There She Goes Again . . .

If you happen upon this before I get out of sight of land on my new quest, just click on the “About” page and you’ll see what I’m up to. And that photo — yup. It’s a self-portrait taken this afternoon. I finally figured out how to set the timer for a ten-second delay. This is it. This is what 59.5 looks like. In June, you’ll be treated to 60, then next January, an extra-special treat of 60.5, etcetera, etcetera. It may not be pretty, but it will be real.

What’s that old saying about how there’s nothing like a hanging in the morning to concentrate the mind? Well, my mind is focused on the next ten years, one moment at a time, and I plan to squeeze all the love, fun, joy and life out of it that I can. Judging by the love, fun, joy and life I’ve already experienced, this decade is going to be a blast.

Come on along. One thing it won’t ever be is boring.

13 thoughts on “There She Goes Again . . .

    1. Ah, Elizabeth! So glad to see you here. I’ll bet you have read Life of Pi. Doesn’t life sometimes feel like being out on the ocean on a small raft with a Bengal tiger on board? Oh, but what a great view! I’ve been thinking lately about what an incredible resource blogs will be for future anthropologists. There may even be an explosion of anthropologists to study bloggers studying themselves! I plan to blog and write up to my last breath. Maybe by that time we’ll be able to simply whisper our thoughts onto a screen or maybe a wall that will shimmer and run a continuous slide show with audio and video so we can experience our lives as we disintegrate and become something other. Anyway, it occurred to me yesterday that since I (really, and thanks) will be turning 60 this year, and a decade is such an interesting chunk of time to hold in the mind, that if I started now with a camera-shot every six months done basically the same impromptu cheap camera way, and tried to write the experience in as unblinking a way as possible, with all my many questions, that it might turn into something interesting, especially several years into it. Glad you like the eyebrows! Ha — way back in the 1970s when I lived in Atlanta, I almost plucked them into oblivion, so I am grateful to have any at all.

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  1. A plan full of possibilities, Beth. I like it. I’ll be following along, on board, what have you. What struck me hard when I saw this picture of you with your beautiful, searching eyes looking out at me: I knew that if I had ever run into you IRL before getting to know you online, I would have liked you immediately and wanted to get to know you. That doesn’t always happen.

    I’m intrigued by the idea of writing about the experience of taking your picture every six months for the next decade. We have such mixed up ideas about aging in our society. Honest and unblinking would certainly be a welcome addition to a real conversation about aging. I’m slightly more than a decade behind you – I’ll turn 49 this year. Perhaps this is something I might do, too, in this next decade as I move toward 60.

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    1. Two of the most honest writers I know have joined me in this room so far. Anyone is welcome, of course, but I have intentionally left a trail of nearly invisible breadcrumbs in hopes that we who gather here can have honest words. Is it coincidence that so far, there are two Beths and an Elizabeth? 🙂 I must admit there are certain others I hope will join us, and not only women, including G, R, D, K, S, B and several other fully-rounded initials.

      I know there’s nothing here yet beyond a whisper of potential. We have a whole decade to explore, so I’m approaching it more like the slow design and handwork required of creating a tapestry. I’m giving myself permission to write when I’m ready, and also trying to make sure I don’t stint on the precious life in my midst while it is with me.

      Thanks for your kind words, Beth. You know, I wore straight bangs covering my entire forehead my whole life. One reason is that I have a congenital enlarged pore right in the middle of my forehead, rather like a tiny bullet hole or a caste mark that I’ve always been self-conscious about. Roughly three months ago, I started letting them grow, starting looking at myself straight on in the mirror while brushing my teeth, intrigued by this person, this grown-up person looking back at me. It’s strange, all that expanse of forehead; even stranger that I seem to want to expose it now, when that’s really the only place where I have wrinkles. Most of those wrinkles probably came from reading all the time, and maybe I can see them now as a badge of study, of intelligence. I don’t know.

      By the way, I’m not sure how far you are from Boston. I’ve only been there once for two short days of meetings, but everytime I see photos of the parks and city neighborhoods there, I just feel like I would be so at home there. It’s beautiful to me.

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  2. Well I’m not a Beth but can I join the gang :0)

    Now 55 I’m sort of on the age path me thinks, cough. As to eyebrows, being plucked in to oblivion, they have always had a mind of their own on my face:0) but it does seem that the tweezers seem to get used rather regularly on the chin these days.

