have noisy kids – essentially camping for the rest of their lives, and all because they don’t work or their kids left home or something. Well I didn’t buy a Harley-Davidson and I won’t be wearing a bandanna and I intend to stay in hotels when I travel, with room service and views.

I intend to continue running my four marathons a year, and in fact am in training for the Ålesund Maraton, held annually at Ålesund in Norway, right now. Wifey continues to have a shoe budget, which she spends at various city boutiques and online, where they don’t shove their hand into your pocket and forcibly remove bank notes in large denominations while demanding you thank them for the privilege, as most retailers do in this country (but don’t get me started on that), and I have a running shoe budget, and there is a full wall in our dressing room taken up by Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, Terri Biviano, and Asics. We are not ready to become old people, or even older people, just yet.

We are worldly. We are wise. We have arrived at a point in our lives where we have decided to focus on ourselves and what we enjoy doing, but we refuse to conform to what marketers and advertising people think we should be. We are not “mum and dad investors” either. We own shares – quite a portfolio, in fact – but we buy and we sell. We are not passive.

That’s it: we are active people. We make our own decisions.

The idea that we would sell up or do things differently because the kids got jobs or finished university is anathema. The cottage, quite close to our pool, is always available, whenever anyone needs to use it. And it always has been. There are three bathrooms, and only one en suite, but if you can live with that there’s plenty of room there. Our daughter lived there for months with her three children when her husband was being questioned by ASIC and the AFP. When the outstanding tax was paid and they all moved out the little ones cried and cried, until wifey and I promised them they could come and stay again in the pool house.

And that’s the point: grandkids, family, Sotheby’s auctions – these things are worth your time. The rest is just detail.

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Published in: on March 26, 2012 at 7:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

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