I do not know why I’ve never noticed this before. My husband bought it some while ago, and since he usually loads the fancy washing machine with all it bells, knobs and whistles, the message in the bottle passed me by.

A very nice organic, locally made moisturiser, affordable. I like it, but why o why anti-aging?

How this fell into my lap the other day I do not know – photo below – I barely remember my 21st. What I do recall is that my mother attended – she had left the ‘family home’ a few months before to live up in Johannesburg, leaving me and my father in Somerset West, in the western cape – about 20 kms from Cape Town. But, she flew down to attend this formal occasion. If I TRY to remember about it, I was probably overcome that my parents were together. It was several months after my 21st that my mother agreed to return home and work things out with my father. On condition that the house was sparkling clean on her return. I’ve never worked so hard in my life. But as soon as I could, I left them to themselves. One day I’ll tell the story in a blog post. I wrote about it in my first book, in an essay entitled “The Opposites”. They were so opposite to each other in all ways …

Time flies. Every day a new day. Life in Plettenberg Bay is beginning to feel more settled for me. My husband is mostly in golf heaven, does Pilates (I think) with his NBF early mornings once or twice a week and goes for coffee and swimming in the sea afterwards. Also gets out and about with NBF on their bicycles in the early mornings, coffee and swimming afterwards.

I’ve had a few swims in the sea … it was two weeks back that the beaches were UNbanned. Such bliss, that sea … of course I get tumbled this way and that – my ways of catching the wave are unique. I must get the body board out and play some more (pretend I’m 10 years younger).

Our art classes re-started at the beginning of February so that’s a real plus. We looked at Miró a week or so back and somehow this style is helpful to me in sketching my dreams –

And pottery is my new love. Very new for me. I wonder if it will become a passion. Creating beautiful objects. I’m very excited to see how my current ‘piece’ will turn out. It’s drying as we speak at the pottery studio. I like my teacher. We wear masks … not so wonderful …

I’ve made one or two friends. I’m not sure any of them enjoy walking, one has a heart problem, the other a tricky hip. The other I don’t know well at all. I like them all. Two are recently widowed. A very good friend of mine does such a lot of travelling, she’s hardly ever here but when she is, we go on long beach walks .. (longer than I would on my own).

My younger son Dave and his wife left Cape Town about two weeks ago and are now in our townhouse in Johannesburg. He sent me this photo while driving through the Karoo.

and awaiting them was a very lush garden. Johannesburg and surrounds have had so much rain in the last few weeks … he sent me this photo –

To keep on topic of aging – is this a dinosaur tree? My husband and I went walking the other evening and took a different route. I’ve seen this tree before quite a long time ago …

On another walk a few days ago we saw this tortoise behind a fence at the nature conservancy down the road from us. I suspect s/he is an oldie – check out its beautiful markings …

The other evening I listened to a podcast in which Laura London of Jung Speaking interviewed Dr James Hollis, Jungian Analyst of his latest book “Prisms’. It was a delight to listen to. He will be 81 this year. He said in the interview that he’s been repeatedly asked to write or lecture on old age, and of course in his books he touches on it, but in the interview he said he’s too busy living and working, learning and loving to worry too much about aging in spite of being on treatment for cancer.

I had to smile inwardly at that. Such a great attitude.

I like this quote from him as it pertains to a widening of the lens as we grow older: ‘Our experience subtly alters, even distorts, the lens through which we see the world, and the choices we make are based on that altered vision’. From: Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life

Another photo or two – the hydrangeas from my son Mike’s garden here in Plett, and the yellow rose from my friend’s garden.

I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, in spite of all the hardships that the virus has brought in its wake. Things are extremely tricky on all fronts here in South Africa. It’s quite lawless, the law and the constitutional court is being shown the middle finger by those in positions of power. Most days, Dorothy Parker’s words come to mind ”What fresh hell is this?” What else is there to do but hope? And pray. Remaining realistic at the same time even if it doesn’t look good. I am not optimistic about the future of this country, very sad to say.

Nevertheless, and this is hopeful for me: there seems to be more of a receptivity of feminine energies being recognised and incorporated into the masculine ones, each to the benefit of the other. The patriarchal reign has been a long one, at the expense of the wisdom of the feminine. Repressed, these energies are now flowering all over. Women’s voices are being heard at last, and women who did not know they had a voice are finding that they do.