    Ten years does seem a very long time so like you I’ll just continue to plod along moment by moment in each day. Planning to become a blogger once again before this month is out, with changes going on to encompass life in this very fast lane I don’t live in:0) life at the cottage has needed and still needs my full attention but I miss the memory and thinking aid I’ve found my blogs to be, so a ramble of words and pictures will pop up again soon I hope.

    I wonder if being someone whose physical self is described as disabled gives 80 year olds permission to tell me they know how I feel, as I fall over or have malfunctions of body systems that leave nothing to the imagination and much for mop and bucket, I only know that ageing seems to me to be not about wrinkles, chin hair, falling over, needing carers etc etc but the possibilities, challenges and light that fill my heart and brain and continue to make me ask why, how, where and most of all bring it on i want more!

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    1. I’m so happy to see you here, my Welsh friend! I like your description of blogs as a “memory and thinking” aid. I’ve peeked at your space occasionally, sighed at your absence, and hope you’ll be moved to start up again, in whatever form, fashion, or time-table.

      You make the good point that the concepts of age and aging are elastic, and depend in large measure on physical and emotional conditions of a given day or season. I have a friend who began describing herself as an “old woman” when she was barely 40. I have another friend who, at 83, drives herself over to gamble the slots at Biloxi almost every week. It tickles her to have the hotel comp her room and give her free drinks. I also have a teenage friend who sighs with the ennui of youth, and describes himself as exhausted!

      There can be tyrannies of youth and tyrannies of age.

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  3. I feel a bit like a literary voyeur. Following the breadcrumbs led me to a room with no walls or ceiling where there seems to be a garden party in progress and I only know the hostess. Thankfully, she has the gift of making all feel truly welcome – even relatives.

    Being a few giant steps ahead of you on the path through the decade, I look forward to gazing in my rearview mirror to see what flower you have stopped to admire, what bird you’re listening to so intently, what friend you have encountered with whom to chat. It will not be at all surprising when I discover you’re not there at all, having veered off onto some half-hidden pathway through the woods offering a diversionary detour which just might delay the decade or, who knows, even suspend time itself.

    What a glorious decade it shall be!

    Seriously, I just wanted to leave my initials in the wet cement.

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  4. Methinks this will be a wonderful space for a wonderful shared journey. And somehow the completely unexpected feeling I have, the one that has risen to the top first, is relief. I guess it’s about the ability to have a conversation with like-minded women. What a treat. Thanks, Beth. I’m looking forward to the creation of the tapestry.

    You asked how far I was from Boston, and the answer is not far, only about 35 miles northwest. I live in a part of Massachusetts that is still fairly rural, with lots of small farms and as-of-yet undeveloped land outside, classic New England small towns, yet I can be in Boston in less than hour depending on traffic. it’s quite wonderful. I think you would like Boston very much. It’s an approachable city that’s walkable in many places with a good public transportation system. I feel much more comfortable navigating it than I do NYC, even though I lived in the NY metro area for a large part of my life. I like Boston, and its many neighborhoods very much. Come visit me!

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    1. I would love to! For now, it will only be in the mind, but what a treat it would be to watch your heron hunt on Pinemeadow Pond, and walk the countryside and then the neighborhoods of Boston.

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  5. Well, well. This is fun, interesting, just like you, Beth. I followed the crumbs, too!
    I’m getting over myself somewhat, having reached the 50 mark a few months ago. At thirty, I had a little panic; forty just felt fun and freeing; then 50 brought a pause for consideration. I think by sixty I’ll be back to enjoying it. Hope you do so very much. You are a beautiful example of passing time well.

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  6. I feel that I’ve aged considerably in the last few years, all of it evident on my face. I ‘m sure there are some things that are just genetic, and I’ve had way to much sun exposure, red wine and sleepless nights to add to the mix.

    However, I just turned 48 and am intent on aging gracefully and all that. I think our inside beauty radiates .

    I plan on seeking and living beauty so that my light shines and and no one notices my jowls and deep laugh lines and permanently furrowed brow.

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    1. That furrowed brow comes from reading and thinking. The laugh lines, furrowed brow, and softening chin lines are signs of life well lived. Botoxing that away would be criminal.

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