Saturday, July 2, 2011

And that's all, folks...

I can't believe that it's been over two months since I last posted on this blog - but then I also can't believe that we're halfway through the year already (July? Seriously? This is getting ridiculous)! And the driving force behind this perpetual state of partial belief is the reason I have decided, somewhat reluctantly, that this will be my last posting. The problem is, you see, that I seem to have very little spare time. And, somewhat incongruously, what I do have seems to be spent collapsed semi-comatose on the couch wondering where the rest has gone.

The ironic thing is that I expected my fifties (unimaginable as they seemed) to be relatively laid-back, being perhaps semi-retired, indulging in a range of hobbies that hitherto had been sidelined or unexplored. Golf maybe, or lawn bowls, some macrame, finishing the Jungle Book mural I started in the toilet (the room, not the actual bowl) ten years ago, joining the Richard III Society. Self-indulgent things like that. Instead I am busier than I have ever been in my entire life, just like most in this age range. In fact I am beginning to suspect that middle age represents the peak of busy-ness, a circumstance that causes time to implode around it, sucking you into a spinning vortex for about a couple of decades, before spitting you out (hopefully). Which is probably why elderly people sometimes look a little dazed, and aren't quite steady on their feet.

So I am streamlining my life. Dropping one day of teaching, buying a laptop, handing eviction notices to my offspring (which they promptly hand back, giggling merrily at my quirky middle-aged humour), buying a slow cooker, prioritising writing time (and making it sacrosanct), de-cluttering the house, tying up loose ends that are flapping in the wind. And saying goodbye to this blog. Because it's done the job it was meant to, really, and only owed its continued existence to the fact I enjoyed it. And that's not enough, not right now anyway.

So where is the book? Well, the first draft of The Invisible Woman, and other remarkable phenomena of middle-age was finished a few months ago and has been sent to a second lot of readers. The issue, it seems, is the tone - I want light and airy with undercurrents of punchiness, while the publishers envisaged a more serious, exploratory treatise. So we shall probably spend some more time discussing/negotiating/compromising, and then surge forward. But it is most definitely still a fluid construction, so if something suddenly occurs to you that might be relevant, please do keep sending them to me. And a huge thank-you for all the contributions that have arrived thus far, either via the survey or the blog or dribbling into my inbox a couple at a time. All wonderful, all informative, all very much appreciated.

I've had a terrific time blogging over the past year. So much so that I shall definitely repeat the experience when I have more time, and this new one will be wholly self-indulgent. Rants and raves and whimsical musings. I can't wait. In the meantime I shall try to make the most of the implosion around me. Balancing and juggling and prioritising and trying to find a little spare time. So that every now and again I can collapse on the couch, semi-comatose, and wonder where it's all going so fast. Middle-age in a nutshell.

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