Last photo taken yesterday, a walk on the beach, son Mike and the 2 oldies –

A long post I know … thank you for reading. I hope this finds you well. May the Force be with you.

67 Comments on Aging

    • so sorry Jenny that I’ve taken so long to respond … come across it only now. I’m loving my pottery classes, missing them for a few weeks as I’m travelling but will catch up when back home .. thank you for coming by and commenting.

  1. I’m late to commenting here, but I’m pleased to learn that you’re settling into your new life, finding things to do that please you. I grew up with parents who were “The Opposites” so your mention of yours resonates with me. Hoping this comment will go through, sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. A life lesson in that sentence I suppose.

    • You’ve come through clearly Ally Bean, I’m glad you did – and that you had parents who were opposite to each other 🙂 Gotta learn from life in some way I guess and how better than from the parents! Thank you –

  2. Hi,
    I think you and hubby look very dashing and very happy. I like your take on life. Mine is similar. I believe the best is yet to come, regardless of what is going on. I strive to keep my thought life above my circumstances.
    Take care, my dear.
    Shalom aleichem

    • Thanks Patricia for coming by and your positive comment. I hope you’re keeping well. I know that Amazon has put your new book onto my Kindle and I really hope to check it out before too long. Congratulations! I know this is a dream come true for you.
      Shalom to you, Susan

  3. How lovely, as always … I have been so busy that I have not read your blogs in ages, so I have a million to catch up with! Then I get irritated with myself because it gives me such pleasure and delight to read them, so thank you Mrs Scott for this lovely writing. I can almost hear your voice reading it to me <3. I keep my 'Aging and becoming' next to my bed and although I have read it, I can easily refer to any chapter for some insight on this very subject of aging.

    I miss our walks, even though I struggled to keep up with you all those years ago and I just love your pics. Love to all the Scotts 🙂

    • Well, thank you Mrs. Campbell for this lovely surprise and comment! We certainly did march around the ‘burbs all those years ago – too many years ago to mention. We were spring chickens né?

      Davey & Jüte are now in our Jhbg townhouse – we have to come up quite soon to move out as much stuff as possible. So hope to see you then Les for a lovely catch up and coffee!

      I hope you’re well and your two dear children xxx and thank you for coming by!

  4. A lovely post, Susan. A few thoughts … I have realised now with this pandemic, that other countries are not that marvelous either. The USA is a complete mess, millions of people are unemployed, crime is rampant, and as for their politics, well, the less said the better really. The UK is also a mess. The government is conjuring up money to pay benefits to people whose jobs have disappeared [probably forever]. How long can they keep it up? What is the future of all the freebies in the UK? Some young people have no ambition to study or work because they can live on benefits – what kind of a society is that? Our politics is a mess but its not worse than the USA. Where does one go where it will be better. The money has to run out in all these countries that are dishing out benefits and help as if there is no tomorrow. The whole world is not the brink of massive financial change – this was coming anyway with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, its just come faster. I would estimate that a massive section of the world’s population is now unemployable, including most of our youth that have learned little in our broken education system. We just have to hang in, protect ourselves as best we can, and hang on for the very bumpy ride.

    • It will be interesting to hear what Tito has to say when his speech comes up on the monetary budget. I gather from the news that all countries are in favour of borrowing to the hilt, but when the debt ratio is high as ours is, well, there’s cause for pause. The interest on that (ours) alone is scary ..

      I agree Robbie, the world is a mess in all sorts of ways. We have to look in our own back yard for solutions here. It seems that there is a swing of people fixing their streets because municipalities don’t and something is in the air about taking back our towns and cities.

      We South Africans have had our backs against the wall for so long now – something’s gotta give. Ace behind bars would be a good start, Julius too, and that man whose name begins with a ‘z’ … may he zoom his way towards an orange jump suit, for life.

