Sunday, March 29, 2009

Good News: I'm not shrinking

Dear Boomers,
     I've been remiss in not writing in my blog.  I had an assignment.   An agent was interested in my book, SO YOU'RE 6O, GET OVER IT: CONFESSIONS OF A BEATNIK/BOOMER, and she wanted a full book proposal.  I've been avoiding writing it for a month but, since an agent requested one, I had to hunker down and do it.  It took me days.  I usually don't have writer's block because I am genetically predisposed to talking and writing, but my resistance was based on principle and laziness and not ability.  I did it.  It's done.  If any other agent asks for a book proposal, I have it.
     The good news is I'm on letter M in the alphabet in my search for an agent.  Sometimes I cheap and take my divining rod and select a random out of order agent, say a T agent or an R agent.  That's my rebellious side.
      But even better news is that I don't have osteroporosis.  My bones aren't shrinking.  In fact, I am above average in my bone density.  I am thrilled.  But more importantly, my doctor was so happy over the phone when he left me the message.  He was practically giddy.  He thought for sure I was shrinking - "you skinny, white woman, you" he must have been thinking.  I told him I teach yoga and I was not at risk.  "Yeah, yeah," he brushed me off.  Maybe he'll believe me when I tell him that the benefits of yoga for good health out-flank drugs by intergalactic miles.
     I was walking on air all week.  You'd think I'd fallen in love.  I have no idea why I was so happy about my strong skeleton.  Of course, I'm a yoga instructor and teach all day every day and why would I have thinning bones.  You never know, however.  My mother at 97 has skrunk to less than 5 feet and 80 pounds.  Her spine is so curved she cannot stand up.  I don't want to end up like that at 97.  I'll just be in my prime at 97, ready for love and sex and more travel.  
     I also saw my dentist this week.  He's been in love with me for over 25 years.  He keeps hoping I'll have an affair with him even though I told him years ago that I don't "do" married men.  One of those in a lifetime is sufficient, thank you.  But he keeps giving me free teeth cleaning in the hopes I'll succumb.  Not only will I not succumb, I keep taking the free teeth cleaning.  We have no one to go when my dentist is conducting the every four months conversation with me, like do I have a boyfriend (NO!) or am I dating (No!).  "Why not?" he asks.  "Not interested," I respond.  He looks sad.  I hide my lies behind my positive smile.
     Question:  Do I miss the sex or do I miss the company of a man?  
     I went tango dancing last night.  It's my weekly milonga (place where we go to dance Argentine tango) and saw an old maestro of mine.  He was splendid at 70.  And he just divorced his wife this last year and they were married unhappily for over 20 years.  Funny about life and people.  I couldn't figure out why he was so vibrant and alive and sexy.  Damn!  He was single again.  We danced, and then he said to me in Spanish, "You're happy, aren't you?"  Thank God I understood him quickly.  "Yes, por su puestro, Fecundo."  "I thought so," he said in Spanish.  "So am I."  It was a perfect exchange to a lovely evening.
     More later,

Monday, March 23, 2009

Attention Boomers: Let's Turn Back Time

Dear Booomers,

     Did you know that most of the airports in the great and glorious and super tech U.S. do not have Internet access, and if they do, we have to pay for it!  This is the United States of American in the year 2009.  Years ago I went to Amsterdam and the Internet was available at free computer stations and I thought I died and went to heaven.

     Can't we do something about this situation of no Internet access in airports?  We are supposed to be the leaders of the free world and we can't even access our Internet for free in our airports!  It's a pathetic and shameful situation.  But what is more pathetic and shameful is that no one does anything about it.  No hue and cry; no letters to the editor; no flood of email to our so-called legislatures. When are we ever going to give something away for free in this country?  Hey!  Aren't the airwaves free anyway?

     I was sitting in the Las Vegas airport last night waiting for a delayed plane.  Every Southwest plane was delayed because there were very strong winds and dust storms in the lower and upper deserts.  Los Angeles weather was just as bad.  I thought I'd get on standby on the flight before mine, but I was #20 and it wasn't going to happen.  Out of a sense of desperation, I asked the man sitting next to me if he thought I could get Internet access in the airport.  "Not in this B Gate," he said with authority.  "You mean there are other gates with Internet access?" I asked excitedly.  "Yeah, you can get it at Gates A and C."  The obvious question was "What happened to Gate B."  I felt stupid asking but I asked anyway.  "They ran out of money," he replied.  "My company wired A and C Gates and they ran out of money right after that."

