Lately, fear has crept into my life. I can’t pinpoint exactly when, why, where or how. I never used to be a fearful person.
When I was younger, I’d make a plan and go for it. Move to New York and go to grad school? Yes! Quit my job and start a business? Yes! Move to a foreign country to write a novel? Yes! Marry a foreigner? Be the founder of the Merida English Library? Yes and yes!
I’m not saying slow down, I’m saying, change up.
“I determined that at sixty-five, business, properly speaking, should know me no more. On my sixty fifth birthday I woke a free man.”
–from “All Passion Spent” by Vita Sackville West
“When I retire…” We say these words all our life. We say them when we are frustrated with our job, our boss, our lack of time, not enough sleep, pining for a creative outlet. We say, “When I retire” as a threat, a promise, a dream.
Then the day comes. Whilst there are those who are thrilled, fulfilled and “ready for the next adventure,” it has become chic to squawk, “Who me? I’m never going to retire!” Insulted at the notion even.
I have been obsessed with age since I was in my 30’s. I remember a summer weekend in upstate New York, at my friend Keith’s country home. After a typical, stressful week at the advertising agency, we drove from the city to find ourselves standing outside with our martinis, breathing in the sweet country air, and looking at the cows who had come up to the fence to greet us. We were healthy and attractive. Our careers were in the making. We felt powerful and invincible. Fear was unknown to us at that moment.
Last evening, the television series The Good Wife ended. It has been running for seven years. That’s longer than many relationships.
I thought the writers did a splendid job with the finale which is always a slippery slope. No happily ever after. We did get a bit of fantasy and romance, smacked down with reality. It reflected the uncertainty of life perfectly: everything is up in the air, change or die, and life goes on.
Yes, that would be me. I’ve become a general contractor. My good friend Jean taught me to hire myself and pay me well. More on my pay, later.
In the last 24 hours I’ve had visits from a plumber (who couldn’t resolve the problem of a cistern that won’t stop running), the water purifier people, telling me I need a new pump under my sink to fortify the water purifier which needs maintenance all the time, a mason who didn’t fix leaky roof and it kept raining in my living room.