My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

Beth Kaplan logo

“Write down your accomplishments every day,” it said. Ha.

Today’s the day I was supposed to come back from my two weeks in Paris. Ah well. I loved being home, too. 

April is the cruelest month, said the famous poet, and I agree. It has only just started, but I want it to be over. The weather is lovely when you’re in the sun, still surprisingly cold when not. Did a big garden cleanup today, but there are only a few snowdrops and croci out, everything else is asleep, hiding from the chill. And it’ll be like that all month, the infuriatingly slow arrival of warmth. 

A book I read recently suggested we keep an account of all the things we accomplish in a day, even the small things, to cheer ourselves up. I’ve started to do it — an ambitious whole page at first, then half a page, and now a third of a page for each day, because – what the @#$# have I accomplished? Not much. Rewriting, cooking, cleaning, dancing, reading, the Y, computer time. “Lassitude,” I wrote on Wednesday. Napping every day, napping. 

Pleasure, though: on Saturday morning, my first bike ride to the market in months, coming home loaded down with fresh produce. Last night, a record four-and-a-half hours of television: 60 Minutes, starring Marjorie Taylor Greene, appalling in her blind, self-assured thick-headedness; Call the Midwife, Sanditon, Marie-Antoinette, and John Oliver. All first rate. The day before, I watched a doc about the four Warner Brothers, Jews — some born in Poland, Jack in London, Ontario — who pushed silent movies to become talkies and made some of the most important pictures of all time. The doc focused especially on the oldest, Harry — original name Hirsz Wonsal —, a mensch, generous and idealistic, and the youngest, Jack, the opposite, a sonofabitch. Fascinating. Who knew? 

Son Sam came to visit with Bandit. We’re alike in many ways, he and I, analytical, introspective, striving to understand and be better. I told him I don’t know another mother who has such intense, honest talks with her son. A gift. 

Today was house cleaning and a drink with dear friend Jason. We talked about how the world feels more screwed up than ever right now, on all sides. Depressing. An article I just read about AI posits that it will wipe out human beings before long. It may not set out to do so — although it may — but the writer gave as an example that a more advanced version of AI could be set the task of eradicating cancer cells, and its algorithms would figure out the most efficient way to do that would be to wipe out the hosts of cancer cells, i.e. us. 

Terrifying, what we have unleashed and are unleashing. My father used to be concerned about dementia because his mother had been afflicted with it. When he was diagnosed with stomach cancer, he said cheerfully, “Well, the good news is, now I don’t have to worry about Alzheimer’s.” The good news about AI is that maybe we don’t need to worry any more about climate change; we won’t be here anyway.

Okay, a bit apocalyptic. But that’s what I accomplished today. Quick, write it down.

To end, a memoir joke: 

Share

Share
Tweet
Share
Pin

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.

 

Archives