My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

Beth Kaplan logo

putting demons to rest

Friend Chris has kindly been listening via email as I howl about renovation misery. He pointed out that though after years of therapy I boasted about being psychologically healthy, even serene, I seem during this process to be fraught with tension and anxiety. And he’s right; the reno has brought out all my demons. I see the potential for disaster everywhere. This does not help anyone, not the men doing the work, and certainly not me.

So I will work to stop. As I pointed out to Chris, I have a natural pessimism. When as a child I was asked how exams had gone, I’d always say, “They were terrible. I’m sure I failed.” I meant it and believed it, and then I’d win a prize. Year after year, predicting disaster, winning a prize. The pattern never changed.

So I’m a pessimist, always seeing the worst case scenario. Is that from the Jewish side? No, because my British mother also was terrified of everything. Until the worst case scenario actually came, my father’s terminal cancer diagnosis, and she just went through it. Because she had no choice. Here, I have no choice but to go through it. Yes, there are men in my house ripping things apart every day – stressful. But it’s to make things better, and they are nice men. So relax, baby. Relax into the blow.

Easy to say.

I’m reading a very good book which will only interest a few of you: “The Business of Being a Writer,” by Jane Friedman. Full of the kind of practical stuff creative writing courses don’t teach you and that really, these days, we writers need to know. With the publishing business exploding all over the map and nobody making any money anywhere, we need to know what’s going on and how to cope with social media and all the rest. Brands! I’m taking notes. Am also reading “How to behave in a crowd,” a novel by Camille Bordas, entertaining, about a very eccentric family. And of course, 56 websites, FB, Twitter, newspapers, the New Yorker, and now, seven decorating magazines that someone just left in the Little Free Library.

Speaking of the library, it’s almost always empty because of the horrible crazy man – or men – who empty it regularly, stealing every book. But yesterday, it looked like this. Thank you!

Here are some pix from upstairs today.

This will be a new source of light on the second floor when it’s finished. For 31 years it has driven me crazy that there was a gorgeous skylight in a small closet. Now the closet has gone and the skylight will illuminate much of the second floor. So much light – a dream come true. Let’s focus on that instead of what might go wrong, shall we, you crazy woman?

A gift from Ken – freesia in a cut glass wine glass.

It’s 3.45 and the men have just left. I can go and play the Moonlight Sonata and remember what my afternoons used to be, and will be again, one day. Happy 2019 to you all. May you find peace and put your inner demons to rest. And may the light pour in.



2 Responses to “putting demons to rest”

  1. theresa says:

    Oh yes, the light! And flowers! And if you can figure out to be a brand, please tell me. Best of everything in this new year, Beth.

  2. beth says:

    Theresa, we ARE a brand, that is, we are who we are. We can't be anything else. That's our brand. I know, we don't need a book to tell us that, but there are things to learn. If there's anything in the book I think would interest you, I'll let you know. Happy, healthy, creative 2019 to you and yours.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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.

Some Blogs I Follow

Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.


Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.


I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.


Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.


Juliet in Paris, Spain and Beyond
Juliet is a Canadian who’s lived for decades in Paris and writes about her travels and the many things that interest her.