A few notes on exhaustion and restlessness.
Life is too short to:
- Write with stingy ink pens,
- Spend your days inside,
- Fail to do the one or two things that you know make you feel better.
Okay. I’ve tossed out a suck job bic medium point. I’ve walked the dog twice. But the third item above? Let’s talk Daily Pages and keeping up with friends (both here and in the neighborhood).
What’s with all the blank Daily Pages? Day after day, blank. Does it mean anything? There was a time when I would ask that as if there might be something worth knowing about my resistance. Not now. Nope. Just resume!
Same for friends. Tonight is a birthday celebration. We’re going downtown! We’re going to a restaurant that Roxane Gay recently dined at and no, I’m not a stalker, I just read her twitter feed.
So, it’s cold again. Winter cold. The scarves and gloves have been unearthed from the bins in the basement. I may have to make a polar fleece apron for the long down coat of mine because it won’t snap all the way closed (ugh!) While out today, it took a FULL MILE for my head to clear.
Note to self: A walk less than a mile is like a stingy ink pen.
And now for a Not Apology.
When considering a wash of discontent or sleeplessness, there is always the news to blame. But! The news right now is historic, dismaying, compelling, detailed, alarming, and evidencing the highest national stakes since the Civil War. I make no apology for being riveted. Whether I would be happier or more calm or sleep better with less information is not something I care to spend time considering.
As for what ELSE might be making me a little tired? How about — being an adult. K and I are considering end-of-life directives, long term health insurance, retirement funding, and how to sensibly pass assets down to the boys. The bottom line is so much better than I thought, so there’s that! Because the picture is better than I thought, mostly these considerations provoke relief, but not entirely, for obvious reasons.
And then off I went to writing class. Having two classes a week is nice — one to teach, one to attend. I’m noticing how different one is from the other and enjoying the differences.
My washing machine is getting very old and some of it’s functions are unreliable– water all over the floors- new hardwood!!!!! so I sit across from the machine as it churns and do washing machine pages. They are writing themselves- and I am using the most awesome Sharpie to write. Had been using a Precise V5 or V7. Sometimes smooth on the paper and at other times having to push the point. Sigh. Writing is hard enough without the pen being an obstacle. Sharpie for the Win. I am walking the dog two of the four times a day- he can no longer do the walk in the woods because he might “fail” and neither of us can lift and carry him back home. But on our street- one can drive the car down the street if rescue is needed. We are having to talk about the dog’s estate planning.
We did our own estate planning three years ago (at 70) and are moving everything into a Trust which our son will execute . Even while we are still alive if we can’t: so no waiting till we die to step in and help. Deciding how you want to live as you deteriorate is hard. We also had to decide on “heroic” measures to keep us alive. We both said no.
Washing machine pages. I love it! It never would’ve occurred to me to favor sharpies for regular writing. Doesn’t it soak thru the page?
kudos! really! so many people do not take, or for some reason can not take, the steps to plan their future (as best as one can). I feel only partly through the steps necessary. I have much denial and worry that holds me back from being more careful now so I can be more comfortable later. Strangely enough, I spent most of today with 3 people over 95 years old. They are each somewhat infirm but safe and vibrant and full of hope. In spite of Current Events, they are riveted to life and to the news; more and more fascinated with history’s permutations, and ready to discuss it in depth. These oldsters continue to march on with a sparkle in their eyes. Still, I do not want to get old. I do not want to be ill. I do not want to be poor.
to which I would humbly add: I do not want to lose my mind (my greatest fear)
Poor old and senseless. Yes. Terrible. I find the average heroic measure language does not address dementia. And once fully
Kicked in, the agency to make life and death decisions is gone. A real dilemma.
Happy to hear about engaged, hopeful elders. Something to aspire to For sure! We all have denial about aging. It’s kind of built in to our culture. But you’re ahead of the curve having downsized already!
Thank you for inspiring me take my pencils out of the pen cup (where they pick up ink and then don’t write very well) … I sharpened all six of them and then them in their own little cup … I feel ever so much better now
and teaching … I do believe one can learn as much or more by prepping for a class than by simply attending one
Happy to hear about your pencils. Pencils should never pick up ink! I find having a nice metal pencil sharpener handing is a good tactic for pencil-use. Speaking of, what are you using them for? Writing on Fabric?
the news is so weird from this side of the world… just finished reading Barkskins by Annie Proulx covering the history of logging, land grabbing and the repercussions this made on the first people of North America, such a brilliant writer, every sentence honed to a razor edge
What a great follow up that’d be to The Overstory.
You reminded me of my beautiful fountain pen languishing in the desk drawer even after I bought some trixie little purple cartridges for it. Now cleaned and loaded, it writes like a dream.
Purple ink! Now there’s a concept! I like to imagine it spooling out one of your scenes…
Ever so glad I traveled back in time to this post, for the post and every comment has me nodding in agreement or recognition, laughing, smiling! For me, pens have to feel right in my hand along with writing well. Pencils picking up ink? Never thought of that and I just wrote a work wish list in purple ink last night!
As for the bigger, more important life matters,,,I too have begun shaping those. It is complicated and gives me a head ache, but I’m trudging through. We’ll see how I feel when I get to the health directives! I do agree with you all…no poor, old and senseless for me either! I came, I did, I’m done (or will be). But, I will add that it is hard because I’m no expert and it all feels confusing. 🙁
Lastly, I loved putting on workshops and agree that the prep teaches one so much…and although we are always learning, there comes a point where you become knowledgeable enough that it is hard to find a teacher who thrills you!
This comment is so full! Yes, indeed a pen must not just dispense ink, it must feel good in the hand! I used to work as an estate planning lawyer and was confused by how thoroughly so many people put these matters off. Now I’m one of those people. It’s got a level of complication that feels unnecessary (taxes!) and yet is crucial to good planning. Then there’s the very difficult business of facing our own deaths even imaginatively. The idea of our offspring going on in our absence is particularly hard. For some reason, I don’t find the end of life stuff as treacherous. I just want a pile of morphine when the time comes. The trick will be communicating that if I’ve lost my mind.
It is interesting how each of us in a different place when it comes to EOL stuff. My main thought is I don’t really want to be here without J. My kids will go on as they have gone on now. I also don’t want to go super slowly, trying a million ‘cures’ – which are really just a quality of life drain. I think people should get to choose when they are done. My bigger stress is how do I work to pay bills if I am sick? Blech. Or if I need to care for J. – because I also need to work. Mmmm…
The legal/paperwork stuff is what stops me. I have no idea how to accomplish any of that and I hadn’t even thought of taxes stuff! Geeze, I guess I have a ways to go 😉