It’s Not The Age, It’s The Miles

So today I woke up after sleeping over 12 hours straight, and I’m still somewhat sluggish.

Do you know when you finish a book and your body goes “I’m done” and for a few days falls into something akin to flu only it’s not, and you sleep a lot and end up watching the A & E edition of Pride and Prejudice and IF YOU’RE LUCKY don’t read all Disney comics for 2 months?

Okay, maybe that’s just me.

Yeah, there are milestones I just passed, though none of them is finishing a book (not just now, at least.)

We finished work on the house, though we still need to get a realtor.  For those on FB who’ve seen pictures, yeah, it’s huge and (now) gorgeous.  This has been our strategy with houses, and we doubled our money on the two houses we lived in before, so we sank it all into it.  So, we have tons of money, but until it sells we’re broke.  Meh.

At any rate we finished cleaning it.  And that was a huge project now done.  I felt somewhat fluey-but given the amount of work we put into it, well…

But then yesterday we went up for Robert’s med school matriculation and I came home so tired, I couldn’t even READ and slept for 12 hours.

I think my back-brain has interpreted the ceremony was “we’re done raising him.”  While foolish brain is wrong, of course, you’re never done worrying for/helping your kids if my parents are an indication, it’s also right in a substantial way, because Robert is living elsewhere and is now treading his own path, one of which I know very little, and where I have to “let go” to a large extent.

I think my brain interpreted that as “we’re done with the heavy lifting now.  Rest.”

Of course I’m not resting.  Today I need to clean the house we’re living in, which hasn’t been acquainted with a vaccuum in three months, and then I need to finish short stories so I can write novels.

But in a very real sense, one task is sort of done.  Kind of weird as in my mind we’re still figuring out how to set up things, since getting out of our parents’ house.  Eh.  And now we’ve podded someone else out to his own little space, to do his thing, and the next will follow soon.

Milestones mean a new mile has begun, I guess.  Now is the time for what I never could do before: concentrate on my writing and REALLY work it.

… of course if other house doesn’t sell soon we’ll be doing it from under a bridge.  But no matter.  Things don’t matter, people do.  And I love and appreciate my two sons, and am looking forward to their becoming even more awesome as they take off on their own.

And yeah, I’m feeling sort of old, because they’re obviously men, but I won’t keep them back to flatter my balcony.

And after this cop-out post, the writer goes clean and vacuum.

90 thoughts on “It’s Not The Age, It’s The Miles

    1. I do NOT recommend kidney stones. It’s quite jarring to hear a doctor tell you, “I am not used to seeing my patients walk.” On the other hoof, it’s amazing how happy a nursing staff can get when you tell them, “Let’s save the morphine for someone who really needs it.” I did get more toradol (not tauradol, which I might have liked much more…) just then, though.

  1. Eek … I wish you wouldn’t push yourself so hard! I speak as the voice of experience here, with wrecked health, whacked hormones, aging at light speed well before my time, and a big ole booty I can’t get rid of. Burning the candle at both ends does not end well when the flames meet in the middle. Please get plenty of rest, and more important, relaxation. Do fun and/or relaxing things often, and really get into it. My go-to when the going gets rough is a hot bath with Dead Sea salts and essential oils. Find what wipes out the cares and stresses in your world, and do that often!

      1. (I float. Did once fall asleep in a lake. Warm day, I was tired when I went swimming, and warm water and total calm so I decided to relax for a moment by floating on my back. I don’t think it was a long nap, but it definitely was a nap. :D)

            1. Did that the oncet, as a younger and more bullet-proof man… Learned right quick to hook a heel over a convenient log under a tree, on the *right* side, so the shade moves with you, not against you. I’d not say that I was *burnt,* mind, but there might’ve been a tender spot or two in rather obvious places if you get my meaning. *chuckle*

              ‘Twas a mite cooler under the shade, but the warm water made up the difference. Summertime in Southern Appalachia’s a fine thing indeed. *grin* I’m sure everybody’s got reasons to love where they are ({or they bloody well should, else they oughta move!), but I happen to think my little mountains are a little slice of heaven, my own self.

