Being Mortal

I just picked up a book titled Being Mortal, in which the author, a doctor, considers the experience of mortality. He explains that he was taught in medical school how to keep people alive, but not how to let them die, or even have that discussion, if there was no longer anything he could do to make them better.

He  says “our ideas about how to deal with finitude” (his word, not mine) are inadequate, if not lacking totally. He talks about doctors having conversations about the risks of operations—which can include severe complications such as paralysis and death—with greater ease than they can discuss why not having the surgery is the preferable decision. Even when they agree.

Death is a tough one. No matter our belief system. So is getting older and frailer, and losing pieces of our dignity. One would think, I would think, there is no better, more meaningful time for these discussions to occur. We are unversed, uncomfortable, under-resourced. We are ignorant, and perhaps too arrogant, to peer into this growing body of beings and be with our ineptitude. But if we don’t, we do ourselves and others a severe disservice. We don’t open the doors for the opportunity to make a difference.

Life carries with it opposites and paradoxes. Beginnings and endings, judgements of good and bad, peals of laughter and streams of tears. Where do you stand on this issue? Is it too upsetting to consider? Is it worth the difficult look into yourself it might require? Does anybody matter enough to you to open the door and find out?

 

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A Better Place

I’m back from Australia, back to my desk, my book, my ordinary life. Back to the cold winter laden with boots and gloves. Back to the United States.

It feels wonderful. My mom always said that going away is great, but so is coming home.

I am in what I believe to be the final stages with Balboa. If I can stop finding errors, and they can find and correct some, this process would go faster. I have made it my hindrance, encumbrance, mission not to go over the entire manuscript for each correction. Now I check to see that the correction I submitted was made. My mantra is: It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough. Continue reading

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Alert – Boomer Abroad

I know. I have been remiss and inconsistent in blogging. However, my excuses are excellent (if not valid), and they offer me peace in the sometimes long periods between my posts.

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I have been particularly busy living my life, doing what I have chosen to do,  and so I am left (this is NOT a complaint) with less time to muse about normal boomer issues, in my normal boomer manner.

Excellent Excuse, Number OneThe Book: It’s been taking up my spare time, much to my delight. I will soon be approving the final cover and interior layout designs, which will save me from critically reviewing my work incessantly. An occupational, or a personality, hazard. Additionally (writers will understand), once I’ve addressed initial grammatical and phraseological (it appears this is not a word – although it should be) issues, more nuanced considerations pop off the page and into my brain as necessary items to ponder. The process has the potential to be an endless one, so a person, like me, needs to pick a time to move forward putting aside the illusive concept of ever reaching perfection. This can be mind-numbing in its procrastinating power. The book will come out (debutant sounding, yes?) in the early Spring of 2015. You have my word to keep you fully apprised of that timing.
Continue reading

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To The Men I’ve Loved

Or thought I loved. Or even liked. Many of you are no longer in my life, and that’s probably for a good reason. Many of you did not have my best interest at heart. Some of you did, and those men number a small percentage overall. That is as it should be.

Good men are hard to find. Possessing a strong sense of character and a value system that allows them to be ‘men’ while factoring in the ability to behave with sensitivity and kindness, are not combinations easily found. If you find or have a man like this, my unsolicited advice would be to keep him.

My father was a good man. As is my step-father, my brothers, and my sons. One of the ways I learned to  decipher what ‘good’ men looked like, beside my good role models, was having dealings with the not-so-good ones. The overly selfish, the impersonally sexual, the narcissists. We’ve all encountered them (and I’m sure men have their own version of us women).

I’ve considered writing an anthology with women who date the over 50 crowd, and who are themselves, over 50. A serious, and comedic, subject. One must laugh.

