cloud dream

Another year

I will be 55 tomorrow.

Have yet to adjust to the 50s. The 40s still felt, if not young, at least pre-middle ages. But 50s butt up against the 60s, which is Social Security/Medicare territory and no I’m not ready. I know, I still have 5 years left to kid myself that 50 is the new 30 so that means that 55 is the new 37.3 or some such. But I know how quickly time passes now–events from 5 years past still replay in my brain as if they happened yesterday. One of my fave t-shirts is a navy blue trad cut with a Santa Barbara crest that I bought for my Dad 20 years ago at my first writers conference ever. 1993 was 20 years ago. I still remember walking along the beach and listening to the lectures and surviving the workshops and receiving validation in the speculative fiction workshop that yes, I could actually write.

20 years.

It doesn’t matter that to some folks, I may not look my age. I’m not sure what that means. This is what 55 looks like. There are lines that weren’t there a few years ago. Skin no longer as taut. There’s more gray hair. Stuff hurts. I’m at the age where Doctors test All The Things. The body, it has changed, in most ways not for the better. I am, knock wood so hard it splinters, blessed with decent health, and to be honest, fuck the skin and hair, that’s all I want. If I have that, I can push/pull/adjust/survive anything else. This, I tell myself. That’s my bargain with whatever inevitable is out there. Just grant me this one thing.

I understand, though, that shit happens. Seen it up close over the last 10 years.

I understand that I am blessed with resource. I am a child of the First World, and though I made countless bad choices over the years, I ended up okay.

I understand that unless there is some startling medical breakthrough in the next few years, I’m on the downward slope.

If nothing else, this understanding is driving me to take some chances, so that I can spend as much time as possible doing what I really want to do. Last year at this time, I wasn’t at this point.

Not much else to say. Wondering where I’ll be a year from now. Lots to do between now and then.

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.

Hope you have a wonderful birthday. 55 isn't so bad - I got through it and turned 56 a week and a half ago.
These are the sorts of revelations that I see myself having. Aging scares the bejesus out of me. At the risk of offending you, I hope that I am as clear-headed, down to earth, and 'with it' at your age.
I'm glad I come off as clear-headed. Many times, I feel a bit too navel-gazing, and confused.

All you can do about this getting older business is face it head-on the best as you can.

And don't lie to yourself. Sometimes, that's a hard one to follow.
Birthday wishes and champagne dreams. And may the next year bring mostly good things.
Late, but heartfelt--Happy Birthday and many happy (underlined in mind if not in the post) returns.

55 is the speed limit year, the year that yeah, you look at it as a barrier beyond which....but yanno, the speed limits have been going up. What was a 55 mph speed limit on the highway near here is now 75. We are generally in better health at older ages now (women who haven't had to have too many kids, particularly.) And you're retiring from the day job at 55, the dream of many. So keep up the exercise, write like a bandit as soon as you retire, ride the rides with gusto until you can't.

Forget the downward slope thing...only true for some of it, not everything. You can write better. I am writing better and singing better than when I was 55. Neither of us is likely to become an Olympic gold medal winner in a new sport, but both of us could compete in senior events if we wanted to spend the time on it. Linda Dunn who is, I think, older than you (and younger than m) and started well after we started the SFWA Musketeers, is now competing internationally in fencing.

You could be anywhere a year from now. I hope you're writing and enjoying life and keeping in touch, because I want to hear about it.
Linda is an inspiration. I remember when she first started classes.

You could be anywhere a year from now.

All the excitement and terror of this next stage, packed into one sentence. I wouldn't have it any other way, though.

I will always keep in touch. Would like to visit at some point, once I start to sort things out. Haven't been to Texas since the last Lonestarcon.
Happy Birthday!

I've been having similar thoughts, though I'm a good ten years younger. Function of my craptastic health, I suppose. That sort of thing changes your perspectives a fair bit, as well as your priorities.

Anyway. I'm glad to know you, even if it's only virtually, and I hope you have a wonderful day.
Yea!

You're one of my health and fitness inspirations, you know. I would love to incorporate some sport into my life, and have fitness be exciting rather than a chore. I worry about not being able to jog much longer because of my knees, so I am looking around. Swimming was one possibility. Given how much I enjoy being outdoors, some type of boating--kayak, paddle--might be a possibility.
Thanks.

I envied you so much when you quit your day job. The need to get away from the soul-sucking and do what one wants--it was an ache. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next.
Growing older... It's a thing. It gives me renewed respect for my ancestors, who routinely live into their late 80's on the male side. 35 more years to go gives me energy, but a similar pause to what you express. I too am working towards making my passion (good beer) my vocation. For purely selfish reasons I'd love it if you could write full time; I want more of your work on the market to collect.
Beermaking is a coolness, and I hope you get to pursue it.

I do want to write full-time. I've got the rights back to the first 4 Jani books, and I want to get them reissued. I want to write a Jani novella. I want to try to sell something to the New Yorker. Lots of things.

Which all led to the decision to leave the day job, even if financially I would have benefited from a few more years of slog.
Happy birthday, & congrats on being able to write full-time soon! I'm looking forward to reading more books by you.

I'm 55 & female too. Most of the time I feel about 30 (which is good & bad) -- except when my feet hurt. My new resolutions are Vitamin D every day & remember to sunscreen and floss and do my stretches -- and not worry about much else.
Thanks!

I can't quite wrap my head around the fact that I'm 55. Like you, I feel younger. Lack of family, I think. When you're on your own and responsible for no one but yourself, it's like First Time Away From Home all over again.

I like your philosophy, and intend to adopt it. Already taking Vitamin D. Need to restart the fitness work--I've let it slack the past few months. I have a lot to do, including refreshing the current abode so I can put it on the market come spring--my dream is to move out to the PacNorWest. Time for Second Life.