Getting an Octogenarian Perspective

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In just Ten Minutes, this Super Gran totally blew apart my definition of ‘Little Old Lady’.

I’ve always loved old people and hopefully one day I will be one. I’ve been practising and each day I’m getting closer to my goal!

Today I had the privilege of sitting next to a beautiful octogenarian on a flight to Sydney and getting a glimpse into her world. She was a lady who was catching up on her global travels from Canada because she was a little delayed last year by a heart attack and open-heart surgery!

In January this year, she broke her knee while putting away her Christmas tree. That didn’t stop her! Still in a splint and walking stick (not because of her age, just her injury – she hastened to advise) she travelled from Toronto to Australia to top up her travel bug.

The Beauty of an Unexpected Encounter

In our hour or so together we spoke about our families, our passions and she showed me photos she had taken in her recent trips, everything from a sleeping elephant in Africa to the Taj Mahal. She told me she has let her hair go grey because then the young men treat her like their granny and they all love their grannies!

We spoke about politics, about how destructive hate is, her “first” husband, special needs children and discovered she went to school in Canada with a friend of mine’s father – 65 years ago! A bit more chit chat and we discovered the only wedding in Canada I have been to happened to be the same venue as hers 40 years earlier.

A Wisdom that only comes with Time

Octogenarians can tell us what life was like before electricity, how they studied by the light of a kerosene lamp and knitted socks for troops in World War II. These are our forefathers who pioneered the way for us to follow and create all our creature comforts for modern living. They are so full of respect and grace and seem to have time for what matters.

OK, I’m generalising, but I haven’t met many mean grannies, most of them are warm, caring and full of wisdom that is too rarely called upon or shared with those who need it most. i.e. the following generations.

There was no agenda, just a conversation that went to wherever it chose to go. It left me feeling totally alive as this gorgeous lady had more energy and spark than many thirty year olds I know. So next time you find yourself on a plane, a bus or a train next to an elderly person put your iphone, ipod or ianything else away and seek out some grey haired wisdom. I’m sure it will add some magic to your day.

Thanks for reading

Belinda Kerr
Recruitment Garage



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