happy birthday to me

If I have plotted Square Space's next date, it's going to say February 21. If I'm wrong, or if it's wrong, then I'll have to rethink. I'm not getting any younger....

GOTCHA.  Back atcha. Soon.


I've done a lot of research about ageing, still doing it, of course; it's an ongoing process.  It's generally conceded that there are three stages to ageing: 1) young old age, between the ages of 55 and 65; 2) middle old age, between 65 and 75; 3) old age, from 75 to 85.  After that it's old old age, 85 and on and on and on and it's uncharted territory. Mind you, It's getting charted now as more people are living into the twilight zone.  I read that there are more people over the age of 65 living today than in all of the past recorded history.  Ten years ago, it was difficult to find a birthday card for an eighty-year-old.  Last week I counted four cards for a ninety-year-old. I'm happy to tell you that age cards are no longer scatological or sexually rueful,  and they've stopped the cutesy "90 years young" approach.

I've written a book about ageing, a combination exploration and travelogue because life is a journey - one of the common metaphors - taking us all, sooner or later, to the "undiscovered country from which no traveller returns." It is NOT a self-help book, though I've had publishers think it is because they haven't read it.  I've been type-cast by the influence of my best-selling book, the one I wrote after my husband died.  (Beginnings :A Book for  Widows,  Key Porter Books, 1976). I finished this new one (Endings: A Book for Almost Everyone)  two years ago and have not found a publisher.  While I was still writing it, I read Roger Angell's delightful essay in The New Yorker, "This Old Man", and wrote an introduction to my book - "This Old Woman" - as an explication of my approach but also as a kind of rebuttal to his; men and women grow older in different ways and with different attitudes. Now it has been so long since I finished writing that if - when - my book sells, I'm going to have to write an epilogue: "This Older Woman".  As long as we keep living we keep changing, learning and growing. Yeah, yeah, I know: we ripen like good cheese and we mature like fine wine.

Did I mention that I'm eighty-seven years old?