The bouncing off of projects seems to have stopped. Today the brain was burrowing in, more like, which was nice after the bouncing off. Unfortunately, it's the kind of burrowing in that finds itself invincible: "Yes! I can finish The Mark of the Sea Serpent! And after I write that, I'll write the YA SF novel on Europa! And after that, the grown-up fantasy novel for 'What We Did to Save the Kingdom,' and then it'll be time to go to Minicon!" Down, brain. Sit, brain. Perhaps there will be a biscuit for you later, if you are a very good brain and do not talk about reindeer herding practices at ladysea's birthday.
Following up on yesterday, yes, I did mean that a gentleman never offends accidentally. I shouldn't post after 8 p.m. Things get all turned around. Anyway, one of the other remaining questions from my sleep-dep night was, "I'd like to hear some of your positive visions of maturity (being elderly, for instance)."*
If there's one thing I have, it's old people. I have old people like nobody's business. When I was younger, I even had extra old people from some of my current old people. My grandmother is one of thirteen siblings, and I knew all but two of them (one had died in WWII and the other shortly thereafter), and of those two, I knew the widow of one, and her second husband. I also know my other grands' siblings and lots of their similar-age friends, and I talk to my grands a lot (never less than once a week, often more), and I had great-grands for long enough to know two of them as adults and miss them terribly now that they're gone. I knew my uncles-in-laws' parents. Some of my great-great-uncles and -aunts lived to be in their 100s, and I knew them, too.
I think the surfeit of old people in my life has made them look much less separate from young people and middle-aged people than they otherwise might, and their relative good health and energy has contributed to that. My grandfather is 78, and he's only started being old in the last two years or so. And he's not debilitated now. He's just, well, old. When we went six time zones away, he needed to take the afternoon to nap and read and recover from the jet lag and the travel. We didn't have to think about that kind of thing with him before. My Onie, on the other hand -- my oldest great-aunt -- I originally mistyped that as "my oddest great-aunt," which is probably not also true, because it's a very close contest and total orderings are odious -- Onie has been old for a good while now. Rightfully so, as she's 93. But she still gets the ice off the walks when the handyman can't or won't do it. And she still, with a little poking, will try new food, and will go home and tell her old lady friends all about how daring she was.
When I was a kid -- 8 or 9, maybe -- my folks and I were up here at the grands', and it was summertime, and we decided to spontaneously pick up Great-Grandma Lingen and take her for a picnic. When we got to Lake Harriet, there was a crowd gathered for music, and it was the week before the Fourth of July, so we all thought it would be Souza marches for Great-Grandma, how delightful, what a fortuitous coincidence! We got our picnic blanket spread out and all the food settled, and the band started up: thrash metal. And Great-Grandma beamed, and when she got home, she told her friends that her grandchildren loved her so much and thought she was so cool, they took her to rock concerts. After the concert when we took her down to Minnehaha Falls and she told about when they would go down there for church picnics when she was a teenager, she was able to appreciate the Falls as they are now, which helped us to appreciate the stories she was telling of them then. It made past and present and future partners instead of adversaries.
It wasn't until I was essentially grown myself that I met old people who were limited in outlook. I've known old people whose bodies limited them -- young people, too -- and I've known old people whose minds were failing on them. But most of the old people I know have not narrowed their own worlds, and have fought the narrowing circumstances have forced upon them. So being elderly looks a lot different to me than I've heard it does to some people. "I hope I die before I get old" is a sentiment that always struck me as profoundly stupid. Have the strength to grow old and stay interesting. It's work, but it's worthwhile. And people who treat it as an impossibility annoy me.
In other news, my gmail has just produced an ad for me: "Huge Sale on Bodhrans!" I love living in the future, and I love my life.
*I only have two more of these left.