Tuesday, January 12, 2010

staring down the inevitable

I have 3 potential projects to work on. One is a children's book that I need to go through and edit. One is the slightest slimmest glimmer of a project with my yoga studio. And one is WRINKLE: the Cultural Story of Aging. I've got plenty of books to read for research. I already have a basic table of contents. I've got bunches of questionnaires already filled out to peruse. There's more information out there than I can possibly process. I've got interested people who want to read this book. I believe it will sell—when we went out with FLOW, more than a few editors were wanted to buy WRINKLE first.

But, I can't seem to start and am not sure what's stopping me. Could be that I just came of a 2.5 year project that nearly drove me mad. Could be that I can't comprehend working that hard again. I'm thinking it's those, plus the subject matter.


It's omnipresent. It never stops. It's inevitable and the older I get, the harder it smacks me in the face every day. It's watching my kids gain independence. Every day. That part of aging is pretty miraculous. I don't yearn for when they were smaller. Even with the tween drama and burgeoning rivalry, the present is amazing to witness. But it's watching my parents start to struggle. I didn't know how to react when I got the message my mom was in the ER last week. Atrial fibrullation. I went numb. My heart turned to stone. My feelings stopped—I don't know that that's ever happened before. Generally I feel things too strongly. I can be overwhelmed, washed away by emotional floods. This time, nothing. I'm thinking it's because I know it's real. While change can happen in the blink of an eye, moving closer to the end of life is a constant. Bodies breaking down. Minds starting to shred. Worlds somehow growing smaller as health issues often become chronic and take over first place in daily dealings. I can't begin to comprehend what will happen when something happens to my parents. It's incomprehensible.

And then, what about me? I'm changing. I can feel it, see it.

I was going to list those changes but have thought better of it. They're nothing remarkable. Skin with a life of its own. Hair in new places. Grey encroaching at my temples. Lines at my mouth and in between my eyes that are permanent. I don't think anything I'm going through is unique or out of the ordinary. Having said that . . .


Now what. Do I buy into the whole aging intervention mindset? If I'm conceptually so horrified by denying reality, then is is ok to color my hair when I can't stand the grey (it's barely there at the moment)? Where do I stand on the botox scale? How far am I willing to go to be myself, own my aging self, while still feeling comfortable and confident in my own skin.

Damn. I just got to this place and it's already slipping away.

WRINKLE. Sigh. This is going to be one introspective project.

Day 9 is staring down the inevitable.

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