Wednesday, June 17, 2015

IS 70 the new 40???

I'm discovering the advantage to working in series  AND having a small artist support group that keeps me producing

I’m 68 years old, part of the Boomer Generation from which industries geared toward the denial of reality and the effects of gravity on flesh over time bring in billions from those determined to make 70 the new forty. As usual, I use reading to figure out what to expect from the next 20 or so years I might have left, the most daunting thought being that everything will just get more painful and annoying from here.

Sophie, #98 in my 100 Hot Flash Women Series
I realized while reading that I’ve just dumbly accepted the popular equation of age and decrepitude/no-reason-for-living, possibly because of too many years working in nursing homes. I don’t have to commit suicide after all…I can just keep riding along and see what happens next…a little more cumbersome and painful movement, a little less visual acuity, but I can keep going and maybe I’ll do something interesting, as long as I keep my brain exercised. I do have to restrict my joyous consumption of butter more and more, and spend at least an hour a day on serious exercise…walk up more hills. Can I release my natural delight in crabbiness and practice compassion? Or maybe just know that group activities are not usually my thing and keep working toward kindness, including toward my own flawed self.

Journal Page I did while suffering from a cold in April...Journal pages for mindless fun 

Let go of my boundary issues with my mother, my fantasies about hot sex…at least I have it to remember and I’m reading a book about late life romance. I can’t extinguish corporate greed, but maybe send an email to add a feather’s weight to the side of Good. I can make whatever I feel like making: quilts and clothes for myself for a change, wall pieces with tiny beading, paintings and collages…make space in the garage to store them, give them away, work small so they don’t take up too much space. Such unaccustomed freedom, no longer to have to obsess about money and how to get it is a gift. I can take my time cooking dinner, washing clothes, following threads online, watching the birds on my fence…experience the time I have with appreciation.

Two Women on a Beach2, inspired by a Thirties photo, a Notan Class and my Art Women Group
 I'm going to post the second half of this blog and more of my current art work on my other blog: Hot Flash Women   Since yesterday, my 4 brothers and I have made a plan to converge in Iowa in two weeks and help Mom move into a part of her facility where she'll receive more care.

I am not my mother, but I'm only 22 years younger than her almost 91. I'm working on making my nice one-story place with a small yard in town even easier for me to manage so I can continue to do All Art, All the Time. I'm working on a series on my family history and aging, so see more in my Hot Flash Women blog. Barb Kobe and her Computer-whiz son are helping me to whip the eBook version of Doll Making as a Transformative Process into shape, and we hope it will soon be available on Healing and Transformative Dolls, where many of my online classes are already available as eBooks.