     I wanted to know who ran out of money, but I figured it was the McCarren airport with its usual shortfall.  Airports always have money problems and that's why most of them look half finished or in need a facelift almost immediately after they are built.  If you've been to LAX recently, you'll know what I mean.  Outdated and outmoded.  
     But where was the outrage not only at the lack of sophistication and technological expertise, but it was also one of the most chaotic scenes I have ever witnessed in an airport and I've been to many airports around the world in my long life.  Okay, India and Cairo are really bad.  I was stepping over bodies all over Gate C.  People were practically pitching tents it took so long for Southwest to get organized with their out of control flight delays.  I waited an extra 50 minutes after my plane landed because there was no crew.  They were coming in on another flight that was delayed and then delayed before that.  It took five hours to get home on a flight that was 46 minutes.  

     Did we Boomers march and protest in the good old days or was it my imagination?  What makes us so complacent now, so lazy, so like lemmings being lead to the edge of the cliff and told to keep going and we do and we fall in to Iraq or Guantanamo?  We've been content with less than adequate situations and immoral and unethical conditions for decades since our Vietnam protests and our Civil Rights days, and we've become immobile and satiated with too much food and good times to care a wit that we are actually sitting in pig shit.  

     I was starting to get radical sitting on the floor with my computer on my lap, my butt and legs numb from the hours of waiting.  I tried desperately to stir up some opposition to the enervating atmosphere.  No one took the bait.  No one seemed to care that we had been reduced to shells of our former selves, filled with stale pizza and sub sandwiches with too much doughy white bread and pepperoni.  Hours before we took off, our cell phones ceased to interest us so all we could do was just stare into space and find solace in the din of white noise.  

     Even I was beyond impatience and hostility.  I, too, crossed a mental line after failing to muster any support to picket the poor woman giving out hourly flight updates, which no one was responding to because the florescent lights had given us a lobotomy.  It was simply no use to shout, "Let's burn our bras and take over Southwest."  There wasn't a Boomer in sight who could have lasted an hour in a Gate C sit in.  What happened us?  Where is our edge?  What will finally make us take up arms against a sea of trouble and by opposing squash the incompetents.

       Or maybe I should just focus on finding a really cool and smart male companion to get me off of my mini-rant.  I'd at least get some satisfaction.




Sunday, March 22, 2009

You Can't Go Home Again

Greetings, Beatnik/Boomers,

Sometimes it is tough being a parent of adult children and an ex-wife all in the same night.  With trepidation I entered the restaurant wearing both hats.

I mentioned in my first blog yesterday that I had hoped the birthday dinner of my oldest son was going to go well.  It was a family affair, minus one of my daughter-in-laws who was sick.  My ex-husband was the host.  My two sons were present as was my oldest son's wife, my other daughter-in-law.  

This birthday dinner should should have been routine, but nothing is routine in my family it seems.  There is always something going on.  We have a bit of a tendency to catastrophize events.  Couldn't I be 65 and have no drama at a family gathering?  Shouldn't every issues have been resolved by now?  It wasn't and why should it.  That's just the family dynamic.  But it is beyond tedious.  Sometimes I feel we are the The Adams Family on crack.

But this time we did not fit the goulish description of TV's one most popular program.  Yet, we didn't fit the phoney "Leave It To Beaver" family either.  Last night we fell somewhere in the middle of "Arrested Development" and "Brothers and Sisters."

My sons had fought bitterly over the winter holiday.  No need to give you the details, but somewhere in a matter of an hour, a stealth bomber had entered my ex-husband's house in Park City and exploded with flares and fires between my two sons.  The fight, a little on the physical side (let's just say they were chasing each other down the stairs and I broke them up in the laundry room), ruined the evening planned by my ex at a country club with his dearest friends.  I had flashbacks of the horror I felt at seeing my two boys go after each other in the manner they once did as kids.  I entered the country club, crying buckets as I entered the bar and drowned myself in a martini was was only four ounces and had no visible alcoholic content.  Of course, we were in Utah!  Everyone else put on a brave face.

Last night's birthday dinner was the first time I had been in the same room at the same table with my sons.  I wasn't privy to all that had been said and not said throughout the last three months.  I deliberately absented myself from my family for awhile.  It was my their fight and not mine.  Wasn't that good of me?  There were years when I always tried to make it all better for everyone and failed miserably.  But this time I closed my mouth and threw away the key.  Is that what it's like being 60is and wise?  Who knew it was that simple?

It all went well.  There were laughs; there were stories.  My second son had just returned from Austin and the South X Southwest music festival and my oldest had returned from DC on business.  It seemed he went jogging with a couple of right wing Christian Republicans around the Lincoln and Washington monuments ending up at the steps of the Capitol in a bizarre and really out of body experience for my son.  The Austin music festival was fascinating for all of us.  My ex, usually somber and sarcastic, was actually animated, albeit still argumentative.  I ate and drank great wine and relished listening to  the conversation.  No one came away emotionally scared.  It was a miracle.  