I want to thank you guys. Honestly. Because spending time with those of you who did not deserve me, because caring about myself enough to respect my worth, because finding one of the really good ones, has been a process in the making. I’ve learned that some of the things I thought mattered, don’t, and I’ve learned what does:

Character (there’s no masking it), Sensitivity, Protection, A Sense of Safety, Love (however one defines it), Honesty, Humor, Intelligence, Inward Beauty, Confidence.

I want the man who loves me to treat me well, to protect me and take care of me, to show me his commitment through his actions and his words, to be safe enough to talk to, to not take me for granted. And I want to do the same for him.

This post is addressed to women who have forgotten their worth, who have been in bad relationships, who are too young to fully understand, to my daughter and all our daughters. Do not put yourself in unsafe positions, a man who loves you wouldn’t ask that of you. Do not relinquish your values and sense of right and wrong, it will not be worth it in the long run, and do not lose you in a relationship, this could be the warning sign of serious problems to be; co-dependence and unworthiness among them.

At the very least, even if bad stuff happens, keep these thoughts in your tool box for the future. Most of us will make bad choices, most of us will learn from them. I certainly have. But those of us who end up happy and well, have somewhere along the line, taken the advice of other women who have ended up happy and well and who were willing to make their communications public.

 

 

 

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In Honor of Galleys

They have arrived! The galleys. I speak the obvious when I say – This is soooo exciting!!!

Galleys are the closest to book form that your story will reach before it actually becomes a book. I print out the pages and read critically and voraciously. As I make changes, I alternate between the feelings of  excitement and nausea. My words, and the story they portray, will be out there, in the world, far from my protection, open to criticism (and dare I say acclaim?). Not unlike our babies, who grow, leave home, and become functional adults. We hope.

I want to share my cover with you, I am quite proud of it, but (and I say this with embarrassment) I’m not sure how. I also want to send a well-deserved shout out to Mimi Krumholz, creator of the blog—Waiting for the Karma Truck—who wrote a blurb for, The Moon To Play With, beautiful and poignant, that has landed itself a place on the cover of my book. The best I can do (with a little help from my son, Scott) is add the link below, which will open a new tab at the top of your computer and take you away from my post (not ideal, but look at it and return, I trust you).

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With approximately 30 changes listed on a galley modification form, I wait less than patiently to receive the updated galleys with (hopefully) all the changes done correctly. Because, my creative friends, this is the last stop before the book flies into printing and distribution, from which there is no turning back.

As always, it is my intention to keep you informed and aware of the publishing saga I travel. Please feel free to ask questions, add comments and thoughts, offer advice, and share your personal experience. Although we travel the road alone, we also travel it together. Stay well, and warm.

 

 

 

 

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The New Year of 2015

8519560603_f0659f3f41_nI’m struck by the enormity and inanity of the occasion.  A new year. It is, after all, momentous on some level, it is also, after all, just the passing of another day. But taking on significance as a mathematical change (and perhaps a philosophical change), it’s meaning explodes in celebration.

I’m all for celebration. I believe in holidays, birthdays, super-bowl parties. It is, however,  curious to see what we deem important. In that regard, the passing of a full year is meaningful. Not as an occasion to get drunk, but as a time to consider the previous 364 days of one’s life, to gather with family and friends, to open one’s heart to joy. And sorrow.

This new year’s eve was a quiet one. It was spent with three other couples, at one of the couple’s homes, for hors d’oeuvres, dinner and conversation. The home was modern and spacious – consisting of large windows offering a 360 degree view of the surrounding terrain. A quarry rested just down the hill, as did the coastline. With all the beauty outside, it was the people who held our attention. We spent the evening getting to know one another, speaking about safe topics at first, and then moving onto less safe, more personal, ground.

Life can be grand (and Lord knows, it can be lousy, too). But this new year’s eve was fun. I hope to make this year a better one than the last (better is subjective, but happiness and making a difference are right up there). Let us take a moment to toast what, and who, we care about. I want to wish all who visit here, a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2015! May each of us make a positive difference in some small way.

Paper Heart2

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,900 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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