My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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thanks to the Y

Everyone’s sick these days, as people get when the seasons are changing. The crabby cat and I are fine, however. I just logged on to the Toronto Public Library’s website to put a hold on the new book “The Moral Landscape,” by Sam Harris, America’s well-known atheist, who was interviewed on Jon Stewart the other night, and what an interesting talk it was. I was amazed – the library doesn’t even have the book yet, and there were already 90 holds. Now, 91. I’d like to meet those 90 people. I bet I’d like them.

Everyone I talk to recently seems to have an elderly parent or parents making the same decision as we are – should Mum move or stay? And if move, where, how, when? And if stay, how to make her place safe? Imagine, my friends, what the world will be like – the western world, at least – when we boomers start to make those decisions. Millions of 80 year olds who are used to having things their way. I think there will be some pretty snazzy retirement residences. Nursing homes full of bongs. I sure hope so, and that by some miracle, I can afford to live there. I’ll give the rich boomers writing lessons, and perhaps they’ll let me in.
Everything changed for the better today, however, in our own agonized decision-making, thanks to an encounter at the Y. My locker mate Del and I stood naked and talking, as we often do, and as she has recently helped her own mother move to a residence, the topic came up. Brilliant Del gave me a solution to the insurmountable problem my mother has, the problem of her stuff, the amount she’d have to leave behind. Del proposed to her mother that she move for six months with just her favourite bits of furniture and clothing, and leave the rest for the moment. That way, if she hated the new place, she could just come back home.
So simple – and yet the answer to our problem. I talked to Mum today, and that sounded much more doable to her. So we may proceed yet – she may move on a “we’ll see” basis, leaving her condo as it is.
We still have hurdles – I’m in favour of one residence and my brother another, so she’ll have to decide between the two – and she hasn’t agreed to the move in any case. But at least, this way, she won’t have two enormous traumas simultaneously – the decision to move and the move itself, and the million decisions about her condo. We can make those later.
Thank you, Del. I tell you, the Y is a giant Wikipedia – there’s always someone there who’ll be able to answer your questions and help you out, even when you are wearing no clothes at all.
And, in the I’M GLAD TO BE CANADIAN segment of this blog, I offer this headline from today’s “Globe”: “Ottawa studying economic benefit of polar bears.” The feds have put out a tender, offering $44,000 for the winning company to study “the socio-economic importance of polar bears to Canada … to estimate the monetary and non-monetary values of polar bears … derived from trophy hunting … and other consumptive values (meat, hide, and other parts), non-consumptive values (tourism, art, crafts), scientific/educational value, and existence value or value as an iconic species.”
OMG. Existence value. I wonder, if, say, my life were to be analyzed this way, what my existence value would be to the Conservatives? I’ve had my children already, so washed up as a woman; my writing courses could be taught by someone else; my hide is worthless, and as for tourism, art and crafts … well, there’s this blog, my little offering to the world. Pretty sad pickings for a government that likes to put a price tag on everything. Estimated existence value for Beth Kaplan: $3.75.
Good luck to those glorious bears. They’ll need it.



One response to “thanks to the Y”

  1. coach outlet says:

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in this topic. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well.

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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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