An interview with my mother on ageing

Thursday, January 26, 2017 Permalink

I talk about my mother a bit on the blog. In reality, I was probably a bit of a daddy’s girl growing up, but have grown closer to my mother in adulthood. She’s been my rock through many ups and downs over the past 20 or so years and the first person I go to with anything on my mind.

Mum grew up in the far west of the state, the oldest of six kids. She left school at 14 to work in her parent’s shop and met my dad 4-5yrs later when he arrived in town as player / coach of the local football team. They moved to my childhood hometown after they married in the early 1960s and mum remains in the same house… over 50 years later.

She tends to think of herself as nice-but-boring, but she’s unbelievably kind and generous to those around her. She also turned 73 yesterday and I thought – for something different – I’d take the opportunity to talk to her about ageing. About life and death… particularly because she’s surprisingly zen about the latter.

You don’t look a day over 72. What’s it like, being 73?
Mentally I don’t feel it and when I look in the mirror I get a shock, although I feel it in my body sometimes. I realise I can’t do what I used to and all of a sudden I have wrinkles and spots. *Shows me her blotchy forearms as evidence of aforementioned spots and wrinkles*

Do you have any regrets?
No, and that’s my problem I think. I’m happy with my life. I’ve never wanted to travel. I’ve been happy with everything I have. And I think that makes me boring.

Although perhaps I would have liked something frivolous like being able to sing or play the piano.

What would you do differently?
Nothing. I’m happy with the way my life’s turned out.

my mother on ageing

What do you still want to do / achieve?
I want to stay healthy. As you get older your health becomes more important and more of an issue.

I can’t think of anything else I want to would like to do. I’m just happy with my life as it is.

What have you enjoyed most about your life?
I enjoyed it when you kids were young. Other mothers were relieved when school restarted but I loved having time with you during school holidays.

My lasting friendships also mean the world to me, and these are even more important now that I’m alone. I’m thankful to have wonderful friends.

You constantly say you don’t want to get too ‘old’ and don’t seem to fear dying. Does your religion or faith help in that respect?
I feel a sense of calm or tranquility. I like being a part of something and spending time with like-minded people. (I informed her those peeps were called her ‘tribe’.)

I don’t even think about dying and going to heaven, I just feel at peace.

What’s your advice for me? A spring chicken at a mere 49 years old?
Stay healthy.  (She says this as I lift a glass of champagne to my lips and take a swig.) 

You should be happy with what you have; or at least not want the whole world. You need to be realistic about your expectations. I’m lucky to have this house and these things around me. (I refrain from making sarcastic comment about the Darcy Doyle plates on the wall!)

I realise I’m a pretty boring person but life can be good.

Oh, and you should have lots of friends. I mean… look at all of my cards. *halo slips from mum’s head as she counts her birthday cards and mumbles that there’s only 23*

What else should I have asked mum? (Other than how she raised such an amazing daughter #obvs!)

the-lovin-life-linky

I’ve joined Leanne from Deep Fried Fruit and some other bloggers to help promote “ageing positively” and the Lovin’ Life mindset across the interwebz. You can link up via any one of us!

The Lovin’ Life Team includes:
Kathy from 50 Shades of Age
Johanna from Lifestyle Fifty
Min from Write of the Middle.
and Leanne from Deep Fried Fruit.


56 Comments
  • Silver's Reviews
    January 26, 2017

    What a beautiful, beautiful post about your mother.

    ENJOY every minute with her. She sounds like a wonderful, amazing, wise woman.

    Elizabeth
    Silver’s Reviews
    My Blog

    • Debbish
      January 26, 2017

      Thanks Elizabeth. Now that I live only 30mins away (nearby town) I do get to spend time with mum often, which is lovely.

  • Vanessa
    January 26, 2017

    Well of course, you should have asked her about her skill in raising you 😉 I think it’s great that she has a sense of self and knows what she wants! We should all be so lucky.

    • Debbish
      January 26, 2017

      I know… I was very struck by her contentment and lack of regret and she really couldn’t think of stuff she still aspired to do. She really meant it when she said she was happy with her life.

  • Jess
    January 26, 2017

    Gosh your Mum is a beautiful lady! I love her contentedness (if that’s a word). I think there is a lot to be said for.being happy with what you have and.what you have done!

    • Debbish
      January 26, 2017

      Yes… she’s always talked about her contentedness and I think it’s great. It’s something I’ve certainly aspired to!

