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Friday, June 4, 2010

Day One. Again.

In typical fashion, I joined the party late.

At sixteen, a dear grown-up from my past called me a “late bloomer” and that, my friends, has never changed. I chuckled at the continuity of this concept as I “followed” an “Over Forty Blogger’s Club” at Never Growing Old today.

Do the math folks. Not only am I over forty. I’m over the next one too. In the early stages, sure, but not just over it either. And for those of you who think the idea of being fifty-something is a distant happenstance for you--just wait. God willing, one day, you too will turn around and say, “How in the hell did I get here?”

That said, I have discovered the bonus about living through this landmark age arrives on board an unswerving conviction that it is no longer a good idea to waste time. In all likelihood, life is more than half over so it's imperative to get cracking—in a manner additional to those cap-gun explosions that occur between the joints.

To some degree, I’m a cliché. Twenty-three years with a company and kicked to the curb at fifty. As soon as I landed though, this writing thing hollered from behind locked walls. When it yelled, “Who the hell cares if you’re 50? I've been trapped in here for ever, waiting for you to produce a key. In case you didn't notice, they handed it to you, dummy, use it,” I decided to listen.

So here I am, surrounded by these lush words ripening in me, and I brush through them, trying to find the sweetest ones. Like someone tending a first garden, as I encounter a plump, berry of a word, it charges me up, makes my mouth water and I reach out, pluck and taste, rolling my eyes at the succulence.

The thing is, these last sixteen months have been such a time of growth and discovery that when I step from that garden and remember that I'm not new, that my upper arms jiggle, (my darling daughter loves to set them swinging) and my eyelids droop (thankfully the glasses hide that most of the time), I’m surprised. How can this aging exterior be mine, when inside, I’m fresh and shaking with eagerness?

A further dose of reality appears in the words of so many other aspiring writers, years younger than me. Through their styles and use of idiom, it becomes ever clearer that as green as I may be, I am of another time, of a previous generation-- someone who would be mocked at for using words like “squee” and “awesomesauce," no matter that they make me smile. I mean, let's be honest here. Half the time I have to resort to Google to understand text-speak acronyms. ROTFL, right?

On bad days, this makes me feel more out of it, as left behind as ever.

But then I straighten my shoulders, in spite of the fact that they may be creaking, and slog ahead. Some people accomplish their goals at 20, 35 or 42. Some people reach them when they are 70, or 83. Here's to learning that it doesn't matter how old you are. Just keep dreaming the dreams and then slap on some Bengay and limp on out there and reach them.

A quote from Buddha on the header from Never Growing Old says it all: “Each morning we are born again. What we do today matters most.”

So I may be 51, but today, I’m brand new. And I’m going to write.

16 comments:

glnroz said...

Now i better understand why I enjoy your posts so much.. Thanks, I needed that Ms. Liza,,

Helen Ginger said...

You go girl!

This was a great post - inspirational, fun, and oh-so-true.

Helen
Straight From Hel

Jon Paul said...

Here here!

Love the pluck, Liza, and I am happy to hear about your great progress. I've been feeling much the same way too, lately. It helps to hear I'm not alone.

Robin said...

I really loved this post. I think most people are just trying to limp along and not knowing it. They take a job because they need to and not because they love it. Sometimes an opportunity for change comes along and a person sees it for what it is and embraces it. Usually, they are scared shitless and run as fast as they can for the familiar and miss what could have been. I know you dropped in on HERE'S FOR YOU THURSDAY, but I don't know if you watched Java's video. If you didn't, come back and give it a spin. I admire your pluck. I know you know what that means;-)

jbchicoine said...

What a great post! Having just turned 50, I'll second all of words above!

Robin said...

Because you are so outstanding you have been awarded for your efforts. You can pick it up on my most recent blog. Congrats. It is just one way that I show the love!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Doesn't matter how old the package, it's the age of the spirit inside that counts.

Ro Magnolia said...

Upon the recommendation of one of my fellow bloggers, I've just started reading the book "Zorba the Greek." It's a bit outdated. The words aren't from your generation or mine. But the book is fascinating none-the-less.

One of the most compelling passages I've come across so far is when Zorba tells the story of how he and a Russian communicated through dance. They "danced" their stories to each other, with passion and spirit and god-knows-what-else and were able to communicate way better than they could with their own limited knowledge of each other's language.

So who cares if your slang is different than mine, and mine is different than a 30-year-old's, and that 30-year-old's is different than a teenager's. Let's just dance our stories out there and tell them with passion!

Squeeeeeeeee!

arlee bird said...

I know exactly what you are talking about! You and I are leading parellel lives except I've gotten a head start on you by several years. You've expressed us well.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Simon C. Larter said...

I sympathize with this post, good lady. I, too, feel as though I started late (relatively). But those years I wasn't writing made me who I am today, so they're not lost at all.

Also, Frank McCourt didn't publish Angela's Ashes till he was in his sixties. You're a decade ahead of him. :)

Sharon said...

Your writing is always fresh, new, and magical. You have the gifts (and experience) that enable you to paint beautiful word portraits of life's circumstances, and that crosses all generations.

This old girl is rapidly approaching the tail end of my '60's and life is surprisingly good. I'm now designing for a living after many years of being a systems techie, and, I'm in a lovely romance after years of self-imposed celibacy. So, my dear, it truly is never too late if you're still alive.

Ro Magnolia said...

I've left you an award on my blog today. I hope you enjoy receiving it half as much as I enjoy reading your blog. I agree with Sharon who posted above, you "paint beautiful word portraits" ... what a lovely way she put that! And it's true. Happy Saturday!

Pam Houghton said...

Liza - Nice blog, and I'm right there with you on the age thing on this post! You mentioned a post that is similar to the essay I posted on my blog (working mom's guide to staying home) - if you can retrieve that from your archive, I'd like to read it. Here's my e-mail:

phoughton@wideopenwest.com

Send me a link! Thanks!

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

What a great post! I'm in my mid-forties, and I hear the same message bubbling through my subconscious mind. And let's face it, we shouldn't concentrate on age. I hear the same words, "I'm getting old," out the mouths of twenty-year-olds when they realize thirty is suddenly on their horizon. That's why the Budda quote is so brilliant. I'm putting on my design wall right now!

Jennifer Shirk said...

I love this post! We're all of different ages and on different journeys. Nothing--not even a number--should stop you from pursuing a dream and desire.

Java said...

Oh my goodness the links work!! You are magical!!! Thank you!!

This post is really touching...now I know why I like coming here everyday! You inspire me!