      Have a great week, and thanks for coming by 🙂

  5. I am pleased you are feeling more settled and hopeful, even though you feel things are in a difficult place. I like the recommendation to be too busy enjoying life to be concerned about aging. You seem to have plenty of new friends and activities to keep you busy. I’m pleased some of your restrictions have eased and I’m guessing that the vaccine will be starting to roll out in your country as it is here. It seems to be making quite a difference in other countries. I certainly hope it does the job.
    Best wishes to you and yours. Enjoy each day!

    • Thanks so much Norah for your lovely comment. The vaccine is rolling out and as planned to health workers first. I don’t know when we’ll be notified as to when it will reach here in this little corner of South Africa. There were a couple of hiccups along the way but hopefully all will now proceed smoothly.
      All best to you and family and friends ..

  6. A wonderful personal letter from a friend. Ah, aging. I’m 75 and feeling it in this icy snow. Nothing hurts, but I don’t feel as adventurous as I used to. I’d rather stay home and snowshoe on my own land than venture out with 2 dogs. One of my dogs is my companion in aging, but the young one keeps us moving. She’s perfectly happy to run around on top of the ice crust while I snowshoe, but I have to get out with her.

    I anxiously anticipate the ending of this old year. We have a better president, but still have to deal with the crooked politicians and ones who break the rules. People are dying of cold in the southern US (Texas) and their Senator takes a trip to Mexico. It’s sick, but this seems to be the nature of politics and I never cease expecting more and so being disappointed. Please take good care of yourself and be safe. I get my second covid vaccine in early March and will be glad to have some protection, although we’re all worried about the South African variant–and you must be, too. So again, I wish you safety and double masks which is what I’m doing here.

    • Thanks for your lovely response Elaine. Yes your dogs Willow and Disco keep you moving. I always so enjoy your photos of your land, the dogs, sunsets, snow, cairns.
      I’m aware of the Texan senator off to Cancun. Nothing surprises me anymore – we have such egomaniacs here too. And they’re worshipped, no matter the corruption which is enormous. Go figure. The media has blown up the SA variant strain of the virus.
      Have a lovely weekend. Stay safe and well 🌺

  7. Oh, such beautiful pictures–as always! That would be something if all one had to do is wash clothes in an anti-aging detergent!!! But walking and finding things to do in one’s later years are a good step to hold off aging!

    • Thanks for coming by John and for your comment on the photos. I should read the label more carefully and see what claims it makes. Meanwhile walking and finding creativity in other ways makes aging more than worthwhile 🙂 Though I wonder why I have a strange ache in my foot …

  8. A great heading quote, Susan. True on many levels.

    Excellent point on how “anti-aging” is staring at us blatantly and subliminally. A poignant story about your Mother and Father. Our background has a great effect on us in many ways and like you say, memories surface.

    Your husband does Pilates (I think) made me smile. I see the “dinosaur tree.” I immediately like Dr. James Hollis reading your description. I highlighted “…he’s too busy living…..” and placed this in my inspiration file. And then your words, Susan, “…the best is yet to come…” I also notice the the receptivity of feminine energies.

    Thank you for sharing an excellent post, Susan! Many gems and words of wisdom. I love the beautiful photos and especially the one of you, your son and husband.🙂

    • I think I saw a softener or conditioner of the same brand out of the corner of my eye in the store the other day Erica and I reckon I’ll *skip that. Yep, it’s in the face so much. I remember my younger son took a very well known store to task some years ago for the skinny mannequins in the window. Well, that went viral! Internationally as well …

      Thank you for your kind words about this post. The energy was bubbling and I felt I had to say ‘something’ 🙂 It’s a good selfie that Mike took and the flowers and tortoise and tree were meaningful to me. Plus Dr. James Hollis’ words of course. And the 21st birthday invitation that I found … ah well 🙂

      • David Scott, The Kiffness, chicken kebabs, mannequin legs – not difficult to locate on the Internet, Susan. 🙂Interesting! You and your husband raised wise sons. It was nice to learn something more personal about you. ❤️

          • I had to go and check about the chicken kebabs and had a good laugh there Erica so thanks for pointing me in that direction 🙂 xx

  9. But forgot the important thing … that photo is glorious – delighted to see the three of you looking happy and well … cheers! Hilary

