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Emails to my Therapist

Positive News in My War on Aging

Dear Nicholas, Three encouraging developments in my small personal war on aging:

*Had my hearing tested and was told I have the ears of a “young adult”

*Had a hilarious talk with friends of a similar vintage this week about how forgetful we’ve become

*Was getting a trim when my hairdresser suggested I go back to long hair like I had forty! years ago

The Forgetfulness Conversation

The subject came up in the writing group I’ve been in since 1983. Turns out several of us have had the experience of reading fifty or so pages of a book before realizing we’ve read it before. I’ve done that twice in the last couple of months. It bothered me. Hearing the others’ stories about forgetting made me feel less pressured to stop all forgetting.

One of the group pointed out that it’s usually some odd detail that makes the book suddenly familiar: not the plot, the brilliant writing, the characters, but instead the sudden realization: “Oh, I remember this upholstery.” Reading along in The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga, I’d asked myself, Can there really be two novels with a character named Pinky Madam? That’s when I knew: I’d read the book before.

In the course of our conversation, another of our group tried to quote an expert: “I read an article by, um  (rueful laugh) that guy who writes articles.”

Funniest moment for writers and readers: listening to an online recording of a poem called “Forgetfulness” about “literary amnesia” by former US poet laureate Billy Collins. Do listen if you ever forgot a title or an author or the capital of Paraguay.

Maybe it’s the shining intelligence of the poet–and of my writer buddies– in spite of the forgetfulness that makes me feel better.

 

The Hearing Test

I often have trouble hearing what Husband Bob is saying and so I made an appointment with an audiologist. Conclusion: it’s not my ears. I am at least quite good at picking up very faint beeps.

I loved the guy telling me that I had the hearing of “a young adult,” partly because my novel-in-progress is about a sixteen year-old and falls into the genre called YA or Young Adult. I can tell future readers: I’m hearing with you.

 

The Hair

Hairdresser novelist  Steven Norton, who works upstairs in the three-person building where I have my office, saw a picture of me with long hair back in the ’70s.  He thought it would be cool for me to have that hair again. My reaction: Are you kidding? Long hair at my age? It’ll look terrible!!

war on aging

He assured me he could cut it in layers so it would work. He’d be keeping a close eye on the transition since  he was in effect my “in-house stylist.”

He convinced me.

war on aging

My 1970s long hair

Which means I’ll have longish hair by the time I proudly turn 70 in January. How ’bout that!

 

Also, an update to my recent post My Yoga Sabbath Problem, I’ve found a teacher I like, Judith Valerie, and have gone back to yoga. This is progress on another front in my war on aging–on those parts of aging that I’d prefer to avoid.

Wishing you unending good health,

Peggy

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Comments

  • Rachael W.
    July 15, 2018 at 3:32 am Reply

    I love the Billy Collins poem. I’m happy to say that your post reminded me of the poem, and I remembered reading it and who wrote it before you mentioned it. One proud moment of remembering amongst many others of forgetting.

    I’m turning 71 in December, and probably will not go back to long hair. you have those curls dahling, that us straight haired gals always envied!
    Great post!

    • Peggy Payne
      July 15, 2018 at 4:54 pm Reply

      Congratulations on remembering the author’s name, Rachael. I already today forgot the name of a famous civil rights lawyer. One of my goals is to forget the tally on forgetting. You’re setting a good example of nice success in your 70th year.

  • Kenju
    July 15, 2018 at 3:38 am Reply

    I’ve srarted reading books the second time and once it took over 200 pages before I remembered it. I don’t think poblishers ought to have the same book with different covers!

    I tried longer, layered hair last year, but it didn’t work for me.
    Good luck!

    • Peggy Payne
      July 15, 2018 at 4:56 pm Reply

      The long hair may not work for me either, Kenju. But the mere suggestion of it was encouraging. Good thought about book covers; they’re bound to cause confusion.

  • […] Instead, you lean toward staying in the moment and connected to one’s insides–call it vibrations, energy, life, God, whatever. And staying curious about what’s next. And always, staying grateful. Essentially, being rather than, say, waging a small personal war against aging. […]

  • Linda Fraser
    August 21, 2018 at 6:19 am Reply

    Hi Peggy!
    I am 67 now and have hair to my waist. I get tons on compliments! I know you will love it , feels young!
    You know mom did yoga until she died at 102. She still lived at home and did EVERYTHING herself.!

    • Peggy Payne
      August 21, 2018 at 3:03 pm Reply

      Wow, Linda! That’s the way to age– both of you! Very encouraging. Good to hear from you. I hope all things are good.

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