Monday, January 23, 2012

The Write Outlook

The bath water is cold.  My fingers are pruney.  Yet, I am reluctant to emerge from the think tank.  My thoughts like bubbles bounce lightly off flat surfaces, bursting on impact at each turn.  Finally, I rise from the tub.  I avert my eyes from the goose pimpled body in the mirror. 

If my laptop were waterproof, my blog for this week would have been written faster than it took the tub to drain.  Now the phrases and words dissipate leaving only my decision to dry off and get dressed. 

A bubble bath has always been my refuge.  When I had a bad day working retail, I would head for the tub as soon as I got home.  On the particularly trying days, I took a glass of wine with me.  I remember the time my son knocked on the door saying, Okay Mom, you’ve set a record.  The water had turned cold that day, too.

It has been a rough week.  My friend and mentor, Peggy Fletcher, passed away.  Two days later my mother-in-law, Florence Humby, died.  My husband has spent almost three weeks in Newfoundland.  We have never been apart that long. 

Lexus and Tiki are acting weird.  Maybe they need more attention.  Mostly I have stayed in my office−the storage room without windows− The Write Space, remember?  Writing queries, editing stories, and checking facebook, email accounts, my blog stats, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Today, the passage of time and the process of aging occupy my mind.  I suppose we feel most vulnerable when we lose someone close to us. 

The other evening while I was knitting, I turned on the TV special celebrating Betty White’s 90th birthday.  Her enthusiasm contributes to her youthful appearance.  She sparkles with energy.  How exciting to have longevity and the stamina to remain interested in life.   

Peggy Fletcher had that cheerful disposition and positive attitude.  She, too, proved that age does not have limitations.  Bad health most certainly curtails activities; age does not.  The only restrictions are the ones we put on ourselves.

Retirement is a prime opportunity for a fresh start in our middle age−the beginning of a new life.  It is not a time to become complacent with a remote control.  We need more stimulation at this age than ever.  I think of my passion for writing. 

We all need to hike up those bra straps, pull up those socks, and continue challenging ourselves.  Peggy said, Keep busy, Phyllis, keep active.  That was her secret to an alert, sharp mind and fruitful life.  She told me so.

Never stop creating.  Never stop learning.  No matter how long we live, we will never have seen it all or heard it all. 

My mind is awhirl with thoughts but a glance at the clock reminds me I have an errand to run.  I throw on my jacket and a hat (bad hair day) and drive to Foodland for the ingredients for Marv’s imminent homecoming meal.  Sure that he would have eaten his fill of boiled potatoes, cod, caplin, and moose−as if he would ever have his fill of these East Coast delicacies− I plan to serve pasta and meatballs.  A recipe we have not made for quite a while.  Actually, I think it was originally Marv’s recipe.  It is my good fortune that he enjoys to cook a meal now and then. 

I look forward to veal meatballs simmered in chili sauce and gingerale−delish−and served with egg noodles and those itsy bitsy corn on the cob that we both love.  I decide to prepare a chickpea salad, as well.  A new recipe with cucumber, tomato, celery, and garlic with a dressing of wine vinegar and oil.  It sounds tasty. 

While shopping, I spot a thin crust chicken and spinach pizza and impulsively grab a fresh greek salad for tonight’s dinner.  At home, I sip on a glass of Jackson Triggs Cabernet Sauvignon and wait for the pizza in the oven. 

My thoughts continue.  Yes, I conclude, it is important to keep discovering and to broaden our knowledge.  It takes energy, ambition, and zest, to enjoy life to the fullest and remain productive.  We need to keep busy.

At my desk, surrounded by framed photos, I record my philosophy on life.  I glance from my mother’s smile to my son’s intense blue eyes.  Encouragement and challenge.  The perfect combination.

The comical little faces of my grandchildren peer over my computer screen.  No, the children are not funny looking.  They just look funny in the picture.  Well, I mean, the way they are posing, they look funny.  You know what I mean.

Anyway, I am ready for the age thing to happen.  Inside I feel like an eighteen-year-old still full of wonder and excitement at what the future holds.  For I still have a future.  I am pursuing it now.  I will continue to challenge myself and remain active and interested.  I urge you to join me. 

A toast to the young at heart; those with a zest for life−

Here’s to The Write Outlook. 



  1. Wow, Phyllis! I feel like I know you so well after reading this one post. We've walked some of the same paths and I, too, took solace in writing out my feelings, on my personal blog, mostly. I don't write on it much now as the rest of my writing life is so all-consuming. The day still only has 24 hours and I find I must sleep more of those than I did before retirement. Your friend's comments so resonate with me. I'm not so much into shopping and decorating (although I have nice things). Give me ideas and things that snap on a light in my brain and I'm happy for hours. Your post did that. I'll be back.

    1. Thanks, Elaine. I am so glad we connected. I have not attended a writer`s conference and I am thrilled that you are sharing your experiences in your blog. I look forward to taking the time-making the time-to check out your archived posts.