All About You (Krissie)

So I’m going swimming first thing this morning. I only got there once last week – I’m hoping to make it at least two days this week. I’m not going to bitch about hurting – it’s boring. I’m just gonna do that I gotta do, and besides, I really like water walking. I plot while I do it, plus listen to audio books when I drive there and back. So even though it takes three hours it’s all good.
And I went to church for the third time in the last four Sundays. I’m really liking it – we have an interim minister who’s very low-key but good, and friends I’ve had for years. I’m UCC, which is basically as liberal as you can get and still believe in a trinity (and we’re even pretty loose on that) so in terms of faith it’s very good for me.
But I digress.
I’m starting to rip apart my book, which needs to be done before I can finish it, and I’m really into it. Plus I have more books to write, things to do. Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death.

Things this week: write, clean around my chair (things kind of build up like magazines and books, etc), clean the new bathroom, stencil some of the doll furniture (my first attempt was disastrous so I decided I ought to a) watch a youtube video and b) practice on scrap wood. Duh.) Maybe do a little sewing.

I wish I could finish cleaning. Obviously I finish a lot of things, including probably 100 books and novellas. I just don’t finish cleaning. When I do the kitchen I leave at least one pan. I never finish wiping down the counters. In the other rooms I clean one small area but shift all the crap to another corner. I’m not sure why, but I need to work on actually finishing the cleaning.

And I need to be cheerful about my birthday. I don’t know why I let numbers define me – they never did before. I know old people who are sixty, young people who are 80. A friend of mine turns 97 this week. And speaking of numbers, my number is terrifically entertaining. so for this year I’ll embrace it. In fact, fuck it, why don’t I just keep embracing the numbers? I’ve spent my life, starting as a young child, defying everyone’s expectations (I was born a little adult). I need to just stop limiting myself by society’s expectations, and revel in that defiance.

Step one – tomorrow I’m 69, baby! Best age ever (evil leer).

So what’s on your agenda apart from celebrating the national holiday of my birthday? Well, Cinco de Mayo (is that right? Looks like the 5th of Mayonnaise). Tacos are one of my favorite foods, though I’ve never had a fish taco.

What’s on your menu this week? Mexican food? Birthday cake? Salad? What’s on your agenda? Plodding work, joyful creativity, sloth? There’s value in everything, even the plodding stuff, and lots of hygge in sloth (Jeg er halvdel dannesker).

Tell me!

Krissie: Age

Photo on 2014-01-31 at 16.08 Is that the face of a 65 year old woman? Does it matter?
I never thought I’d let a certain number get to me. I greeted 40 and 50 and 60 with complete equanimity, and I was looking forward to medicare which has been GREAT. But for some reason the number came up like something deadly on a slot machine (not that deadly things come up on a slot machine) and I’ve been in a funk ever since.
I’ve felt like everything’s over. I kept waiting until I finally hit the big time, but now I think that time has passed completely. Just because I turned a certain number. I’m afraid I’m going to die soon. Granted, the older I get the sooner I’m going to die, but I could have died six years ago when I had borderline ovarian cancer (I was going to cancel my appointment and not bother with rescheduling because it seemed like a fuss over nothing. Instead I went and was in surgery 5 days later).
But I digress. I feel like parts of me are wearing out, like my knees and my wrists and my skin. Well, my skin is really good, as my mother’s was. My wrists and knees have been bad since my 40s, and the knees can be replaced.
But I started thinking about being tired of all the stress, thinking “don’t I deserve a rest at my age?” and all sorts of stuff like that. I’ve always deserved a rest from taking care of everyone — age has nothing to do with it. And you get fed up when you get fed up — it has nothing to do with a magic number.
Basically I’ve just been seeing myself as “over.” It makes the idea of moving seem depressing, because even though we’re isolated here we’d be even more isolated elsewhere. I think I have to be around my grandchildren, and god knows I want to be, but at the expense of everything else in my life? At the expense of Richie’s happiness?
Anyway, a couple of days ago things suddenly slipped into perspective. I can be any age I damned well please — numbers don’t define me. I come from long-lived stock if people don’t drink or smoke. There’s almost no cancer in the family (so far just one first cousin. None of the aunts and uncles or grandparents or parents). I can live forever, I can be glorious. For some reason I lost track of that.
One reason might be society’s emphasis on retirement. I’m not going to retire — I write because I love to. I wish I didn’t have to be such a slave to contracts, though.
I think having almost my entire family (except Mini-me) be dead is part of it too. I’m older than my father, brother or sister ever were. I really have no peers up here. I have Crusie, but you know, Crusie is a force of nature. She can do anything — leap tall buildings in a single bound etc. Just because Crusie can do something doesn’t mean I can.

But all this feeling defeated is just so much crap. I can write the best book of my life when I’m seventy-two. I can go for longer walks at 75 than I did at 45 if I get my knees in shape and work on the rest of my body. I can still be glorious — it takes more than a stupid number to dim my light.

I don’t know why it took me so long to figure it out. Maybe because Richie’s been depressed. Maybe because the financial burden still seems overwhelming. Maybe because there’s another change in my life that leads toward feeling older, but since that involves someone else I don’t think it fair to talk about it in even our private-sort-of public.

But you know, fuck that. Instead of standing on the shore waving pathetically as life passes me by, I’m going to take a flying leap off the cliff and do a spectacular landing in a warm, sparkly sea, grinning like Esther Williams. I’m going to be the person I was meant to be, even if that person is a little over the top for some people. I feel like I’ve been tied up, confined, lectured to, and now I’m breaking free of all that.

Phew! We get really ridiculous over some things, don’t we? At least, I do. Maybe the rest of you are more sensible.


So my goal is think about all the things I can do. Not a fucking bucket list — I’m not even going to think about the bucket. Just a world full of wonderful things, a brain full of wonderful things, opportunities and delight. I’m ready.