NPR had an interview with Jazz pianist Keith Jarrett this morning. We saw him when he played at Boston's Symphony Hall several years ago. It was when I came up with my only meaningful quote on music (perhaps my only truly meaningful quote ever):
Jazz is the music that happens between the notes of a familiar song.
I think I might need to get the CD/s Jarrett did in commemoration of his 70th birthday.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
I’ve been trying to decide what and how to write about this. Hell, I’ve been trying to figure out what I think about this:
Half a century.
In all likelihood, more than half-way through my life.
(I don’t like to think about that part.)
So, what did I do to commemorate?
I got my hair cut.
Not even a daring new cut—just the standard chin-length bob that is my “go to” short haircut.
My mid-life crisis action was reversible and I’ve done it before. How lame is that?
I’m noticing it this decade.
At 40, Anya was an infant, and it was all just “will the baby please sleep and who cares about 40.”
This year…it’s meetings and budget and annual reports and final grading to do not to mention a trip to Ecuador to plan. No wonder I’d rather think about turning 50.
I can’t quite put my finger on where I should be at 50.
But then, I couldn’t do that at 10, 20, 30, or 40 either.
What I know is that on Friday evening the house was quiet…and there was nowhere on earth I’d rather be than with this silly little family in a post Friday family movie night lull.
And on Sunday I had brunch with friends that I’ve known since Brandeis. They are as much family to me as my own siblings, and I am forever grateful for these people who have grown through adulthood with me.
I’m also excited to be part of a collective project on female suffrage in the Americas, and to go on the hunt for some voting debates in the Quito archives this June. But don’t want to travel to get there.
And yet: I’m tired and want to slow down and read novels and get off the hamster wheel of working all the time…though I am still not ready or willing to take that leap. I keep talking and talking and talking and thinking and thinking and thinking about it. I can’t seem to make a compromise and find time/space to bring slow into this life, with work. Why is that?
Maybe the lesson of my 50s is acceptance. Accepting where I am in life, lumps and wrinkles and all. Accepting that I am not ready to change my life too drastically just yet (i.e., leave my job), and trusting that I will know when it’s time. Accepting the choices I’ve made, without regret, and believing that I can still make changes if and how I want to.
Which isn't to say I lack goals: I want to connect more often with those I love. I want to figure out gardening. I want to build a greater sense of community in my life (especially one that is not dependent on work). I want to learn to sew (still--a lifelong, unrealized ambition). I want to contribute, if only I can overcome introversion and lack of confidence to do that. I want to live in harmony with my body. I want to learn to kayak.
But even all of that requires acceptance--of where I am, what my abilities are, and what strengths/skills/limits I encounter with all these goals (large and small).
Let’s see if it happens, shall we?
And then at 60, I’ll dye my hair purple.