What if you are only halfway through?

I am sat on a bench in Windsor Cemetery.  I’ve come to wish my Nan, Bridget Eade, a happy 94th birthday. She died five months ago.

Bridget was full of life and devilment. She would sneak out of windows to go to dance halls, she sat on the handlebars of bicycles, she always had a glint in her eye. I could convince her to do anything – come to yoga class with me when she was in her 70s, deliver my newspapers with me on a Friday after school, come on holiday with me to Gibraltar. She was always with me. My best friend and kindred spirit.  I miss being with her so much. Sometimes the feeling of loss is so overwhelming it hurts in the core of my body. Yet I am determined to transform my grief into something new.  I feel her presence and influence every day.

Anyway, sat here, mourning her death, remembering how full of life she was, it got me thinking …. if I live to her age .... I am not even halfway through yet. I’ve got over half my life yet to live and no idea how to fill it.

The first four decades of my life has been pretty successful. I have travelled the world, skydived, got a Master’s degree, fell in love ( a few times), gave birth (a few times), laughed lots with friends, scuba-dived in far off oceans, been on TV, had the privilege of loving my work and learning from some amazing people.

So what happens for the next five decades? What’s the legacy that I will leave behind? Will I write a bestselling book that gets turned into a movie? Will I end up living in a tree house? Will I open a franchise of wellbeing spaces? Will I form deep, strong connections, full of love with my grandchildren that are not even born yet? It blows my mind to think about all the possibilities of what may happen in act two of my life.

What I do know is that with Bridget Eade in my heart, the next half of my life will surely be filled with lots of adventure, fun and love.

Happy birthday Nan x

Nicola Strudley