Friday, March 18, 2016

And Meanwhile, in Real Life!

Thanks for the great conversation and feedback on my last post and for your support and encouragement over the past couple of weeks, which have been a bit tumultuous here (is that oxymoronic? can tumults ever be small?).

Having the For Sale sign go up just beyond the fence last night, having the listing "go live," all this is a relief, in some ways, and in others, of course, it generates all kinds of confused emotion. Generally, I guess, having processed all the angles, made the decision, done more cleaning and organising in a few weeks than I've done in years, I'm ready to get on with it all. I want to be brusque and energetic and decisive, and I'm pretty much fed up with leaking tears. Onwards! I had thought I'd be writing a bit about why we made the decision to move and what's next and what the process has been like, and perhaps that will still happen, but I'm going to give myself some wiggle room. . .

So I'm very glad to be able to leave the keys with the realtor and the maintenance to the house-sitter and head off to Vancouver to meet up with our Rome peeps! Yes! They're flying home (well, we still call it home even if they no longer do) for a whole month. The distraction of a walking, talking, delightful toddler -- just the age to amuse the 7-year-old and 3-year-old quite thoroughly while being an object of wonder to our two just-barely-Ones. Can't wait to see them altogether!

With all this going on, I do wonder how much time I'll find to post, but I am ever mindful of the recent promises I've made, topics I want to cover, conversations we've pushed the Pause button on. I'll do my best, and I know you always understand.

Meanwhile, apropos of some of the comments on my most recent post, I thought some of the newer readers might like to see what I said about the whole Visibility of Women of a Certain Age phenomenon, about representing ourselves and recognising ourselves through photographs.  Here's one from 2013, dated in its reference to other blogs, yes, but gives you an idea of some shifts in my thinking.  Within a few weeks of my posting that, Elizabeth posted this great piece in response. Unlike her, I don't find clothes boring although lately I've been impatient with what seems a constant expectation for variety. . . But as interested as I am, from time to time, in What I Wore posts,(and I'm pleased to hear from some of you that these What I Wore posts are worth including occasionally) I'm more interested in the whole notion of representing our older selves, visually, and I thought a bit about that in this post. And, of course, I wrote a series on Portraits, particularly one I had my girlfriend paint, of me, as a gift for my husband. Starting here will take you back, via a number of links, to the beginning of that series, should you be interested.

I'm off now, but I'll be checking in to read your most-welcome comments. Have a lovely weekend!

26 comments:

  1. We're about to list our house, too, Frances. I had two realtors in to see the house today and they will give us proposals this week. I csn certainly understand the mixed feelings.

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    1. Good luck with it all, Marie. I keep repeating the mantra, "Change is Good," and trying to believe it . . . ;-)

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  2. That's the spirit!
    (And that's the move waiting for me in couple of years)
    Enjoy with your dearest and have a beautiful month!
    Dottoressa

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    1. Thanks, Dottoressa! I'm so excited to see them.

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  3. It's probably quite a relief to leave the house behind and be able to go off and enjoy your grandchildren. It must be lovely to see them all together. Good luck with it all. B x

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    1. Thanks, B. . . It's a good distraction from the real estate doings, for sure!

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  4. When that sign goes up, what a moment. And it is kind of like being (obviously) pregnant, all kinds of folks say things they would otherwise not, and some of these are funny, others quite blunt. At least that was my experience!

    When you have lived on a street for decades, people can take a departure hard; it's flattering, but also unsettling.

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    1. Yes! And because of the geography and the kind of community, these things get said in awkward times and places, generally out of the very best intentions. I've already had to excuse myself for being terse, pleading a surfeit of emotion (that plea being the absolute truth!). There's some element of affront, I think, in the notion of our leaving "the best community."

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  5. The energy, that is, the sense of joy, trepidation, and anticipation, that this posting evokes has a refreshing and invigorating effect of me - thank you!

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    1. What a lovely way you've read me back to myself -- you're very welcome and thank you!

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  6. I followed you back through Blogger past and I came the full circle. "Portraits" took me to a link to "That's not my Age" that took me to Mary Beard speaking about "old". I just listened to MB on BBC about "grey hair" ten days ago. The woman is a Cambridge classics professor, married with grown children with many publications to her credit. Certainly not invisible. You must be so happy to see the
    Roman family. It seems that you just left them but so much is happening in your life. No surprise that there are tears. I have not moved house very often and it has
    been mostly due to marriage breakdown or recoupling. At 64, I expect that we will be in this apartment until ...Hope the week-end brings happy family times.

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    1. That must have been an interesting broadcast. I don't remember Mary Beard's name from Alyson's post -- perhaps I should trot that circle myself.
      This is a big move, but I keep reminding myself how lucky we are to choose it, to exercise so much control in getting our next home set up. By this fall, perhaps, rebuilding can begin. For now, yes, the Roman family, and loads of cuddling!

