2013/11/19

Now is the winter

Twenty years is a generation, at least in the old way of reckoning. I'm calling my first 20 years "spring," the second 20 "summer," the third "autumn," and the period I am about to enter "winter." I might live to be older than 80 (my mom is 94), or I might not make it that far, but either way I figure I'm moving into the winter phase of my life.

Winter isn't dead. Winter can be full of surprises. A winter snowfall is beautiful! There are storms and avalanches in winter. Around here winter sometimes brings thunder and lightning, and often powerful wind. Winter is full of sports and activities. Occasionally, flowers bloom in winter, such as the camellia. But camellias and snowdrops are harbingers of spring. Unless scientists figure out how to reverse aging, I will not have another spring.

It's weird to contemplate your own mortality, to think about the fact that you're not always going to be here. Until recently, it seemed so far away. Now I'm more aware that it's really not. I still have plenty of living to do, but I don't have another 60 years. I probably don't even have 40. Next summer it will have been 20 years since I migrated from New England to British Columbia. I've lived here for nearly a third of my life! Autumn went by awfully quickly.

It's OK really. I have no desire to live forever. If such a thing ever became possible, I'm pretty sure people would eventually do themselves in just to escape. Life is sweeter because its span is finite. I want to keep living for a while longer, of course, but I've reached a point where even if I were taken tomorrow, I wouldn't feel ripped off (if there were a "me" to feel anything afterward, which there isn't).

Still, the slow deterioration of age is not fun. I need my reading glasses to read and use my computer now. I have to be more careful about what I eat. Pains sometimes appear in various and sundry places. After I've been dancing for a while, the first time I bend my knees after I stop (you know why) is quite the reminder of how my body is working these days. My sexual attractiveness is diminished, to say the least. But for the most part I'm healthy, libidinous (for all the good it does), and at least somewhat active, and I'm very thankful for that.

Less fun for me is the reduction of possibilities, or at least of probability. Not long ago, I was studying fashion merchandising in the hope of making a drastic career change. But even if I had kept at it until I earned a certificate, would I have been able to find myself a position or even contract work? Even though I am usually pegged for early 40s, that's not so young in fashion. Older women like my idol Anna Wintour have been in the business since they were young. Starting at my age would not have been impossible, but the probability of success was low. Counselling might have been a more realistic possibility, if I could have lasted through graduate school and a lengthy practicum.

But my passion is for that rock and roll music, and there the possibilities are definitely reduced. The music I love is a young person's game. Those in the business who are older have been doing it for a long time, and their careers are established. I've been doing it for a long time, but only on and off, not concertedly. My career is far from established, and my experience does me little good, other than that I know what I'm doing. Musically anyway. As for the rest of the game, well, you already saw how that's going, or not going, as the case may be.

Regrets, I've had a few. Some people say they never have them, but I'm not sure I believe that. To regret is human. But even though I wish I'd done a few things differently, what I don't do is dwell on those regrets. Past is past. I can only move forward and do whatever I can do given the ongoing constriction of possibilities.

We make adjustments at various times of our lives, and now seems like a pretty good time for me. I have to play music. I have to be involved in music. It's in my blood. A lot of things about the music business make me crazy, but I am very unhappy when I am not making music, and by that I mean in public, not just "for fun" (which is OK but not really that much fun for me). And I don't want to be unhappy. So somehow I have to figure out how an alta kocker like me can still fit into the business. I can always play, but as a communicator, I need to reach out and touch people. That is easier said than done, and becomes more difficult as I get older.

So I am seeking a way forward musically. Maybe more than one way. And I will find a way forward, or die trying. Since we're all going to die anyway, better to die trying than just to die, right? And if you never stop trying, you can't fail.

Don't give up!!!!!

2 comments:

Coline said...

It is a curse reaching "winter" and being ideally suited to utilising the sorts of bodies wasted on teenagers who really do not appreciate them as we would...

Shame about the fashion idea, if you think about it there is a vast untapped market for those of us entering that wintery phase of life little catered for in a world fawning after the young. The market is one not looking for cheap shoddy garments thrown away before they are dirty enough to be washed as many youth are wont to do, we want classy smart gear which few seem to want to sell us...

Véronique said...

I know designers who made stylish clothes for older women. But merchandising is usually done by those younger, working their way up. Starting at the bottom is one problem with a late-in-life career change. I might have tried to establish myself as a stylist (for women my age, perhaps).