Life is such a lottery 86



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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe have been reasonably rich without a care – once we were able to take expensive holidays and shop without counting the cost – and then we plunged several times into the poverty abyss. Yet every day we can say we are lucky. We are lucky because we live in a safe environment, we are lucky to have clean water and clear skies. Just take a look at the pollution above some cities and you can see the difference. We have kind and thoughtful friends, friends who still know how to laugh; life has dealt them a couple of low punches too. None of them have a life story that reads like a Hollywood film. For each one there has been some tragedy, some loss, money may not be the issue for them, but ill health and family problems. I say ‘just’ but one battled cancer and we have also lost good friends to this spreading evil. So every day is counted and precious.

Right now life is a tightrope act. Some days we have a fantastic time, as we trip gaily towards sunny horizons, and experience security and good experiences, other days we realise just how close to that nasty fall from the rope we are.

So how do we cope? We grab good times; if we find 10 dollars down the couch and a couple of extra dollars jingle in the purse, we look at each other and say “how about a piece of fish and some chips looking at the water at Port Albert?” and away we go, an outing unplanned and enjoyed in a moment. We try to put money away for all the commitments we have, so that we know anything left over is what we have for ‘entertainment’. That mostly consists of a night with friends at the local hotel; food is reasonable wine is cheap, and the company is good. It is our Friday night club. For a while when we both worked and had more money we belonged to another ‘club’ where we saved for a wicked weekend away at a hotel, with flash dinner, even the luxury of added ‘spending money’. That does not happen now, we can’t afford it. We just extract as much as we can from the local fun.


Clothes – well, we buy when we can, depending on the cash flow. My husband was always a good shopper – he bought good things and they have lasted, he adds the odd shirt to his wardrobe, and as you know, men’s things don’t date much. So his outlay is reasonable, his weakness is technology! So we have to be careful, or he gets carried away and his heart beats faster when he sees a new gadget.

I am extra good at buying clothes and finding real bargains. This week I shopped for two tops, they originally would have cost $90. I got them for about $18 for the two items! My charity shop buys are well documented, and reckon I could write a book about dressing for less.

Some of my best buys are well under $5, and I have a friend who runs a little shop which sells antiques, and clothes, and have bought some amazing garments on her $10 rail. If it is a little more expensive, it is put on lay-by. I simply love clothes, and this week I budgeted for a trip to Melbourne. Our tickets gave us free travel (one advantage of getting old), we took some drinks and only needed to buy a snack as I keep muesli bars in my bag too. The Art Gallery was my destination; I have been looking forward to seeing the exhibition of Jean Paul Gaultier. It was my goal and due to problems I began to think I would never get there. Yet I made it, and things I saw will stay with me for a long time. We didn’t both go in, so it was only my ticket price. Worth every cent for the experience, the models were realistic dummies; they moved, their eyes followed you, they spoke, and it was hard to believe they were not alive. Clothes were in every fabric and design, velvet, silk, feathers wool, and room after room of amazing displays. So for $22 I had an experience worth a fortune. We came home totally exhausted, as Melbourne had the most humid and hot day when we travelled. But it was fun, and as I remarked on the way home, I can re-live the experience in my head – it enriches life, and that is what makes all we do worthwhile. So if you are able, go on that cruise, travel that path, and make memories.


Do you live similarly to Jacqui? Have you had to reign in your spending in your retirement? Has it made you appreciate the little things? 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. Love your stories jacqui, you are an inspiration! Attitude is everything in life & making the most of what you have & you are doing that. You go girl!!!!

  2. Great to read this story, sounds just like us, now that we don’t work I have been very conscious of what we have in our pocket, I shop very carefully and this year have bought some real bargains in the few pieces of clothing I have got, and I have quite enjoyed it looking for bargains,, it’s the same with food, you don’t need to starve just look for good bargains, they are out there and it’s great fun. Also with our gas and electricity etc, I pay a set amount each fortnight and I have a credit now with each company and I don’t get a shock when the bills come in, you don’t have to pay a lot each fortnight but if you are careful you can get on top it’s a great feeling

  3. I love your stories, you don’t need to spend heaps to have a good time, I appreciate the early morning walk with my dog where I see kangaroos, kookaburra and rabbits, this simple pleasure is free.