  • Jo
    January 26, 2017

    This is fabulous. It’s made me wonder how my mother (whose birthday was the 23rd) would answer these questions.

    • Debbish
      January 26, 2017

      I’ve actually got a book ‘An interview with my mother’ that I was supposed to do with mum years ago. She ended up doing it herself and has given me another book in which she’s talked about her childhood experiences and thoughts on life and death. Both books are a bit too ‘much’ for me to really read at the moment but I know one day they’ll be very important to me… (I have An Interview with my Dad, as well… which I started before dad passed away).

  • Lydia C. Lee
    January 26, 2017

    I think that’s a lovely interview. Contentment is a goal, and hardly boring at all! It’s quite an achievment!

    • Debbish
      January 26, 2017

      I know… my mum and dad were extremes in some way. Dad was excitable and larger than life… and prone to whims / dreams etc… Whereas mum is very calm and quiet and responsible. She translates that of ambition / passion or whatever as boring, but I don’t think that’s the case. I think her advice re ‘not expecting the world’ is exactly what makes her feel contented, not feel regrets and accepting of fate.

      I should mention though that both my parents were very kind and generous to others.

  • Katherine P
    January 26, 2017

    What a lovely post and what an interesting person your mother is. I think that boring really just means content and self-sufficient but that could be because I’m boring too!

    • Debbish
      January 26, 2017

      I think boring is the wrong word to describe that contentedness – as the word has negative connotations doesn’t it?!

  • Sydney Shop Girl
    January 26, 2017

    Your mum is amazing, Deb! Thanks for sharing her words of wisdom.

    SSG xxx

  • writeofthemiddle
    January 26, 2017

    I think it is fabulous that your Mum is content with her life and has no regrets. I loved reading this interview with your Mum – such a great idea. Happy 73rd Birthday to her! 🙂

    • Debbish
      January 26, 2017

      Yes, I actually have / had an entire post drafted from years ago about mum, religion and death as it’s something we’ve talked about a few times. Even in doing this interview I asked “What does your faith offer you?” (What do you get from it, kinda thing!)

  • Ingrid @ Fabulous and Fun Life
    January 26, 2017

    What a lovely and contented lady your mum is!

  • sizzlesue15
    January 26, 2017

    Oh your Mum sounds wonderful! Isn’t it refreshing to hear a more mature person being happy with their life and having no regrets. We can all learn a lot from your Mum. Thanks for sharing her with us. Sue @ Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

    • Debbish
      January 26, 2017

      You’re very welcome Sue and it is refreshing. I wrote the other week about needing to be more contented (and I think I’m getting there). She’s a good role model in that respect!

  • Michelle Weaver (@pinkypoinker)
    January 26, 2017

    What an elegant lady and how nice it is to hear from someone who is happy. It makes a change. I hope I’m like her if I reach 73.

    • Debbish
      January 26, 2017

      Yes, that level of calm contentment would be nice. I suspect I’ll still be ‘all over the place’ though and yo-yoing between elation and misery!

  • deb dane
    January 26, 2017

    Happy birthday to your mum. She sounds lovely and content.

    • Debbish
      January 26, 2017

      I’ll pass your good wishes on (though she’s reading these)…

  • Kate W
    January 26, 2017

    This is lovely! Your mum has it right – it’s not about what you have in terms of material things, it’s about health and dear friends.

    • Debbish
      January 26, 2017

      Oh yes, that’s a nice way of putting it!

  • Mystery Case
    January 26, 2017

    Your mum is gorgeous. I’m much the same with my girls and school holidays, don’t want them to end.

    • Debbish
      January 26, 2017

      Yes, mum’s always said she used to love having holidays home with us. We talked about it last night – what we did etc… and we’d go to the park etc but my brother and I also had neighbourhood friends and would be in and out all day long. In reality I think we were also pretty good kids and quite independent… loved playing with our cars / dolls and reading etc…

  • charliegirl
    January 26, 2017

    I just love this. In a college history class, we were required to interview three families members that had an over-arching commonality. While my grandmother had already passed, and my grandfather is a very hard and unrelenting man, I learned some interesting things about them and some other beloved family friends.

    • Debbish
      January 26, 2017

      I remember going through the ‘daughter’ book mum did for me which included stories of her childhood and being surprised by stuff I didn’t know about her and her young life!

