Ice Dreams

6You would think these dark, long months of cold and shadows would encourage those of us who can’t sit still a chance to not sit still for a shorter period of time.

Fat chance.

Being a mover and talker and creator is a lot different in your 60s than in your 30s.

When you’re in your 20s or 30s or 40s, being active is foremost in your plans for success, money, kids, or whatever your life choice is. You have more energy, ideas, and whereforeall to get it done. A higher chance that your peers will listen and understand you, your ideas snowballing to the benefit of both employer and circle of friends.

By the time you’re in your late 50s/early 60s, those body and mind parts that worked so fast start squeaking just a little. The mind slows down just a little. Your coordination teeters just a little. To you, these changes are barely perceptible. So you can’t remember where you left your phone. So you drive past your exit on the highway. So you forget an ingredient in your dinner surprise. These things are no big deal to us, for we are too busy thinking about the next thing and the next thing.

Younger sprites think of the next thing and the next thing, too, but they just do it better. They have a better grasp on things like technology, job security, and time management, and somehow they seem to get everything done in time, in a fairly organized and sensible manner.

Not me.

Since my biological clock turned upside down the past few years, I’ve wanted to stay up longer and sleep in longer. Lately my Muse has been pulling me in a hundred different directions, either ignoring or ignorant that my mind, as creative as it is, doesn’t move as fast as it used to. I need to have a bit of organization in my crookedy life.

Getting the computer out after dinner and doing some “creative” work has become my version of organization. Yet circumstances are such that, for the next few months, I will have company every evening, and the things on the telly or the music in the background won’t be as much my choice as my kids.

I am noticing a slight change in the atmosphere lately, though, especially since they are starting to look for houses. The grandkids are not as dependent on me as they were when they first came to live with us.

Which is how it’s supposed to be.

They are networking as a family more and more now that they see change on the horizon.

Which is like it should be.

You would think there would be a shift in my atmosphere lately, too. But I’m afraid all I’m going to want to be contemplating is how to be a vegetable the evenings my husband is working (which is 5 nights a week).

Oh, I know, everyone says I will have to make myself go out and do something, make myself write and edit and find artists for the Gallery. I will have oh-so-much-more time to clean and putz around the house, reorganize, redecorate, rethink the old habits of Claudia.

And I will.

I just need to tell my body that.

The one good thing about this lackadaisical attitude is that I DO jot down creative ideas when the mood strikes. I have a lot of things on my plate — a lot of “maybes” and “heys!” and “ooohhh…that would be soooo cool!”s on my platter of plenty. And I know that once my housing situation shifts, once the sun lasts longer, so will I. We all will have gained a better understanding of each others lives and hopes and dreams, and encourage each other to get our individual Mojos going again.

Eating and writing and sleeping on the sofa by myself again will be so nice.


Sleep and Cats and Dogs — Oh My!

eyesIt was a beautiful Summer morning. Cool breeze, bright sunshine, quiet countryside. I take the backroads to work; little if any traffic, cornfields and open fields and barns and houses on hills in the distance. Calming. Nourishing.

So I’m driving to work and I ZOOM! around this cute little ruby red car (must have been a Chrysler…great paint color), saying to myself (and them through the ethereal)…if I didn’t have to get to work on time, I’d be you.

Moving at the speed of light isn’t my thing. If you know me at all, you know it takes a lot to get me zinging at all. I’m usually not late for work — but I usually have more than 2 hours of sleep, too.

Clicking off on my fingers the reasons I might have insomnia (husband gets home at 3:30am; ; overworked at work; cats and dogs sleeping in the bed)…What?? Cats and Dogs sleeping in the bed?!?

As I get older I find that I’m really not as much a cat or dog person as I once was. Sure, they’re cute. Sure, they’re loving and affectionate and independent. They are also a pain in the butt at night.  Can’t leave the dogs (3) out to wander through the house because they’ll knock down the babygates in the kitchen and eat whatever is on the counter. Can’t leave the dogs out to wander at night because they will bark like idiots at 3:30 a.m. and wake up the kindergardener (and you don’t want a kindergardener up and crabby at 4 in the morning). Cat’s barred at the door will meow relentlessly every 15 minutes until you let them into the bedroom because, hey — they want to cuddle.

It would be one thing if the cats would just find a place at the bottom of the bed and just sleep. But, like most cats, one has to climb up by my neck, lay on my shoulder, put her arm around my neck, lick my face (ewww) every now and then, and not allow me to turn over without turning the world upside down.

I have no room in a king-sized bed.

I’m not a pet-on-the-bed kinda girl. It’s just become easier than waking up every hour or two because someone is in the garbage or meowing their heads off or scratching at the door or watching TV.

Looking back on that little ruby car, they were just meandering along the road, taking their time, breathing in the fresh air and quiet countryside. (At least that seems like what they were doing). There were no (obvious) deadlines, bosses upset, burned-out co-workers, or garbage picking dogs in their vicinity. Just them…and the morning…and driving 25 mph.

There’s no need telling you that stress is the hellion of the millenium. You used to be able to work 40 years someplace and get a gold watch for your time. Now you’re doing the work of two people, getting barely paid for one, and praying downsizing goes to the next company over. We push ourselves way too hard — and can’t help it. It’s move forward or move out.

I’m tired of working that hard. I’m tired of worrying if I’ll get my work done on time or if I’ll learn the newest version of some program. And the older I get, the more ridiculous the whole working world seems.

Believe me — I appreciate Technology. Agriculture. Science. But I keep thinking we’re paying an awful high price for the privilege. You don’t have a choice. You want TV: you have to work. You want to buy groceries: you have to work. You want to buy your grandbaby a birthday gift: you have to work.

America is such a hurry-up culture. Do it now, do it fast, move on over if you can’t handle it. As much as I preach a “stop and smell the roses” kind of life, it’s not always  feasible. Not when someone is on your tail pushing you faster and faster.

It’s hard to find the middle ground. The middle ground between sleeping in and sleeping at all. Between mowing your lawn and sitting in a chair on it. Keeping pets and living with pets. But we all have to do it if we are to keep our sanity.

Which brings me back to my original thought. Cats and dogs on the bed. Mass hysteria — or mass sleep hypnosis?

Maybe I’ll start eyeballing the comfy sofa downstairs.