Well, hi there. It's nice to be back among you.
On 7 September, I announced a 10-day withdrawal from blogging. I had no plans to travel, no urgent or time-consuming needs or desires, no house guests. Nothing, in fact, except a general sense of malaise and disinterest. Also, that I had become stale, repeating myself and struggling to find something to write each day.
Imagine! From the girl whose mother regularly said, “Ronni, let your little brother talk” - which hasn't changed much over the decades since then.
When I've taken time off in the past, I made arrangements for fresh material while I was gone – carefully chosen “reruns,” guest posts I solicited weeks in advance or new stories I wrote and saved to publish during my absence.
This time, however, it was on the spur of the moment. I just didn't want to write (or think or research) that day, nor did I want to do so the next day and the next. Some people call this burnout. Maybe so.
And how did I spend those ten days? Well, the house is cleaner than it has been since the day I moved in 15 months ago. I even crawled under the desk to dust all those computer cables and power strips.
I read a couple of books that had nothing to do with aging or politics (if you don't count a third, Michael Moore's latest which I'm halfway through). I watched a lot of old film noir from the 1930s and 1940s – a project I've been diddling with for a couple of years. (Many of them hold up remarkably well.)
(The next book on my agenda is Ron Suskind's Confidence Man. You can read a good overview of it here.)
Also, I put a good deal of effort into analyzing why this new way of eating I wrote about in my last post before the hiatus is working so well compared to recent past attempts to get my weight under control.
It's tempting, but I won't bore you with my conclusions.
What I will tell you, however, is that even though it will probably be another three or four months (total time equaling the better part of a year) until I reach an equilibrium, I feel fantastic. Lots more physical energy which now gets me up and moving without having to prod myself into it. There is almost a need to move and I can't sit as long without feeling restless.
Sometime in the past when we've discussed age-related waning of energy and stamina, I said that I needed to spread vacuuming over two days – the front of the house one day, the back the next. Now I'm doing it all in one go with ease which – another improvement - relieves that nagging in the back of one's mind: you really ought to (fill in the blank).
So if you have some extra poundage on you, I highly recommend getting rid of it. I know it's hard – though not so much now that I've been at it since April - I haven't felt this good in a long time.
During these past ten days, the economic and political news has been universally awful. I'll write about some of it in the coming days or weeks but today, let's stick to the single piece of good news.
It was announced last week that President Barack Obama has backed down from his support for changing the measure of inflation to the chained-CPI which would reduce cost-of-living increases to Social Security. When, today, he announces his suggestions to the super committee for reaching the $1.2 trillion deficit reduction, it will include no changes to Social Security. Hurray for an intelligent change in position.
I have asked you so many times to write the president and your representatives about this, you must be numb to it by now. But, apparently, those contacts have worked. Most commentators ascribe the change to response to Obama's base and to advocacy groups for elders. So congratulate yourselves.
Today, I'm asking you to contact the president again. Mostly we complain. So this time, let's thank him for this move. You can do that here.
My time off was energizing and now it's great to be back.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Mort Reichek: When I Helped Count Fish in the Atlantic Ocean