She was staying with us last week, and in the morning, as we were heading downstairs, we had this conversation....
Me: Are you ready for breakfast?
Me: What would you like?
Me: And what do you want to do after breakfast..?
GF: Play Doh and runnin'...... YEAAHHH!
I recently relayed this conversation to my Lovely Daughter, who shared my opinion that life just doesn't get any better than that and it's probably all downhill from then on.
It's only when you're all grown up and looking back that you realise that childhood years are the pinnacle of pleasure. No worries or responsibilities... endless opportunities for play and unbridled enthusiasm and optimism for life.
The old homily that school days are the best days of your life, never rings true at the time. All those tests and exams... mounting pressure to succeed year on year.
Then work... a whole new set of pressures. Then family, responsibilities, problems.......
Then, much later, comes a point where none of that seems to matter as much. We become more comfortable in our own skin, more sure of who we are and what we want from life. As years pass and our remaining time shortens, priorities change.
With my 60th birthday now just a few weeks away, an inevitable introspection has descended. Decade birthdays seem to do that thing..... I felt it when I hit 40... and again at 50. Now, approaching 60, traditionally the age at which women retired, it's impossible not to look back and try to quantify what I've achieved in my six decades. And to look forward, to then next (hopefully) ten or fifteen years.
Of course I can't actually retire now until I'm 66... and I'm unconvinced I'll fully be able to, even then. But I do want to change the way I work and what I do for my remaining working years.
Basically more 'Play Doh and runnin'......