After growing up in Christchurch Judy Price married a farmer and lived the pastoral life for twenty years before moving back to Christchurch for fifteen years with her two boys and two girls. Now the four are grown up, well educated, married and settled in life. Three have moved overseas.
When her children moved on Judy thought about where and how she wanted to live. She decided to move back to the country, which she always loved. She chose Murchison, which, she says, “is a beautiful township and a wonderful environment. We are right on the fringe of a national park. It’s a busy little township, with rafting, shooting, and fishing. In the summer it’s a buzzing little place. The house and section I bought in Murchison were basically completely untouched for many years. I put in a garden which is great. I’m just about self-sufficient in fruits and vegetables.”
Judy has always been active. “I’ve done lots of tramping, kayaking, tennis, and swimming. I’ve always been a mad gardener.” However, “over the last three years I have been waiting for a double hip replacement and then the time it took for recuperation.”
“During the last twelve months, things have fallen into place. I holidayed last winter with my two sons in Canada and my daughter and her husband in England. I read a lot and I’m writing a few articles
Judy is “looking for a focus. If I’m not mentally challenged and keep busy I find that my mind goes for a walk. I’m past due for some stimulation. I’m looking for something to fill my next two or three years before I retire fully.”
One thing Judy has already decided to focus on is “active ageing, how people manage their senior years. Possibly this is because it is getting close to home for me now and also because I had two and a half years with really bad hips before they were replaced. I’m totally recuperated now, but during that time I had lots of time for thinking. It was a bit of a reality check. I thought this could be it for the rest of my life. Some people do get stuck, but it doesn’t have to be like that.”
“I’ll be seventy next year and I think I’ve gained a heck of a lot more tolerance than I used to have. I now have the time and the space to sit back and observe a lot more logically. I don’t react emotionally and instantly. I sit back and think about something and find that a solution often presents itself. Having extra time and space to myself is a pleasure. When I stopped working I used to feel very guilty about not doing anything. I thought I hadn’t achieved much that day. But after a few months, I found I quite enjoyed it!”
“It’s nice to have the time without urgent commitments, where you can plan and choose and perhaps later and be more versatile. It takes a while when you stop work to get out of the habit of getting up at a certain time, going to work and coming home at a certain time. It took me a few months to readjust but then I found the pleasure of following up hobbies, going to different classes, catching up with friends, spending time with my family, enjoying the grandchildren growing up, things I certainly didn’t have time for before. It’s a whole different focus to life and it is very pleasurable.”
Judy’s advice, based on her own experience is to “enjoy every day while you can.”
Note: This article summarises an interview aired by Fresh FM that was conducted by Dr Annie Henry and sponsored by Age Concern, Nelson. If you want to share your thoughts with the Conscious Ageing Network (CAN) or wish to know when interviews will be aired and when CAN article will appear in the Leader, send an email to [email protected].
By Mike Milstein