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  7. Sorry for having dropped out of the conversation for quite some time. These last weeks before the Easter holidays were so stuffed with work that I hardly managed to read the paper, not to mention a blog. But here I am now, watching the sun go down across the lake (quite a bit to the left this early in the year)and enjoying your posts and all the insightful comments. It was the Visibility Thing which brought me to your blog in the first place (starting out with "Advanced Style", although I don't remember the intermediate steps). In the course of the last years I have found a kind of "uniform" which I feel quite comfortable with (and in general I am content with what I see when I pass a mirror), but I am not sure that that is the last word. Sometimes I miss some extravagance. Not in the way of expensive labels (which I not only couldn't afford, but which also do not attract me at all), but rather in that of mad, colourful, selfmade stuff. So I wonder if retirement will bring a change in that respect, too.
    Have a beautiful time with your family!

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    1. Glad to have you back here, Eleonore. Lovely to picture you at the lake -- I love watching the sunshine's position shift over the year, along the horizon.
      I know what you mean about that extravagance or indulgence in self-expression -- I've moved in the other direction for the last year or two, and I'm not sure what that's about or whether I'll switch back. Lately, I've been thinking about denim and freehand embroidery. . . or perhaps some simple sashiko . . . Interested to see what transpires for you, fashion/style-wise, when you retire...

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  8. I don't find clothes boring, but I need far less of them than I used to, when I worked. I agree with Elizabeth however, in that I don't mind being invisible when I want to be, which is much of the time. I enjoy, at nearly 60, being able to clean up well;) and attract a little attention when my husband and I are out at night, or to feel "cool" enough in San Francisco, but I miss the uninvited attention not one whit.

    Best of luck with your move, and I hope your time with the full complement of family is just lovely.

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    1. Sounds as if we're in synch re (in)visibility. Being audible, quite honestly, is more an issue for me, but I also am very happy to listen, and/or to facilitate discussion and I'm glad when my ability to do so is appreciated -- I had so much opportunity to do that in my work, and not quite so much now. Working on ways to get some of that back, eventually.

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  9. What a lot you have going on, Mater. Deep breath! The hardest bit about selling the house is now done. I don't mean that it's all smooth sailing from here, but the leaving is done. It won't matter how often you go back in the weeks ahead - you have left.
    I haven't really taken part in the discussion on the visibility of Women of a Certain Age. I have always felt rather invisible, so am not bothered by the thought of becoming so at this time of life. I don't say that in any way to be provocative - it's just that I'm short and relatively quiet. Never having been a 'beauty' might help too, as I think that hard bones and good teeth will take me far.....now, how's that for pragmatism?!

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    1. It's true, H. It's sinking in that we have left, and I'm not sure if I'm relieved or gutted. depends on time of day.
      Me too, re visibility, although I will say that having surprised myself by liking my looks and being confident presenting myself in my, say 40s and 50s, I do miss some of that late-earned appeal. But I was very much raised to value my intelligence with little attention ever paid, at home, to my looks except that adults often fussed about my ringlets ;-)
      And yes, you definitely get points for pragmatism!

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  10. I wonder if it is more difficult to accept your older appearance if you have always been very beautiful . I was a skinny child , not a beauty , but in my teens skinny became fashionable & I learned how to ' scrub up well ' . If it matters , I can still put a reasonable face on but otherwise I'm not that concerned . I realised early on that I would need other attributes - a sense of humour is very useful now I find .
    Wendy in York

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    1. It seems to vary, Wendy. I used to think that having been beautiful made ageing more difficult, but I hear from women (like Lisa/LPC above) who are relieved to be rid of unwanted attention. And truly, so many who were beautiful when young age beautifully as well, and seem to manage to let a wisdom shine through to enhance their natural beauty. I can only imagine.... my own case is closer to yours, and perhaps allows for more grounding when we move into this state so susceptible to gravity's ravages! A sense of humour is useful indeed!

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  11. Hmm. I don't find clothing boring, but I find having less of it more interesting in that each piece has to matter. I also have found that there are times when I quite like invisibility, or at least not having to worry about whether or not I am visible or what impression I'll make. That freedom seems to yield a kind of confidence that had previously been more elusive.

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    1. I like the way you put this: "having less [clothing is] more interesting in that each piece has to matter." So true. Consideration in/of the choice becomes so much more important and more revealing of intent. . .

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  12. I am aware of being significantly less happy with my looks as I enter my 50's (I am almost 52) than when I entered my 40's. I find myself looking wistfully (not enviously) at the firm jaw lines and smooth skin of young women when I am out and about. However, we are what we are, and probably when I am entering my 60's I will look back at this era and wonder why I was (occasionally) despondent. X

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    1. Yes, wistfully rather than enviously is right, sometimes even marvelling. And yes, 10 years from now you'll be looking back just as wistfully at photos of your oh-so-young 51-year-old self ;-)

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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