  10. Hi Susan – well I need to go across to ‘Edit, Tied, Tide, Diet’ to read up the various aspects of those words. I’ve given up worrying about old age – life goes on … positive attitude keeps me cheerful and making sure I occupy myself … and appearing younger by thought, word and deed. Stay safe – Hilary

    • Attitude is All, of this I am convinced Hilary. Being vibrant in thought word and deed, mind body and and venturous spirit keeps the wheels turning a little more smoothly as I know you do 🙂

      The link for the post (Jan 2015) is below – ie the one on edit, tide etc .. there’s a gorgeous photo at the end of it …


      Thank you for your lovely compliment 🙂 Be well, stay safe, Susan

  11. That is hysterical, anti-aging laundry detergent. Does it keep your clothes young? I have been hearing about the South African variant a lot. We have our own variants here too. Haven’t had time to think about aging too much. ( Do think of it sometimes) Busy with a move into a new location, retirement community. Sounds like you have made a similar move. I haven’t had time yet to do much exploring and we are still on COVID lock down of social activities. Our neighbors are friendly. I am so used to not being social now I wonder how I will venture out again. The surrounding landscape here is very pretty, California desert.

    • Good gracious Deborah re your upcoming move, that’s a big something, if I think of all the organising pre-move that has to be done. Deciding what to keep, what not to etc. we also continue with lockdowns, no public gatherings eg church, funerals, weddings, of more than 50 people, no cars on road from 11 pm to 4 am, liquor sold mon to thurs, and some other such. Plus masks in public at all times. I also thought that I had lost the art of normal social interaction, but I’m happy that it is still there. I hope you find the same for you Deborah. Thank you for coming by.

      • I think we kept too much of our stuff but we are slowly unpacking into the new house for about the past week. It is a lot of work but I think we are getting close to where we want to be. Looking forward to the end of the the pandemic but we are being told we may have several more months. Wonder how we will think about this time when it’s over. I think it has to change us a bit or will we bury the memory.

        • Ah, so you’re already unpacking Deborah .. something to take time about or with to see where you want it to go. With new eyes … Yes, I wonder how long it will still be for this pandemic to last. If still for a very long time, hopefully we’ll adapt and have the necessary antibodies to keep it from its potentially dreadful effects. Interesting question you pose .. will we be changed or will we bury the memory …

  12. You look lovely in the photo with husband and son, and it sounds like life is good with swimming and art. How cool that you’re doing pottery now. My husband and I had a Valentine’s date at a pottery studio a few years ago where we got to learn how to use the wheel and make not very good bowls. 😀 I like that tree and tortoise.
    Your “coming of age” party/experience sounds like quite a poignant story.

    • My husband is vaguely interested in pottery. How cool that you and your husband had a date/s at pottery! I’m yet to get to the wheel! I’ve watched a sweet very elderly lady at the back using the wheel and was quite mesmerised. I’ve been making small bowls also and plan to make pretty tea lights out of them when dried. The one from Friday last week I’m quite excited about. It is of a large leaf – 🙂 I doubt I will paint it green in colour … still to decide. I THINK after it’s painted it gets fired. I’m a real newbie. Thanks Merril for coming by.

  13. I was smiling right from the beginning of the post till the end, thank for sharing, I was amused at the picture of the anti aging detergent. Nice to know you had few swims in the sea, love to swim, hoping for an opportunity to get into the water. The weather is still cold and i am sure it will soon pass. I am amazed at that huge tree, really looks like the dinosaur. Thank you for those beautiful pictures and i enjoyed reading this post.

    • Thanks Genevive so much, glad you were smiling! Funnily enough it’s turned chilly today after a longish spell of warm and very humid weather. Can the weather be changing this soon? Hope you’re all keeping warm, safe and well 🙂

  14. From start to finish, a delightful mix of news, photos and reflections! You’ve prompted me to fetch your insightful books from my Jungian shelves and add them to my bedside book pile. The photo of “Skip” the anti-ageing detergent did make me laugh! And your “coming-of-age” invitation feels like it literally “comes from another age” … such is the sad loss of ritual and initiation, in modern cultures, into adulthood. What an inspiration the writer James Hollis is, and you too Susan with your love, inspiration and appreciation of nature, mythology and all things Jung. In time, I look forward to hearing more on the parents story!

