Genes, luck and hope

Peter McQuarters

Happy New Year and well done you,  . .  you’ve made it into 2022.

Christmas, among other things, tells us to start to apply the brakes as we prepare for the compulsory stop that is the transition into a new year.

It’s also a time to, hopefully, step back a bit, recharge, re-inforce our connection to those who are important to us and consider where we’ve come from, where we are presently and where we are heading.

Of course the virus has played a huge role in colouring all our lives over nearly two years.

We have been functioning in a world we never really seriously contemplated, and adapting, coping and surviving accordingly.

But here we are, getting on with it.

This is a significant year I guess for yours truly.

Around about a bit over half way through, I am due to earn the title, “pensioner.”

Holy Batdroppings, Batman, I just can’t for the life of me fathom how I went from 17 to 65 in about ten seconds.

But it’s looming, it’s a reality and it has to be faced.

Sometimes when I really stop and try to figure it all out, usually on a clear, starry night, or watching the immensity of relentless waves smashing against the Kaikoura rocks as they have done for all time, I wonder who I am.

This figure, functioning in this reality in this time in history, in this game of life.

Where the opportunities are bountiful for the bold who seek them, where fortunes can be amassed for those astute enough to accumulate  them, and can also be lost when the tide turns.

What’s it all about Alfie?

I’m not an old man, but I’m not a young man either.

Old enough though to see contemporaries fall along the way.

There is often no rhyme or reason for it.

Bad luck, genes, bad decision-making, but often just way out of the individuals control.

I can look back on people who have been incredibly successful and amassed large wealth, only to have their health fail in their prime.

Or meet a car coming the other way.

All the money in the world wouldn’t have made a difference.

Then there’s my flatmate Molly.

Stoic, practical, grounded.

Now in her 96th year.

Walks without a stick, puts away truckers-sized meals and is devouring the entire contents of the Ashburton Public Library  five books at a time!

Of modest means, but still here and enjoying life.

One day at a time.

Not overthinking it, just getting on with it.

A hardy soul forged by the years of the Great Depression, and a survivor of

the countless hurdles that naturally

occur for anyone getting on towards 100 years on the planet.

So as we are now two weeks into 2022, with plenty to navigate, we must not lose sight of the promise of tomorrow.

To be thankful and grateful that we are here and able to do what we can.

To sort the wheat from the chaff, to focus on what is important to us and dispense with the clutter.

Often peace can be found in a simplistic approach.

Good luck for the ride through 2022, and may genes, luck and hope get you through.

– By Peter McQuarters