I read recently about a woman, a new mom, in another country who had wanted to have a baby for all of her married life, which was a very long time considering her age as of this writing, but was unable to. Finally, she conceived at the tender age of seventy, or something close to assisted living age.
Every time someone tells me a story about a marital dispute someone they know is having, or some other calamitous, or even stupendous happening, in someone’s life I may or may not know, I invariably want to know the back story.
As writers, or athletes, or painters, or anything else, we are always striving to be the best, but let’s face it, being the worst can really work for us. If they can ignore the best directors, or actors, or movies for an Oscar nod, as they have done this year, then we are in good company. ‘They’ also ignore a great many other people who are involved in actual productive and valuable work.
Forging friendships shouldn’t be hard. We all know, perhaps may even be, one of those paragons of virtue who are kind, compassionate, and helpful, and have a flashy personality to boot. Maybe even a flashy personality who likes to wear boots.
Most of us love those people. Not everyone does, because some people are just miserable, and hate all kind, compassionate, flashy, boot-wearing paragons, most notably those who are arch-enemies and nemeses (the plural form of nemesis, an arch-rival) of superheroes and urban legends. I’ve always thought how interesting life would be with your very own arch-enemy, or nemesis. If anyone ever doubted their own importance in the world, they could rest assured of their value by whether they keep a superhero up at night with their shenanigans.
Literature is chock full of orphans. There are so many orphans in storyland, you have to wonder whether an epidemic was killing off most couples at any given time in history. To name just a few of the better known ones off the top of my head: Harry Potter, Batman, Superman, Jane Eyre, Tarzan, Anne of Green Gables, Emily of New Moon, Heidi, Mary Lennox of The Secret Garden, Pollyanna, Little Orphan Annie, Oliver, David Copperfield, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Dorothy of The Wizard of Oz, Kinsey Milhone, the kick-ass private eye of the alphabet mystery series, and Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights.
I just finished a book titled ‘The Bachelor and the Baby’ by Gwen Davenport. Probably few people out there have heard of her, or if they have their numbers are few. The shelves are full of books like this. When I realize just how quickly books become old, stars become forgotten, it puts everything in perspective. There is no guarantee that anything any of us write will be remembered, or read. I heard an author speak of this on NPR once; he said that even if we did become famous posthumously, we will certainly never know. And if we become famous and read before we die, will we continue to be read by anyone?
Doing the transformation tango is not easy. After two years of back trouble, I have decided it is time to do what that seventy year-old woman did (not the one who got pregnant) and transform myself, although being pregnant would certainly qualify as a transformational experience. This was a woman who, in her fifties, or sixties, decided she wanted to be in phenomenal shape for the rest of her life, and knew it would require more than just a stroll around the block. I am not sure why I decided to do the transformational tango now; it wasn’t the advent of the new year that pushed me over the edge.
Regrets should not include spitting at someone, and I’ll tell you why in a minute. I heard a young woman say recently that she didn’t want to dance in public because she thought she was bad at it. My goodness, if all of us followed this maxim, YouTube would be half-empty, and America’s Funniest Videos would be scrambling for filler. Certainly, Seinfeld would have one less episode, as Elaine would never dream of dancing at her office party.
A week ago I decided to do the Transformation Tango with the cardio barre workout. The transforming tango is not easy to do. In fact, I have been standing in a puddle of sweat during each workout. My goal is to transform myself physically as much as possible in the space of three months, in time for a landmark birthday. New Year’s resolutions mean little to me, but I did get inspired by the calendar in another way.
Recently, I wrote about how I was weeding out, once again, books and other messes from my back room. My Teeter Hang-Up was blocking a bookcase, and as I struggled to pull all the books off the shelves so I could dust them, I found a little book called, ‘The Best Kept Secrets In America’.