You’re not that Busy


For everyone out there that replies, “I’m too busy” there is some dishonesty.

You are really making choices, prioritizing, deciding what is important and what is not.

I decided recently that instead of saying “I’m too busy” to see you or get involved in that project I’m going to be honest. I’m going to say, “It’s not my priority”, or “I am making other choices”.

I’m not that busy.
By choice.
I know. I know. Busy is the commodity of the entire baby boomer generation.
You should be busy working, traveling, volunteering, building homes for Habitat for Humanity, hiking Kilimanjaro.
OR, teaching, studying,  even wildly partying…
And yet, I choose to be NOT BUSY.
No one wants to hear this.
They ask, “Are you busy? You must be so busy. You are always so busy with so many different things.”
“No, I’m actually not at all busy, BY CHOICE”. (lest they think I am idle due to a lack of interests or self worth).

And by the way, when you admit you are NOT BUSY, don’t expect any party invitations.



Welcome to Empty Nesting



my nest is best

I stare at each item and wonder what kind of packing box it will require.

We have lived 25 years in the same house, yet I always think I’m going to move next year. I call in the painters and make sure it’s camera ready, walk from room to room with the eye of a would-be buyer approving the decor.

In preparation for what I believe is inevitable, I think about moving almost every day and then again at night.

It’s sort of a sickness. Prepare for the worst so it won’t hurt so much. During my slow walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I admire the moon through the skylight, as if it’s the last time.

And yet, it’s so easy to stay in the same place, the known, the comfortable, the familiar. It’s what I longed for and then finally obtained. Truth is I love my house, my deck, my yard, my town, the place we raised all three kids, the place where we were all so happy, made so many friends, connected with so many people –and yet I feel and fear it’s time to move.

My time here is running out. The timer  was set 25 years ago and the buzzer is going off, especially now that our kids are leaving the nest.

The next 25 years will be full of looking back I’m afraid, no matter how wonderful the times will be. Of course life with a partner you love more than anything, full of adventure and travel sounds great and will be remarkable, but bittersweet. The past was never bittersweet; it was just sweet, even if you didn’t recognize it as such every day. You held your family in your hands, like baby birds, before you let them fly away. Your lives were one, inextricably linked.

Now the world is suddenly wide open, though it feels more caged than ever before.

Fear creeps in as I recognize the one avoidable thing can not be avoided: loss and growing old.

as published in Better After 50



The Birdfeeder



Life North of 50 has many surprises.

For years, all winter long, the view from my office window consisted of snow, bare trees, the west side of my neighbor’s home, and a few squirrels foraging for acorns.

Then my husband put a bird feeder outside my window on a dogwood branch just four feet from my desk. From that moment on,  birds began to play a role in my life.

Whereas before I never noticed  birds, now I see House Finches, American Tree Sparrows, Blue Jays, coming and going, all day long. Who knew Woodpeckers were such formal looking birds, dressed like they are in a tuxedo and sometimes darning bright red heads.  My favorite  Northern Cardinal is forever elusive and flys away the minute I go for my camera. Dark-eyed Junkos  frolic joyfully in the snow. Thanks to my new  Stokes bird guide book I can identify a Tufted Titmouse, named for its tuft of hair and its mouse-like face.

I’ve started to photograph them in all kinds of light establishing yet another much needed hobby in my “leisure time”.  My daily walks now include listening to their unique calls, like the mourning dove with its hoowaoo hoo hoo hoo.

No longer ever alone in my home, my featured friends visit all day long, no matter the weather.