“I am a work in progress.” *Thinking* that has begun to feel more and more natural – normal, maybe – over the past several months. I can say it out loud to friends, but writing it feels different, and a little scary. There’s something far larger than a small part of me that feels like, at age 53 (really, almost 54), that shouldn’t be the case though. Guilt? I’m the breadwinner. Shouldn’t I be an expert in *something* by now?
The truth is that I’m good at a few things (being fairly organized; annoying the crap out of my husband when he doesn’t clean up after himself or work consistently enough on a project; advocating for my parents; breaking inertia; cooking; deluding myself into thinking I can carry a tune; self-effacing humor; pricing real estate so that it actually sells). I know I’m really good at handling crises well, not that I want to do that for a living, thank you. So I decided to do a blog, inspired, in part, by a guest blog that a friend asked if I’d like to do last month (you can read that here: https://meetmaple.com/2019/01/18/a-love-letter-from-the-universe/)
When people who haven’t seen me in a while ask me what I’m doing, I’ve been saying that I’m “semi-retired,” because, in reality, that’s what I am. I can’t, nor do I have any desire to, pursue another “job” at this point. I need too much flexibility in my life so I can help my parents, both of whom, it can now be officially said, have dementia. Gratefully, we do have a caretaker helping during weekdays, but coordinating the calendar; scheduling and sitting in on every doctor’s apppointment; taking care of the bills; dropping everything to get there when there’s a fall, a dead battery in something, a leaky faucet or stuck toilet; gathering all the paperwork for annual tax preparation. . . That all adds up to at least a part-time job, and the job is mine.
Meanwhile, I’m working on a book chronicling (I don’t think I’ve ever typed that word before – it looks weird, doesn’t it?) the experience of surviving our genuinely daunting, 8+-year home renovation (which still isn’t done, but damn, we’re close), and, probably as close as I’m going to get to doing anything professional again, trying to help a very cool business whose main presence is now in the midwest, expand here in the northeast. Oh yeah, and continuing to hone my investing skills. And selling off a few pieces of family real estate.
The book has been writing itself in little snippets in my head all along the way (since around 2010), but the process of getting it down “on paper” has been more daunting than I’d ever imagined. For now, I’ve been focusing on just nailing down the chronology and as many of the crazy stories as I can remember (some are impossible to forget!!), as I’m sure once an editor gets their hands on it, we’ll end up totally reorganizing it. I’ll probably share parts of it in this blog, though.
So I talked in my first post about coming up with some sort of schedule, and here’s what I’m thinking:
- Mom & Dad Monday – here I’ll share stories of caretaking, things I’ve seen, heard, and am learning along the way;
- Hump-Day House Stuff – bits of the book, lessons and resources for energy-efficient building, how to not kill your spouse during a renovation, etc;
- Food Friday – my passion. This will probably include everything from recipe and party ideas to musings on the latest studies on the links between health (or disease) and nutrition.
I’m probably NOT going to do 3 posts a week, but for now, I’m trying to get some content together and teed up so there’s at least a fairly regular progression of stuff in all the categories. I hope it will be a place where you find equal parts of fun and helpful info, and maybe this will even become a place where we can all share our stories and learn from each other.
Cheers for now!