My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

Beth Kaplan logo

sad today

Today is the first day since this crisis started that our new solitary, silent life has weighed me down. I’m usually a resilient, cheerful person, but today, not so much. It may have to do with waking at 5.30 and getting up at 6.30, having one nap at 8 and another at noon and eating at miscellaneous times. It’s a heavy grey day, not actually raining but no sun – damp cool heavy grey. I just looked at the clock and couldn’t believe it’s still only 2.30. It feels like the end of a loooong day.

But there’s also, believe it or not, still stress with the tenant situation. They have moved out but their many many possessions have not. Yesterday there was light; the father of one appeared on the scene and if there ever was a knight in shining etc., it was this man, who filled his truck with just some of the mountain of stuff that is still crammed in downstairs. I have not elaborated and cannot, but what was a newly painted and furnished apartment in no way resembles what it did a year ago. The move may take another week, the clean up and repair and replacement of damaged and broken things much longer than that. And through all this, a member of my family insists that I was wrong to ask these people to find a safer, healthier, more suitable place to live. We’re not speaking at the moment.

So my heart is sore today, and my head feels like it’s stuffed with cotton balls, and maybe it’s time for another meal.

Wait, though. This morning I did a Zoom exercise class with Carole, my Y teacher every Wednesday for the last 30 years. What a treat to see her face – and also that when she and her very fit friends were on the floor, out of camera range, doing many pushups, I was in the child pose thinking about life. Yesterday, in the middle of more basement sturm and drang, I retreated to my bedroom and did Jane Ellison’s movement class, which felt like a literal lifesaver; thank God for her calm voice and face. Then went for a walk with Ruth, who was celebrating her 81st birthday with many Zoom celebrations, including one with former colleagues wearing party hats. “It’s been one of the best!” she said. Had the usual drink with Monique, who is an anchor. 60 Minutes was all Covid. Finding the Midwife was moving and marvellous, as always, though it too made me sad – it’s over for the season. All those women, and Fred, feel like friends.

Saturday I walked to Mark the butcher’s, picked up the chicken I’d ordered online, and cooked a fragrant roast chicken and veg dinner. Food in the fridge for days.

Friends, faces through the screen, texts on the little phone, matter so very much. And the green outside, every possible shade of green, beyond beautiful. I was up very early yesterday too, went to the garden store on the corner, have a tray of veg ready to plant soon. Got the plants that wintered over upstairs down and out and spent more than an hour cleaning hated scale off the leaves and branches of the gardenia Wayson gave me years ago, that is now blooming with the sweetest scent. When it blooms, it always make me think he is here, keeping me company, cheering me up. And then I weep, because he is not.

Spring is glorious, and my heart will lift again. Just not right now.

Here’s a little film to bring you joy:



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.