Sometimes when I read my writing, I just get so bored. Crafting a good opening sentence is hard. Ugh.
Why don’t I say what I want to say upfront and get rid of all the bullshit and setup?
Today I just want to write about how I’m getting too old to have a ten-year plan, and that makes me sad.
I might be getting too old for even a five-year plan.
And then I think of all the people my age who are just happily cruising along enjoying their retirements, traveling, indulging their grandchildren, going hiking, bird watching, and not thinking about five-year plans.
What is wrong with me that that isn’t enough? All those things are good. I like to do them too, but I don’t feel right unless I have something I am working on, something hard or at least hard for me. It makes me feel terrible. I lose sleep over it.
But mostly what I feel is bored. I need a thing—a project.
My latest idea is that I want to be a writer. Not that this is a new idea, not at all, This is my oldest idea. But I want to up the ante now and write stuff that will be read and enjoyed by lots of people.
I want to work towards this, and gain some level of mastery, thus the present obsession with the five-year plan.
What I do know is it’s really hard to be a writer
Mostly because of all the pick-and-shovel work: what to write, what is worth reading, where to publish this writing, and who I am helping with my writing.
It can’t just be self-indulgent bullshit. Although I am really good at that.
I need to take my writing to a place where the things I want to write about are the things people want to read about.
For years my blog has featured a mishmash of pieces that nobody really cares about. I write it because it’s hard to do. It forces me to look at my life, pick some aspect of it, write about it in a way that makes sense, and then test my nerve to see if I have enough guts to push Publish.
Sometimes people comment that they like what I write, which always makes me feel super-good, but I never know why.
One theory for why someone would like what I write is that we’re all peeping toms, watching each other all the time, trying to figure out how to live.
We look or read about other people’s lives to see if they have a better way of doing it: a cooler way, a more fun way, a more meaningful, transcendent, spiritual, healthy, perfect way.
That’s what I do, anyway.
I read blogs about clothes, houses, hobbies, food, relationship problems, and triumphs to see if there is some other way to do my own life.
Right now, I’m looking for role models of people around my age (seventy) who are killing it.
Not killing it exactly, but you know what I mean.
People who are creative, interesting, take risks, and have fun doing hard things.
In the public domain, there are those super-stars like Anthony Fauci, Jane Goodall, Paul McCartney, Yo-Yo Ma, Atul Gawande, Judy Chicago, Richard Dawkins, and Gloria Steinem, but they all live in a galaxy far, far away.
What I’m looking for are older ordinary people who are learning Chinese, writing books, working on their cellos, or starting businesses. In other words, people doing hard things for the fun of it, to keep their edge sharp or their meaning quotient high.
As for me, I will keep working at this blog-writing thing, hopefully getting better, staying consistent, and finding my lane with any luck.
But if you know somebody who is killing it in their seventies, let me know. I really need to stalk them.
2 thoughts on “We Are All Looking At Each Other, Trying To Figure Out How To Live”
I love all your writings! I love the realness and the vulnerability. Also you’re the most kick ass 70 year old I know (and I know a lot of them) you inspire my 42 year old self to be better! Thank you!
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Oh thank you so much, Rebecca! You are a gem! You inspire me so much, too! Love, love, love!!