And whose life isn't crazy, right? At least some of the time, and too often a lot of the time? But I've stepped up to a new level of insanity that is "new" for several reasons: (1) I can't opt out of any of this responsibility. A number of family decisions (mainly involving my mother's affairs) are simply on my shoulders and must be made and carried out in mucho detail (as long as there's a Spanish flavor to this post :)). (2) This has gone way beyond multi-tasking. This is multi-layered multi-tasking, in which even those things I'm putting off are things that can't be put off. You know what's scary? I don't even have small children anymore. Although, speaking of my mother, she was right: You don't concern yourself one iota less when they're grown. In fact, once they take on jobs, spouses, mortgages, and children of their own, you experience that much more "walking around with your heart outside your body," as somebody once summed up parenting.
Billy Graham was asked what he found to be the biggest surprise of life. His answer was, "The brevity of life is the biggest surprise." I would agree. But, thus far, I have to add that another big surprise is that the decade of my 50s is the most chaotic I've yet had, much more so than, say, my 30s. (And my 40s was the most fun.)
Okay, not everything I said in point 2 is quite true. I have put off some things that can be put off. Like reading. For a writer, reading isn't optional, of course. So it's not like I'm jettisoning some hobby here. I don't have any mere pastimes; for the most part, as an adult I've not had the luxury of being able to "pass" time. I haven't watched TV since Murder, She Wrote went off the air. :)
But the cheese gets more binding, as my grandma used to say: I'm not writing, either.
The irony that I am blogging but not writing is not lost on me. I think it's that I'm trying to keep my public act together as much as possible -- even though my activity on boards and blogs is sketchier than it was two months ago, aided by the seemingly monthly problems with my Internet connection lately.
People often complain they don't have time to write, and I'm not horribly sympathetic with that view. Most of the time, the truth is that they're simply choosing other things. But not having the psychological space and peace to write is something else, which I've tended to address in the past by writing short stories as opposed to novels, and nonfiction as opposed to fiction. Right now I'm not sure what I'm going to do. But I've had to face that this difficult period has been going on for seven years now, and that's rather scary.