My new book “Midlife Solo” will be published by Mosaic Press later this year. Stay tuned!

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staying home is better

Dear friends, I’ve changed my mind. It was foolish, this notion of skipping out of my life for almost five months, sailing away to a foreign land, leaving my daily cares behind. Impossible – it cannot be done. Instead, my daily cares have piled up and are still piling, until I feel like a tiny person inside a mountain of lists, two tiny arms waving uselessly in the air. “I’m inside here! Help!” cries the tiny voice.

So I’ll just stay home.  I’ll tell the people who’ve rented the house that they can have it anyway; they will barely notice me, sitting in front of my computer staring into space. I won’t bother you, I promise, I’ll tell them. Just don’t make me go anywhere.
Oh buck up, girl. Somehow I will drag myself onto the plane.  This morning I forgot that I had to go to the doctor to – too much information alert – get an accumulation of ear wax blown out of one ear, lest it get infected en route.  I was sitting in my nightgown emailing at 9.40 when I remembered my doctor’s appointment on the other side of town at 10. I called to say I’d be a bit late, got washed and dressed, rode my bicycle furiously to the Sherbourne subway station, ran to catch the subway just leaving, got to Chester, ran to the doctor’s office, and was only 10 minutes late.  Stressed, but not too late.
The nurse told me that mine was the easiest ear canal she had ever cleaned. I was proud.
Then I went home to recover from the exertions of the morning, but the rest of the day piled up. There are many things to do, loose ends to knit up, people who want to say goodbye, last minute details to take care of. Tomorrow a Mac guy is coming to save my hard drive onto a little hard drive, or so he tells me, in case my computer is snatched out of my hands on the streets of Paris. Today my daughter came over to help me sort through the clothes to take and not to take. “Oh, your bondage shoes,” she says, with ill-concealed disdain, or “Oh, your dashiki,” or “How did that make it out of the eighties?” She is invaluable, and now I have chosen. There are two suitcases full. Too much; I’ll try to winkle it down, but at least I am not taking the dashiki. 
Oh yes – I am.
The worst thing is that I feel this cold, the cold my mother and aunt and kids had, trying to get into my body. I’ve been downing Cold FX tablets like candy this past while. It’s in my nose, the cold, and is trying to take over the rest of my system, and I am fighting like crazy. I will not will not get a cold just before a transatlantic flight and two days later, a speech in French. No, a cold is not in the cards. I asked the nurse who was dealing with my ear if she had a miracle cure for colds. “Liquids, fresh fruit and vegetables,” she said, “but don’t ask me – I’m just getting over the flu.”
Great.
It’s always a bit crazy before a long trip, and this is a very long trip with the added issue of renting out my house, and also my sandwich situation – worrying about both my kids and my mother and aunt. I know that most of it will get done, and if it doesn’t, the world won’t end. One day soon, I’ll be sitting in a bistro eating a steak frites and drinking a bon rouge, and all this will seem very, very far away.
I just have to get there.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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A new book by Beth Kaplan, published by Mosaic Press – “Midlife Solo”

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