The academic Tanya Golash-Boza is someone I envy. She has discovered the secret (or secrets) of being a highly productive academic while having a family life--all this without working herself to death. Of course much of her good fortune, as I'm sure she knows, rests on advances in women's rights over the past years that have opened up opportunities that were unavailable to women once, unless they were very lucky or very driven. Golash-Boza takes full advantage of every resource that will help her do her work and reach the goals she has set down for herself. She has broken down her work requirements and put them into various categories and handles them according to their importance and what deadlines are, and so on. This is a very thought-out life, the opposite of the way I led my life for too many years. It's never too late to learn, but there were some big prizes I would have liked to win, and now time is short and old age makes its demands.
Talking to our visitors, I mentioned my strategy for old age, which is to pretend I'm a "recovering" alcoholic. Old age is a depressant, just like alcohol. It's important to stay away from certain temptations available to old people: sloth, gluttony, vanity, the chronicle of ailments, miserliness, foolishness, holding forth and boring the crap out of others, narrow mindedness: the chronicle of sins is endless. These temptations must be fought, although I've got to say I'm not 100% successful and relapse from time to time. Alcoholics have AA, but there is no AA for old people.
At age 73 I can't do what a "normal" person does, ie, a young or middle aged person, so I make every day count. Self-maintenance becomes the #1 priority. If that sounds selfish, consider that if I could not take care of myself that task would fall on others.Right now I am trying to become more savvy about money matters and am spending an hour or so a day looking over our financial situation, because I've always let Terry carry that burden.
If I had it to do over, I would consider that each phase of life calls for a different emphasis and that nothing lasts forever.
Hello, I'm Marianna Scheffer, and I am old.