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U3A Writing: Time To Enjoy

Wilma Schmidt brings a forceful message: go out and sample life head on.

“The Ticking of the clock is one of the most important things in the world, for it marks the passage of time. It reminds us that another second, another hour, another day has gone. And yet, despite this constant reminder, most of us go along using time aimlessly, failing to get out of it either enjoyment of life, or satisfaction of accomplishment. We know that the opportunity that today presents will never be repeated; That Spring fades into Summer, and presently Winter comes, and we wake with a start to realise that another year has passed. Still we postpone. ‘There's plenty of time,’ we tell ourselves. That is a great fallacy. The clock of life is wound but once." ANON

This lovely quotation does have a sort of "for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee" quality about it. But I would rather discard this and see a positive side to it. To me it is saying, "Hurry up and go out and meet life head-on." Well, there is still so much of life that I haven't sampled!

I am a woman with a past. I have seen six decades come and go, seen a lot of life, and made a bit of history. The sum total of many life experiences is in my head. Some are sharp and unforgettable. Others are not quite so clear and may take a wrench to recall them. Some people like to store money or gold; others revel in books, others fill their homes with possessions. Some like to store experience.

I would like to think that I am one of those to fit into this category. Shakespeare told us of the seven ages of man. I would rather tell you of just three.

The first age encompasses infancy, school, teenage years, university, dependency.

The second age is about career, marriage, child raising, mortgages and responsibility.

The third age is - ah. The third age is that wonderful period where all your time is for yourself, without feeling any guilt. We are able to do those things for which we had neither the time nor the opportunity earlier in life. It is your "Time to enjoy."

Some of the younger generation think that getting older only happens in Queensland. The aged are packed off to Surfer's Paradise, out of sight. There is this preoccupation with youth, on our television screens and in our newspapers.

The older generation has been used to being a dispossessed minority. Well, all that is going to change. Older Australians are going to be Top Dogs. In the next 30 years, the number of people over 55 is going to double.

This age group will be targeted by big business. Cars, holidays, the glamour industry, entertainment, all will be tailored to their needs and their obvious spending power.

So with all of these facts in mind, we can take a very positive view towards our third age. The rewards will be great. With all the extra time we have on our hands, we can plot a daily or weekly itinerary of all the wonderful experiences out there waiting for us that are going to keep you mentally and physically active.

You can call it your own '20 things to do before I die.'

So, go out and sample life head on.

The clock is ticking.

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