My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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My student and friend Liz let me know yesterday, sweetly, that she likes to read my blog with her morning coffee. Hmmm? was the tone. And I realized that the poor woman has had to make do with the “Globe and Mail” this week, while I took a few days off. Sorry – but I was a bit jet-lagged and buried – a class each day this week until today, getting stuff done around the house, and, mostly, I’ve just sent off a manuscript to my friend Chris, who’s going to design the book. I’m self-publishing a book of excerpts from the first years of this blog, so was working on that – not in the mood to create even more words.

But here I am. Hi Liz!
I thought I had jet-lag beaten. I do going over to the far side, no problem at all after the first day. The minute the plane lifts off, I switch my watch to wherever it is we’ll be landing and keep myself in that time. After a sleepless night on the plane, my job on landing is to get my face in the sun as much as possible, drink lots of water, and to stay up, however woozy, till at least 10 p.m. Then I take a sleeping pill, get a good night’s sleep, and the next morning am on European time.
For some reason, the other way, though I do the same thing with the watch, the sun, staying up and the sleeping pill, just doesn’t work as well. I wake up at 5 a.m. for a few days and am always tired at night. Not incapacitated, just too tired to stay up for Jon Stewart at 11, no matter how much I’ve missed him while away. But it’s finally fading now.
Still overjoyed to be home. April is a great month to go away, leaving as winter straggles out, coming back on May 1 just as spring turns on the high beams. I’m drowning in things to do, barely know where to begin – but it’ll get done, or it won’t. I did two loads of laundry today, the first since my return, that felt good. The garden is pruned, there are a few groceries in the fridge, I’ve been twice to the Y after a month of no exercise except walking and am in pain. But most importantly, two classes at U of T, one at Ryerson and one here in my living-room are launched and thrilling, and the big new project is off to the man who will work his artistic magic and turn it into a book. Now there’s a friend for you.
I saw in the paper that “Enron,” the musical I saw in London, has flopped on Broadway. It’s not surprising. It’s one thing for the Americans to call themselves sleazy crooks and gullible consumers; it’s another for the Brits to arrive with a clever musical and do so. The Americans, perhaps, who have shifted gears and are trying a new man and a new way, are in no mood to be needled about the sins of the past. Too bad, though, because they should see it – it was terrific.
Last night I told my home class about the Van Gogh exhibit Penny and I saw in London, which brought tears to my eyes yet again. The saga of the man painstakingly teaching himself to be an artist, working so hard, being supported throughout by his loving, patient brother, and then, learning that Theo was going to set himself up in his own business, perhaps shooting himself so he wouldn’t be a burden any more – an artist with a vast soul, dying without the satisfaction of seeing his work appreciated and sold – well, I won’t hear anyone tearing themselves down or feeling self-pity about how hard it all is. We do it because we have to do it, and hope there’s at least a Theo along the way. And if not, we do it just for ourselves.
I”m home, but everything I saw and did over there is bubbling in me. Plus there’s still lots of French cheese, and today, after lunch, I had another Laduree macaroon. A little bit of Paris lives on Sackville Street.
P.S. It occurs to me, as I sit here yawning, that perhaps it isn’t just the chemical imbalance of jetlag that produces homecoming fatigue. When you go the other way, you land into the grand adventure of it all, the thrill of a European city and the rush – let’s get going, time’s a’wasting.
Whereas when you come home, you land in the same old place, no matter how welcoming, with all your chores undone – bills, messages, the roof that was leaking before you left, still, for some reason, leaking after your return … no wonder we are perky going and not so coming back!



2 Responses to “catch-up”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Beth!

    Welcome back. I am reading tonight sipping my vin rouge, couldn't wait until coffee tomorrow morning.

    Thanks for yet another wonderful Thursday night class.


  2. Beth says:

    My pleasure. And I mean that literally.

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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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