  4. Well done Jacqui, what I am doing this year with my op shop treasure hunts is put the price tags in a box and at the end of the years I am going to add it up. Not sure if that is going to be scary or not, we’ll see come December

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    • Good idea Sue you are a fashion guru! and also could put another note of how much the item might have cost when new>>??

  5. Thank you Jacqui. Such a pleasure to read about someone who always looks on the bright side.

  6. Well done Jacqui, I personally have never really had a great deal of money and I Was divorced 20years ago and have learnt to be very thrifty with my money, I now live in a retirement village where we have an amazing social life we have happy hour every Friday evening we also have amazing facilities here such as Bowling Green, swimming pool, Library, billiard room so it is like being on holiday all the time, I don’t really go without anything I need and I never feel desperate to get away because the friends I have made here have made it so.

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    • Hope I can find a retirement village that doesn’t want you to buy the house when the time comes for me Trish. Sounds great. 🙂

    • I am in an retirement village as well as of yet we don`t have a pool. Bugga 🙂 Best move ever, but never thought to look at it as a permanent holiday, must try thinking along those lines 🙂

    • Fran I got my unit after I sold my house, however I have heard that there are some villages where you can rent but I don’t know of any unfortunately.

  7. Yea Jacqui. I have been divorced 4 years and lost my job also. I have been wondering what I am going to do, how will I live? I never had much but could go on a holiday once in awhile. I love op shopping. You have made me feel better today. 🙂

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    • Oh I know how hard it can be some days…if I can make you feel better I am happy. We are having a week when the egg money is even a struggle to get, but there is always next week. Hope life treats you kindly now.

  8. Life is not all flash and glitter for me either but I do have good friends who’s company I enjoy and I budget very carefully for what I want, until this Abbott Government I was quite happy sailing along at a slow pace going nowhere..they rocked my boat and left me feeling uncertain it, does not make me happy

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    • Why do you have to bring politics into a nice story. Jacqui’s story is inspiring regardless if what party you vote for.

    • Michelle O’Sullivan do you think with tiny Liberal mind of yours that you can dictate what others say? your wrong..I will say as I like

    • Leanna, did I at I was a liberal voter??? I appreciate that you can say what you like I’m not here to fight with you or anyone it was just nice to read something heartfelt and enjoyable without politics being involved . Please have a nice day.

    • I’ve voted liberal labor, liberal, labor I’m pardon the pun a swinger. I’ve even voted the greens. Are you savvy or a stalker. Your responses are sarcastic. I hope you can take jacqui’s story for how it was intended non political and great advice no matter who we vote for. She also have no indication of her political favour and does it matter. I feel persecuted by you for having an opinion which you so forthrightly pointed out to me. I respect your right to express opinions as you should mine and everyone else’s. Look how you have turned this into a political debate. Try n take some of her words on board and smell the roses no matter what your circumstances are. I wish you well not this tit for tat . Keep looking at my profile you may see me change from time to time.

      1 REPLY
      • That Leanna seems a pretty dreadfully political person to me. I bet she worries about labour laws when she reads Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, not to mention the down-trodden Cinderella! You go on enjoying your reading and your writing, ex politics, Michelle!

    • gee Michel O’Sullivan run away..your the stalker ..Leanna started this post not you..she never ran and typed on what you posted.. get a life

    • OMG wat a lot of bitches U lot are … Why can’t someone write an opinion , without all this nastiness … Wat are U high school girls …

    • why is she keeping coming back and typing?, Leanna started this post..from what I can count she been back 3 times, that is stalking just block her and be done with her, if you disagree type it once..fair enough but why keep coming back?

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