We celebrated my Great Grandmother-In-Law’s 82nd birthday today. She’s not quite twice my age, but she’s definitely got twice my energy. She comes over every week for three days to do the laundry, keep the kitchen clean, iron my shirts, and do any other minor domestic chores. Perhaps most importantly, she keeps the kids entertained when I’m busy getting dinner ready, or sometimes when they’re on school holidays. I let her do all these things because (a) I’m not an idiot and (b) feeling useful and valued is (by her own admission) one of the things that keeps her going.
She’s quite an inspiration. She has her quirks (she refuses to have a mobile phone, for instance, won’t eat from plates that have birds on them…) but outside of that she’s one of the most ‘can do’ people I know–and it boggles my mind that she’s in her eighties. I suspect when I’m that age I’ll be sitting in my armchair demanding people bring me fresh cups of tea while grumpily complaining that the damn, new-fangled TV remote doesn’t work. But I hope not. I hope I’ll remember my incredible grandmother and remember that age is no barrier to getting up and doing things.