A woman’s place 71



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We are judged every day for what we are, how we look and then measured against the yardstick of someone else’s standards. Mostly I shrug it off, and think I am doing OK – why listen to them? After all, I am 75 and have lived through experiences that would have floored some of the critics. I do my own housework, I cook most meals from scratch, I keep the garden tidy (although not perfect). The weeds win every day, and the dust creeps in uninvited, but I keep things ticking over; the washing and ironing still get washed and folded and put away. No fairy godmother comes and does it for me.

So when a male friend who had a couple of beers suddenly said, “You should spend more time vacuuming and sweeping, not on the computer”, I stopped in my tracks. He did it to rile me, as he grinned. But the reaction from me was swift and had the hallmarks of my Irish origin. I came out swinging!

How dare he! I then went into a tirade of what he was getting wrong here. I write articles and short stories, I paint, and have completed a painting weekly on average over the last six months. If I am asked to do a special painting it is done in days. I completed two portraits in record time. I have also written up to 2000 words weekly for Starts at 60, but am running low at the moment as I am Vice President of a new branch of University of the Third Age, which with so few of us means a lot of work.


I love being with friends and we have a wide circle with many interests. My internet connections are in Canada, USA, and Europe; I am learning to play Mahjong; and belong to a walking and swimming group. I am never bored, and in any spare moments I would rather cook or garden or read, yes – reading is a luxury.

I told my errant ‘friend’ that if I was to be remembered for anything it would not be my skill with a vacuum cleaner, or a polish rag, or even be similar to an Aunt of mine who endlessly went on about the whites of her washing. In my case I would love to be remembered for my poetry or stories, for my love of life and food and beauty, for the silly laughs, for the quiet moments, for connections I make with friends. For achieving a life with children who still love me. For watching grandchildren grow in beauty and take on life. For managing to keep the same husband still with me, and in his original wrapping for 56 years. I am kidding – I do unwrap him now and then! In the end my friend realised he had unleashed a tiger, and before I left, gave me a hug. He also admitted he had needed a laugh, and life had been a bit sad lately so I provided that too. In the end it was a tale with a happy ending, a tail still wagging.

What do you think you will be remembered for? Do you feel the same way as Jacqui? Tell us below.

Jacqui Lee

Jacqui Lee is 75 and now retired but the last ten years or so have been some of her busiest. She worked at a hospital, where she took several Certificated courses, she cleaned a school, helped to run two conventions, wrote short stories, started painting, and in fact is never bored even now, "I honestly feel we are lucky to still be upright and breathing, and my motto is, Remember yesterday, dream of tomorrow, but live today. I love fun, clothes, food and friends."

  1. Just so long as you and hubby are happy with the way things are, and support each other, why should it matter to anybody else…I use to apologise for my house.. but friends would say “we have come to see you , not your house “..

    2 REPLY
    • Agree Lorraine and husband constantly tells me not to worry, I clean and wash and cook as well as most, but fall down on window washing …scrubbing skirting boards , and hate cleaning ovens… so all in all am about average i suppose.

  2. What an ignorant person he is

    1 REPLY
    • I think he is a great bloke…he was trying to get a rise from Jacqui and he got what he was wanting!!! Sounds like there were some lessons to be learned and he learned his…but maybe Jacqui was given an opportunity to think more about her life and how she holds her home and marriage together, and has come away feeling content about it again. Good for her soul.

  3. I do agree Jacqui, I’ve cooked, cleaned, made a home for husband and children then for grandchildren and all that for over half a century and to be perfectly honest, I don’t care any more whether the house and garden is spotless or not. There are too many things to do and see that I want to do and see, so please don’t judge me either…………..

  4. I don’t think I will be remembered for all that long. No children, one nephew. Friends who in the end are transitory. I am well known in my hobby of amateur theatre and may be remembered for a while but only for a while. People forget you and sometimes very quickly. Sometimes you don’t know why especially if you have tried to keep in contact. I also have found that you can be misunderstood and judged harshly when you were trying to help or trying to be tactful. In the last few years I have been hurt in this way by several people I called my friends. It batters your self esteem and I wonder how many will really care when I am gone. Who will remember me. But I know I am not alone in these thoughts. Still they seem to be hard to put aside now I am in the last quarter of my life.

    2 REPLY
    • It is easy to be wrong sometimes, luckily in this case I accepted he did it in a light way. I am not perfect neither do i keep it like a pigstye, suppose the way we are remembered doesn’t really matter. Being hurt does matter. Keep up the theatre though, that sounds like fun!

  5. He is the one with the problem, why get upset! You are happy with the way u run your life, he may sound insulting,but if you are comfortable with your lot, surely you can brush it aside. I feel sorry for the rude sod he sounds very boring ,you on the other hand you don’t .

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