  • Johanna
    January 26, 2017

    Your Mum sounds a lovely lady, and Happy Birthday to her! I love that she’s so content and has no regrets. I also think we should wish less and be grateful for more – I’m not good at that, but I’m practising 🙂 I would have asked her: “What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in your lifetime?” #TeamLovinLife

    • Debbish
      January 26, 2017

      I asked her and she said technology… computers! (I’d probably say the same thing actually!)

  • Janet Camilleri (@middleagedmama1)
    January 26, 2017

    Lovely to get to know your mum better after hearing about her on your blog and social media before. She sounds friendly, content, and not at all boring. If only we could all have had a mother like that!

    • Debbish
      January 26, 2017

      Ah yes I’m very fortunate. My parents always put us (and family) first.

  • Mettle
    January 26, 2017

    OMG There should have been 24 cards..I forgot to send a card!!!

    • Debbish
      January 27, 2017

      Hi there and yes, she did get a card from you with your present! She’s having a lunch out with people today so expects she’ll get more then!

  • yinyangmother
    January 26, 2017

    The secret of contentment – a pretty great thing to have. So lovely you are close – Happy Birthday to her.

  • robjodiefilogomo
    January 27, 2017

    How fabulous to meet your mother Deborah!! I think it’s always so interesting to sit down with mine (or sometimes we talk as we’re taking photos for the blog) and recount some of the stories of her youth!!
    Does your mom have a computer and follow your blog?
    I’ve been impressed that my mom is (little by little) trying to keep up with technology—although I can’t talk her into a smartphone yet!!
    jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • Debbish
      January 27, 2017

      Yes, mum uses a computer and follows the blog but gets a little confused by Facebook vs the blog… She’s also got a smartphone – though doesn’t use it to its potential and remains a bit nervous about technology!

  • Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    January 27, 2017

    Aww, she’s gorgeous! I love that happiness and gratitude the “simple things” bring her.
    #TeamLovinLife

  • seizetheday20
    January 27, 2017

    Such a lovely snapshot of your Mum’s outlook on life Deb. She is certainly at peace with who she is and where she is in life 🙂 #TeamLovinLife

    • Debbish
      January 27, 2017

      Yes she is Lyndall. Weird isn’t it?! 😉

  • Lyle la Ruche
    January 27, 2017

    Like your Mum, I also thoroughly enjoyed school holidays with my children, and was lucky enough to have a job that allowed us to spend them together. Happy birthday, dear one. Your contentment is a marvellous gift.

    • Debbish
      January 28, 2017

      Mum worked part-time until we both went to Uni so had time with us as well. She often worked nights / weekends so that gave us time with dad as well, which I think was probably good and made us luckier than many.

  • Gay Buzza
    January 27, 2017

    Having been one of your Mum’s friends for many years I can say that I feel very blessed. She does not make a fuss, but if a friend is in need she is there with words and deeds of comfort. A wonderful person and an amazing friend and we all love her to bits.

    • Debbish
      January 28, 2017

      Awww… that’s lovely Gay. Am sure she appreciates your kind words.

  • divabooknerd
    January 27, 2017

    Your mum reminds me so much of my own Deb, she’s 72 and had 5 children, left school at an early age and considers herself as boring as well. Your mum looks wonderful for her age and she sounds like an incredibly beautiful person Deb. It’s amazing how as we age ourselves, we seem to rely on our mum’s even more. I’m so thankful to still have mine in my life as well. I loved this post Deb, simply beautiful <3

    PS. Hi mum 😀

    • Debbish
      January 28, 2017

      Thanks Kelly. A couple of mum’s friends told her it was a nice picture and she said it was flattering and that she was wearing make-up! And yes, I’m very lucky (as are you from the sound of it!) and I think she knows how much I appreciate her.

  • kathymarris
    January 28, 2017

    It is refreshing to read that your Mum is completely content with her life and wouldn’t change a thing. She does look great and is it any wonder with her great positive attitude towards life. 🙂

  • Laurel-Rain Snow
    January 29, 2017

    Great interview with your mum….I like the sound of her attitude about aging, about life, about regrets (none). I also enjoyed your little asides…LOL.

  • Virtually All Sorts
    January 30, 2017

    What an amazing person your mum sounds! And she looks amazing too. She’s got an incredible outlook on her life and that’s healthy in itself. #LovinLifeLinky

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