Sunday, June 12, 2011


I gave up this blog back in April, thinking that I had no business here.  I missed coming to this quiet place, trim my vegetables here, clear my thoughts, take stock of the detritus of life that can only be seen from this vantage point.

So, when does that occur?

Most likely, after you have reached a time when you can see the end in sight.  I'm betting on ten more years in my case. In ten more years, even this simple task of trimming leeks and artichokes will become too hard to do. My mother had rheumatoid arthritis in her hands and arms early on, starting in her fifties.

My hands have served me valiantly for about seventy years now. My eyes too. My legs not so well. My heart, my other vital organs have kept me going. But I can tell that I'm growing weaker because after a small hike, I need to rest.  Often, I feel  deep pains in my joints  that just seem to pop up from nowhere. Something is wrong with my shoulders, after exercising them, after sitting down on the computer, after sweeping.  My shoulders and my hip joints are harbingers of what will become of this body.

Some of you are turning away from these thoughts, feigning ignorance, or deliberate denial.
Machines have a life cycle; houses have a life cycle. So do people.
Some of us are eager to renovate parts.  I'm not looking forward to going under a knife, not even for getting cataract surgery, though I have heard nothing but good things from my hubby who had both eyes operated on.

I think sharing our fears and our conditions will help us find a good balance in our lives at this age.
Getting to know people who have gone through these stages helps to have the right information.
So, go on, share away.
Tell us what conditions worry you.
Are you doing the renovations of your body, or are you just postponing the inevitable?


  1. Oh my, I shouldn't start talking about pains!

  2. I guess the one thing I think about a lot since I turned 60 is this, "How many good years do I have left?" How long will I be able to ride my bike 13 miles. Uphill.
    How long will I be able to go in my studio every day and still see what I am doing? My closest sculptor friend recently went totally blind.I think about that a lot. I could stand to lose many things, but eyesight to an artist. Well that would be mental anguish. Georgia O'Keefe lost her eyesight as well.

    I also think about the past. For example I think about 20 years into the past. What was I doing 20 years ago? Which leads to the question. Will I still be alive in 20 more years?
    Growing old is hard. And only gets harder. That's the thing.
    Thanks for the thought provoking post.

  3. I used to have this fantasy of re-discovering my love of dance in retirement. With arthritic feet and knees, I'm not exactly cutting a fine figure, but I tap dance a little and have dabbled in Zumba. My husband and I work out strenuously at the gym every day in hopes of staying as healthy and fit as long as possible. But I can see the future. I feel it when I first get up in the morning and everything hurts. I remember what my Aunt Evelyn told me some years ago -- that if she didn't do her vigorous three mile walk every day, she was so stiff and sore she could hardly move. So we move it! I do see sobering reality. My parents died when they were 66 -- my current age. Only two people -- one on my mother's side, one on my father's side -- lived past 80. I am ever more aware of my own mortality -- which is a motivating factor in not putting off things I most want to do. I want to write more books, including a memoir or two. I want to do a bit of traveling. I'm doing both now because who knows about tomorrow? I can look in the mirror and see the passage of time. I can imagine, deep within, not being. And neither horrifies me as it did when I was younger. I'm grateful for every day.

  4. Roberta, yes, we look back and we try to assess our future.

    Kathy, I just came from your post about your agent retiring and I can feel those feelings too, about people who have been my colleagues and will no longer be there for me to exchange ideas. We can sit around and feel dejected about things not working, about friends passing on, or we can grab every bite we can while we can. I say, let's dance, lets write, lets travel places we have never seen. We have an urgency now.