    It’s good to hear that you are enjoying your pottery and creative pottering. Oh, thank goodness the beaches are open again! I miss swimming terribly and can’t wait for the seas to warm up here in the UK … it’ll be a while though. I’m aware that the last two years have been full of change for you, in many ways, and yet sometimes the shaking up of our own “snow globe” is what’s needed in order to find new life. So many joyful photos, including the dinosaur tree (yes I see it!) and the tortoise. And to end a wonderful photo of you all together, loving your hair! Love and light, Deborah.

    • Oops, as you know my computer’s broken (two weeks and counting!) so I’m using Lin’s! But it’s really me, Deborah.

    • Thanks Deborah so much for coming by! I love the ‘snow globe’ reference. Actually I typed ‘glove’ before changing it to globe; maybe the snow is like a glove also? Protecting all the buds before they burst into spring? and people too …?

      At lonnnng last I had my hair cut. My person is still away so I sourced another hair stylist. So she’s my NBHP (new best hair person). Thank you for your compliment! Yes, creative pottering of much! Glad you saw the dinosaur and the tortoise – and the other ‘oldies’ in person!

      (Incidentally, I checked my ‘In Praise of Lilith …’ book to see the reference to my parents – it’s on pages 122 -125 – The Opposites chapter and have just had a full read of it!)

      Love and light to you, stay warm, well and safe.

  15. Loved your story and it’s many intrigues – so much to digest and ponder upon.

  16. You seem to be doing extraordinarily well with the challenges that aging presents. Downsizing, working, staying active, trying new things, being creative, enjoying life with beautiful things to look at and enjoy, meaningful work and play, plus lots of love!!! You always inspire me….

    • Thanks Jeanie! Life is full of the unexpected when open to it … so far so good. You are an inspiration and for that I thank you. I know that I am blessed in many ways as you are with a loving family, your appreciation of beauty, your ongoing work and bringing it out into the world …

  17. You are obviously enjoying your life now – swimming in the sea and your new craft of pottery. With your husband and son you look so happy.

    At my age, I shouldn’t worry about face creams that claim to erase the years – what a joke! I try to enjoy my life, day by day, and not worry too much about my appearance, especially wearing masks as I do now! Thanks, Susan!

    • All is good thanks Marian, having an ‘up’ few days! Long may it last! I also don’t worry too much about my appearance, not much I can do except keep my skin hydrated and not fall for the expensive creams and such. Though I’m tempted to be sure 🙂

  18. I am pleased that my gaiter mask hides my neck wrinkles and those around my lower mouth! And at my age, I am now eligible for a COVID jab, the first of which I got on Friday. Like everything, it’s a balance of positive/negative. But glad to be here to see it all.

    • Gaiter? I guess that’s a mask. I have one that is lovely in winter that I pull up from my neck to cover mouth and nose. Nice that you’ve had your first jab Beth …I don’t know when we’ll have the vaccine jab – they’re here in SA.

    • Those strange aches and pains … a reminder to look into them I guess Arlee! Is it aging? Yes at times I suppose so. Sometimes something else as in my case, incorrect shoes for walking ..

  19. Aging definitely is NOT going the way I had it planned. However, at the same time I don’t think I have aged much until I look in the mirror and wonder where that person came from. I think aging is also a bit of mindset. Make sure to have some fun along the way.

    • I often wonder who that person is in the mirror Gwynn or if I see myself in a shop window! I agree have fun along the way – and keep healthy along the way. Make, bake and eat choc chip cookies as part of the fun 🙂

      • My son just forwarded some OLD pictures of me with some friends. I was in my late 20’s or early 30’s. I looked at the picture and said, “OH MY GOD, IS THAT ME????” LOL!! 🙂

  20. Hi, Susan – I am so glad that WordPress is now back on track. This post was well worth the wait– very insightful and thought-provoking.
    I absolutely love the quote “too busy living and working, learning and loving to worry too much about aging.” I’d love to make this my mantra!
    I am now off to read your edit, tied, tide, diet post (if I have the words right). See you there!

    • Thanks Donna for coming by! Murphy’s law – the one time in a long while I put up a personal post and it’s down, for maintenance. Thank you for your patience 🙂

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