My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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home, with Deborah Levy’s pointed words

Oh the push/pull of home. I walk in the front door and drop the suitcase, filled with the pleasure of familiarity: MY HOUSE. My kitchen my fridge my bathroom my bed. And then, instantly, reality piles in and familiarity gives way to the weight of responsibility: bills not paid, garden overgrown, the broken light, the broken mirror, the roof that needs repair, the malfunctioning coffee grinder, the needs of the tenants, classes starting … and the piles and piles of books, magazines, and newspapers on the coffee table, overflowing, falling onto the floor.

It feels like too much. It feels like I’ll never get through. But I will. And if I don’t, so what? 

Luckily my first two days back were sunny and warm; I did lots of garden work and had a walkabout with Ruth. Today is a Vancouver day, bleak and wet. But soon I’m going across town to see my boys, the very tall one and the two small ones, for the first time in ages. On days Anna is working, because Sam is currently not, he often picks the boys up from school, plays with them, and gives them dinner before she gets home. How happy that makes me.

Yesterday was the first day of the U of T class on Zoom, a full class, my screen filled with eager faces anxious to begin – no one from Azerbaijan this term, but Winnipeg, Saskatoon, northern Ontario … Thank you Zoom for making this possible.

I got home late on Sunday. When I walked outside on Monday morning, I was greeted by these:

I miss the ocean; as someone who grew up in Nova Scotia, I will always miss the sound and smell and vista of the ocean. What we city folk miss: a vista. But William Morris heritage roses confer a blessing too.

Here is a passionate piece of writing by Deborah Levy that speaks directly to my past experience and my heart. Maybe it will to yours too.

To strip the wallpaper off the fairytale of The Family House in which the comfort and happiness of men and children has been the priority is to find behind it an unthanked, unloved, neglected, exhausted woman. It requires skill, time, dedication and empathy to create a home that everyone enjoys and that functions well. This task is still mostly perceived as women’s work. Consequently, there are all kinds of words used to belittle this huge endeavour.



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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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