Post #1: So Here’s The Plan
I used to fantasize about how life would change when I turned sixty. I would no longer waste time. I would no longer overeat, under-exercise, snap at my loved ones. I would stride fearlessly into the autumn of my life, approaching friends, strangers and literary agents with equal aplomb. In a nutshell, I would kick ass.
That’s not exactly how it went down. On the big day I had the flu. While the aches and pains subsided quickly enough, my mind stayed unwell. I spent two weeks lying in bed, learning about ceiling cracks I never knew existed. All I could think was: I can now go to The Bay on Tuesdays and get a seniors’ discount. The horror.
Anyone with a half a brain could have predicted this outcome: I had set the bar so high that it was bound to topple over.
Two months later I’m finally hitting my stride, sort of. I’ve been studying Portuguese for the past seven weeks and making preparations for my Brazilian escapade. The short version: This time next year, I hope to touch down somewhere in Brazil and spend about six months there. I’ll be going alone.
Why Brazil, and why now? I could tell you that I’d like to inspire other chronologically advanced people to get off their Obusforme lounge chairs and bust through their limitations, and there might be a speck of truth in that. But when it comes right down to it, I’m doing it for the same reason anyone does anything: Because I wanna.
When I was 33, I learned Japanese and spent fourteen months in Tokyo. The experience changed my life in every possible way. For reasons I can’t fully articulate, it seems important that I repeat the exercise at least once more before I eat dust. And Brazil has always had a pull on me, just like Japan.
The obvious difference is that I’m happily married this time, ergo not looking for male attentions. (Even if I were, I doubt many men would drop everything at the chance to gaze into the eyes of a discount shopper with varicose veins.) And no, I do not take my husband’s loving support for granted.
Other than that, I plan to pretend I’m twenty-five and see what happens. I hope you’ll join me in this experiment in ungraceful aging. Your participation, and especially your thoughts, mean the world to me.