Ten Years

When I was about to turn 60, I decided I should start a blog for 60-somethings, a journal of sorts to remember and share what I was going through. I couldn’t believe I was that old! Well, I think I managed one post before I abandoned it.

And now I am about to turn 70, which sounds about as old as 60 did ten years ago. The only thing that’s changed is how I look at the world, myself, and my relationships.

I will continue sharing what I’m learning here. I can’t wait until I am almost 80 to see if my topics have changed. Somehow I envision lots of posts about getting older, and that’s ok because that’s where I am. That 18 year old, sitting by the side of the road in Amsterdam with a loaf of bread and a hunk of cheese, thinking she was all that and more, had no idea how her life would turn out. There have been many dark times, moments filled with regret, days when I wondered if I was losing my mind. And yet here I am, excited about this next decade and feeling grateful for all I have in my life.

Minute by minute. Hour by hour. Day by day.

I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end.–Gilda Radner

Stay tuned.

But I Wanted Blueberry

Not really. The hazelnut ice cream melted in my mouth and soothed raw places left by new invisilign braces. Homemade, at that. The ice cream, not the braces.

But the eating was preceded by a discussion.

“What kind do you want?”

“Um, I really don’t care.”

“You decide- it’s Mother’s Day!”

“But what do you want?”

He picked hazelnut, and I was fine with that. Just typing that word gives me chills because as a child I was “always fine with that.”

As I let the cold ice cream slip down my throat, I replayed the conversation in my mind, wondering if I had given in or if I really didn’t care. Sometimes it’s hard to know. I’ve been waffling for so long.

This time, it really didn’t matter. But I wish I’d picked.

If You Can’t Say Something Nice

I hate the word “nice.” It’s been used to describe me one too many times.

I suppose being nice is better than being a bitch, but nice, which rhymes with rice, another bland something, is the opposite of spice. Now spice–that has gumption.

Nice is another way of saying–no backbone, boring.Being nice started early in my life, when I heard my mother even when she wasn’t around, saying: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Not a bad philosophy I suppose, but when being nice begins to shape who you are, then you’re in trouble.

Being nice translates into “don’t confront,” “don’t disagree,” don’t speak your mind.” All dangerous. These moments translate into stupid, dangerous, and careless moments. A drink too many, a lie allowed to grow, saying yes when I should have said no.

When I left a previous job, the editor said: “All the niceness has now left the office.” She meant it as a compliment, but I knew better.