Children are a sort of insurance policy aren’t they? That’s what I tell myself when the dull, dreary days of parenting get on top of me. I mean, I’ve got three now, that’s a one in three chance that someone might feel that they have to take a modicum of care about me in old age and not sling me into the nearest and cheapest care home they can find. If anything their mean-ness might work in my favour, they may decide to look after me to protect their inheritance. Who knows?
The last week has been a bit strange for me, I’ve had real problems with my shoulder, restricted movement and a lot of pain. I eventually went for a scan and it turns out I have some sort of weird calcium growing in there, apparently its one of the most painful things you can have in your shoulder. My goodness it hurt, and it still does, and I’m very hardy usually. I saw these lumps on the scan and saw my life flashing in front of me, along with Ned who decided to run up and down by the bed whilst they did the scan. If this sort of thing can happen and grow for no reason, like the cysts which grew in my ovary and needed to be removed surgically, then, well, what else might suddenly grow without my knowledge. I cant stop thinking about the possibilities of strange deadly growths. Maybe I wont get old. Who knows. Maybe I should try to live a fuller life.
A friend of mine who I really admire and respect and who is intellectually as sharp as a knife came a little bit unstuck the other week and ended up in a retirement home temporarily. I went and visited and it really is a lovely home, very comfortable, although I can understand some of her comments about the other residents. If you have a love of books and learning its very hard to be in an environment lacking in both. I find this prospect a little bit disturbing, a future without the availability of books would leave me very depressed. The thing which shocked me most though, was the price, £1200 per week. The cost of decent care would bankrupt us entirely and leave nothing for our children. Since I don’t really have much of a pension I’m left really worried about what the future holds.
So, this all leaves me worried and anxious. Worried about growing old, yet worried I wont grow old. I’m convinced I’ve reached middle age. I feel much older physically than I ever have done. Some of this may be down to seven years of sleepless nights, but some of it probably is down to well, age. So, do I need to make plans for my future? Should I be putting aside vast sums of money and not ‘living’ in the now so I can live out my elderly years in luxury or should I be throwing caution to the wind and enjoying life now and not worrying about the financial implications?
What have you decided?