Sixty Something: I get knocked down, but I get up again! 52



View Profile

I previously announced, when I came back from my cruise, I had a different outlook on life and decided I would not be treated as though I was useless anymore. Things were going to change. Well, I am here to tell you fellow 60 somethings: it’s a year later and nothing has changed! Oh, it’s not for the want of trying, but still this bloody country looks down on those of us who are older than others. Politicians seem to think that being over 60 means we are carried by the rest of the nation. Hey, have they checked out their birth certificates yet? Two or three years down the track will see our leading pollies turning 60, some already are, but they seem to think they are different, exempt from becoming “older”. My friend Kandy says, “they think they are smarter than us, but the bastards don’t even know how much a litre of milk costs these days, f*ck em!” (excuse the cussing). She was a little angry at the time as ‘elective surgery’ operations had just had the number performed daily, cut back.

Over the past year, I have lost my little dog, a cavalier, to old age at 17. I have moved, got a new little companion and tried to keep my ‘positive’ outlook. Well I am here to tell you: it is hard. Now I know there will be the “life is beautiful after 60″ people out there. The ones who will tell me I am a whinger or don’t try hard enough, have a bad attitude etc., but I say to you, I am being honest (not whinging), have a good attitude and some would say, very trying, but it is hard sometimes. Not all of us were born to live alone, not all of us can live a comfortable life on what we have at our disposal. Not all of us have a big family support base around us or multiple friends.

Not having many friends here, and none that would admit to liking Fifty Shades of Grey, I decided to take myself off to the movies last week. Hey, I’m 60, not dead. I was quite looking forward to it and didn’t give a second thought to going alone. I often go to the movies alone. I arrived in plenty of time and the cinema was not crowded due the fact that ‘Fifty’ was in its second week and I lived in Tassie. The cinemas are rarely full. I was in a great mood and headed up to buy my ticket. The young man behind the counter was a treat. He laughed and joked and after getting my ticket and choc top, I went to find a seat in the appropriate cinema. As I passed three young girls who were already seated, my mood changed.  Loud enough for me to hear, one of them remarked that the woman passing them (me) was disgusting. Fancy at her age coming to watch this movie, they said. I turned around and smiled rather sweetly and they turned away. As I got to my seat, one of them commented on what a dirty old woman I was. I am not old and bathe every day. I only hope they teach their children better manners than they themselves have. On the upside, this dirty old woman loved Fifty Shades and is still looking for her own Christian!

It seems that every which way I turn, there is someone trying to stop me powering on. I have been on the waiting list for a hip replacement now for three years. The category 2 rating says 90 days, I guess they can’t count. I recently headed for the hospital, new x-rays and examinations were the way to go, I was told. I had an appointment, but still had to wait all up around three hours. It’s called “being a public patient”. Anyway, my x-ray was worse than the one before but still I am waiting, waiting, waiting. To those of you out there who are suffering worse than myself, I am sorry. Sorry that this country finds it necessary to treat you this way, just because you can’t afford health cover. 

I am still applying for every job I can and am still unemployed. I spoke to a former leading politician the other day. One of his previous staff members, highly qualified in what he does and unfortunately 63 years old, has not been able to gain adequate employment since my friend quit politics two years ago. I am ashamed to say this made me feel a little better about myself not being able to get work, but for those of you under and over 60 looking for employment, I know it is hard, I know you all deserve to work, so please don’t give up. I have not yet begun to fight!

This last week though has given me a highlight or two. My youngest child turned 24 and I was invited to dinner with his friends. I was the one treated as though it was my special day. I thank and love him and his friends for always treating me with love and respect.

I went to see The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – I thoroughly recommend it. I aspire to be Judi Dench. The movie gave me hope that somewhere out there is a place for me. A special friend awaits, my Marigold Hotel awaits and I am never giving up the fight to make mine and others lives better for the next 30 or 40 years! So folks, until I put pen to paper again, chins up, chest out and reading glasses on. If you are having a bad day, think of me. I’m the one who is ever trying to figure out ways to make you laugh, cry, read and believe or disbelieve the funny, sad or amazing things that seem to happen to me – just because I get out of bed every morning.

Do you feel like people are trying to get you down at every turn? What do you do to keep your chin up?

Fran Spears

Born in 1953. Came to Hobart from the north west coast of Tassie to be closer to my son as I have mild chronic bronchitis. Mild and chronic in same sentence – even that makes me laugh. Have just completed and passed my diploma in Public Relations. Love to write and have lead a reasonably interesting life. My motto: "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!"

  1. My god how very bloody accurate, good on you Fran, you wrote an article that was as if you were writing about me loved reading it

  2. don’t you ever give up, especially writing I really enjoyed reading that, your one of us. If they bastards knock you down, you get right back up, we never lay down and die we fight back. I hope you get that hip replacement soon, it robs you of quality of life. To me that is essential surgery.. a splinter is elective

  3. well this is a better article and Fran is far more attractive than Hockey in the last article I read..well done Fran, never give up and keep writing I love reading it

  4. Thoroughly enjoyed your story Fran…..made me feel that I’m not on my own.

  5. So accurate, it’s almost like you have read my mind, the only difference is that i am already retired. I agree with everything you have said, it is very hard to keep a positive outlook when you feel like you are being blamed for the state of the nation in every way possible. When you know that you are considered to be nothing more than a nuisance even though you have done your bit when you were able to. That you spent some of your time at home raising your children to have respect, not just for people older than them but for the Politicians who are supposed to be there for everyone not just the rich and powerful. That your opinions have no meaning, that nobody wants to hear anything from you about anything at all. It makes you feel really sad and there is a certain amount of anger that wasn’t there before, and helplessness that nothing will ever change.

  6. What a great read Fran. You sound like lots of fun and you could have been writing about me. You’re a friend I just haven’t met yet. Keep writing, you brightened my day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *