You may recall one of the quotations I selected from the Doris Lessing section in Esther Harriott's excellent book, Aging and Writers:
“It takes me longer to do things,” said Lessing. “Not physical things...but where it shows is the energy for writing...not ideas. I've always got too many ideas. It's the organizing of the ideas and getting down to it that takes longer. And also, energy runs out more quickly than it used to.”
So close is that to my own experience in recent times that I have said something similar fairly frequently – to myself and others. It's just what happens as we grow older.
For me, another part of slowing down, as I have written in the past, is that I am afflicted with a fairly rare condition called ASPD or Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder. I find it almost impossible to stay awake past 8PM, sometimes I can make it to 9PM and whatever time I go to sleep, I'm wake by 3AM or 4AM. On a good morning, I can snooze until 5AM but not often.
It is not much of a problem except when I have house guests or, for example, when there is a dinner at other people's normal hours. I can manage late evenings for a day or two, then the condition asserts its sleep demand.
An accompanying difficulty, unrelated to ASPD, is that all my energy, both physical and mental, is depleted by 2PM. That makes sense if you think it through:
In my working days when I rose at 7:30AM to be at the office by 9AM, I was tired by 5PM or 6PM – ten hours after I had awakened. There is the same interval between the time I awaken now and when I get stupid at about 2PM.
That means I am always rushed, on a treadmill to get the normal chores and errands required by daily life done along with the optional pleasures and still keep up this blog at the level of quality I require for myself.
After 2PM I've run out of steam for all of that, turn slothful and I'm no good for anything except reading, watching a movie, playing with cat, keeping up with friends or just pottering around.
Too often in recent months, my posts – stories, essays, whatever we call these things – have been more haphazard and less well thought through than they should be. Too often, I choose the easy road of rumination and chatter than take the time for the research or additional reading needed for more informed writing.
TIME GOES BY CHANGE
So now that you've got all those reasons and excuses, I am here today to tell you that I am set to experiment with a new publishing schedule. Beginning next Monday, here is how the week will look at TGB:
Mon: New post
Tue: DAY OFF
Wed: New Post
Thu: DAY OFF
Fri: New post
Sat: Interesting Stuff
Sun: Elder Music from Peter Tibbles
As many of you already do now, there is no reason, if you find the M-W-F post interesting enough, not to continue commenting and chatting back and forth with one another on the off days. Or not.
Remember, there is nothing you need to do. If you subscribe, via email or rss, the only difference you will see is that nothing arrives in your inbox or news reader on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
THE ELDER STORYTELLING PLACE
There is a secondary issue to resolve. If there is no post on Tuesday and Thursday, there is nothing on which to link to that day's story at The Elder Storytelling Place (ESP) so I am going to eliminate that feature altogether – the link, not the stories.
If you read ESP via email or rss feed or you have a bookmark you follow to read it, you don't need to do anything. If, however, you read that blog by clicking on the link at the bottom of TGB posts, you will need to rely on something else.
You can subscribe via email or rss by filling in the form at the top right of any page at The Elder Storytelling Place, or make a bookmark wherever you keep those things on your computer.
As I said, this is an experiment. I've set a general time period of spring and summer. If the spirit moves me, I might write something for a Tuesday or a Thursday now and then but it should not be expected as in the past – by you or me – for these next few months.
Sometime around September, we take a day together here to see how we feel about it. I'll let you know how it has worked for me and you will able to add your thoughts.
In addition to accommodating my age-related slowing down, this might also give me an opportunity to upgrade TGB in ways I've been remiss – some backend fixes, updating the movies and other lists and perhaps a minor redesign, but no promises yet on those.
Time Goes By, as an extension of my apparently undying interest in all things ageing, is my passion, my raison d'etre in old age, my reason to get up each day.
I am endlessly curious about what it is like to grow old and I use the thoughts, ideas and events in my own journey through this strange territory to guide my investigations and writing. (And that little piece of information is just to be sure you understand that I'm not going anywhere – only adjusting the schedule.)
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Arlene Corwin: It Was a Sunny Day Today