I never thought, never could imagine myself in my 60's living with a sense of foreboding or anxiety.  It was like my faucets got switched.  Which one was I turning on for what feeling.  Last night at dinner  I told my daughter-in-law that I had an outer body experience for a few minutes.  Of course, I was sitting there single again and facing my ex-husband and realizing that it was actually our 45 wedding anniversary if we had still been married.  I toyed with bringing it to his attention or making a joke or a toast to years of knowing each other but we really didn't know each other at all.  We pretended to know each other a long time ago when we were in our twenties.  That was long ago and far away and there was no sentiment left.  His struggles, and there are many, including the primary one of his living in a cave without light (my code for being unconscious), were too painful for me last night.  Bringing up an old, mangled marriage memory was out of the question.  I couldn't go home again. 

Live is certainly not lived on a level playing field, but is a wildly interesting character study.



Saturday, March 21, 2009

La Vida Loca

Greetings, Boomers.  Greeting to those who are 60 and over and living la vida loca.  

This is my first blog.  I'm nervous, anxious and technically challenged.  I'd rather write in Word.  It's probably no different than writing a blog, but it feels different.  I'm expressing my deeepest sense of self into virtual reality.  It feels impersonal.  I would prefer talking about living in my 60's face to face with a real person.  But I'm forging on, taking a personal risk and dancing as if no one was watching.  

I just finished writing a book called, So You're 60, Get Over It:  Confessions of a Beatnik/Boomer.  I had no intention of writing another book.  My fantasy was to do stand up comedy.  Soon after turning 64, well sometime before that probably,  I began to think of my 60's as a pretty strange and funny time when all the rules of living I once abided by were totally gone.  I wasn't really a parent anymore in the traditional sense; I was a cheerleader for my kids.  I became a grandparent, but it was really somebody else's child, and I had no say as to how to raise my progeny.  My children were adults and living their own life without my approval and caring less about my disapproval, which I could not voice.  My sons had turned the child-parent paradigm upside down by parenting me instead a long time before this.  I was now the one doing everything wrong.  And since I am single and sometimes dating, I have to keep my social life separate from my family life.  And if I didn't, the question was:  why did I date losers?  More important the dynamics of sex has changed and not for the good.  Sex is part of a relationship negotiation at 60.  Men and women are not having sex on a level playing field.  Men are losing testosterone but women can replace estrogen levels and have a pretty good sex life.  It is definitely time to try younger men.  

Everything about my life us crazy except my work.   I'm a yoga and meditation teacher fine tuning the spiritual mind/body connection living my Tao while practicing daily losing.

But sex preoccupies me.  Not only do I like sex, but I also thint that sex in my 60's is particularly funny and strange and sweet and generally kind of an out of body experience. One Saturday night as I was attending my regular milonga, the place where I go to dance Argentine tango (more later on that other passions of mine), I told a female friend, a film director, that I my fantasy was to do stand up about sex in my 60's and all the various, idiosyncratic and funny situations I and other women my age have encountered.  My friend replied to me:  "That's more than stand up.  You should write a book."  And I did and it was blissful and cathartic and full of wonderment at discovering my transformation as a woman in my 60's.  

So I put myself out there at 60, expose my innermost thoughts and desires and fears, looking for a way to be joyful and grateful every day for all my gifts of family and friends and yoga and tango and music.  I'm inspired and hopeful.

Times are difficult for us all.  It's not easy to find the humor in living with half my retirement gone, gone, gone and still working at 65 and looking at 66, 67, and 68 and on to 70 as working years.  But I decided that the economic downturn gives me another gift:  the ability to create, see clearer, be more inspired, and more loving to my family.  Now if I could not stop obsessing about the DOW, I might be able to clear out most of my cobwebs and be more conscious.

I didn't mean to get serious in my first blog.  But since I finished my book, the times got more serious for us Boomers.  Bad economic news is a definite drag and causes depression.  So can tax season.  We'll all get past this moment because what goes down must come up.  I'm an eternal optimist.  

But right now, I've got to be a grandmother because the my grandsons, Jordan, 4, and Luc, 2, are getting up from their naps.  Everyone is sick.  Even Greyson, my youngest grandson (10 months) whom I babysat for yesterday.  My entire family, including my ex-husband, are all in Las Vegas, both my sons and daughters in law, my 97 year old mother, my brother and his wife, and my best friend.  I'm on my once a month weekend warrior visit.  I don't go to Vegas for fun; I go to connect with my family.  And sometimes it can be fun.  Jordan just came into my room to ask me for a drink so I'm off to spend the rest of the weekend celebrating my oldest son's birthday (Jonathan, 37) and to hope that the rift between my sons (Aaron, 33) will begin to heal.  I feel like I'm a bottle of glue with arms and legs stretching out to bring my family some peace and hope.  

This is not what I expected from being in my 60's.  Where is my script?  My cheat sheet?  My advanced curriculum for Living 101?  I'm winging it like everyone other Boomer.    

More later.

The divine in me recognizes the divine in you.