      2. Thanks for the revisited trauma:

        I was wont to read in the bath. Fell asleep and the book fell in. Now I shower, lest the horror repeat.

        1. I used to read in sauna. You get loose leaf versions of paperbacks pretty fast when you do that. I kept doing it, but moved to – okay, I’m not sure what to call them, but I guess you have had or still have some similar magazines: the whole magazine is one novella length story, there were different lines, some had recurring main characters (Jerry Cotton used to be quite popular here – the adventures of a New York FBI agent. Written in Germany, well, at that time West Germany, by German writers. And for a while, the ones published in Finland were written here. I remember reading some article about one of those writers talking about it, how he tried to figure out New York by using maps and some travel guides from the library and FBI from books and what American movies he had seen. Before internet… and before home video, too, that guy couldn’t even just find some suitable movies and watch them before starting to write, all he had was what he had happened to see maybe years earlier, and what he could remember of it. Ouch. Those historical times. Not to talk about prehistorical, when somebody might write about adventures happening on the other side of the world based solely on maybe a couple of books, if that, and a few magazine articles which may have been written from even flimsier research. 😀 ).

          Some had just a genre like romance, adventure, western, mystery etc. They were popular well into the early 80’s, and old ones could be bought cheaply from used books stores, and the pages were either stitched or stabled together on the back. No glue, and they usually survived sauna well enough, the pages might become a bit curly but nothing worse (as long as you didn’t drop one in the pail for stove water or something).

          I think I have seen that type of magazines still for sale sometimes, but now they are a rarity, and they seem to come and go, some years there are none, then some company tries with something for a while, then quits, then tries again.

          Nowadays I usually go to sauna only in the gym or public swimming pools, most people I know live in older apartment houses which tend to have only one common sauna for which you need to make a reservation for a slot once or twice a year, for the next months, and I don’t like to use them. So I don’t read in saunas now. 🙂

          1. And btw, that is one reason why I completely burned out for romances for decades. Read too many of those novellas in too short a time. And the formula still tends to be pretty similar in the longer works, although now I can occasionally tolerate them again.

            1. Yes, that had to be about the best way to do it back then. The best collection of books for research available anywhere, all in one place and in a system which helped finding what you might need. Too bad for writers who didn’t live anywhere close to a big city with good libraries.

  2. Thought on “reaching a milestone”.

    IIRC a “Milestone” was a marker that told the traveler “where he was and how far he had to go to reach where he was going”.

    So you’ve reached a milestone.

    Now you know where you are. Which is mostly always a good thing to know. [Smile]

    1. Except if you know where you are, you can’t know how fast you’re going. And if you know how fast you’re going, you can’t know where you are. (One reason to never let physicists drive, or put cats in boxes.)

      1. … never let physicists drive, or put cats in boxes.

        Now that’s just ridiculous; everyone knows physicists never get any [cats].

          1. Yes, but after the incident with the “cluster” carp munitions, the cats aren’t allowed to operate siege weapons without proper oversight. At least, that’s what we *tell* them, but you know how felines are, never listen- or if they do, you never know about it anyway.

      2. Well, it turns out that the Debye wavelength of a 4,000 pound vehicle at 55 mph is negligible, or in engineering terms close enough.

        (I liked that prof; he gave me some cadmium.)

  3. Let’s see now, you also pounded out Through Fire, and polished off Dan’s Euclid and badgered him into actually putting it up on Amazon. Two trivial things I know (actually in Dan’s case, more of a miracle).
    I myself slept ten full hours last night. No earthly idea why, but my body obviously needed it. Retired now and anyway it’s the weekend so no big deal. I’ve learned to listen to the body, in amongst all that whining and complaining it does occasionally tell me something useful.
    Good to hear you pitched that realtor who wanted you to give him a quick sale. Hold out for what you really think the place is worth, and ask for more so you have some room to negotiate.

  4. “Work hangovers” will always get you in the end. You’ve had an awful lot on your plate for a long time, so it’s no wonder that you dropped after driving yourself so hard! With the way the real estate market is in Colorado, I would think your house would be sold within a week at the most!

      1. Does your listing specify that the house does not overlook the Animas River?

        It might help.

          1. Yep – SGC had to come up with some excuse for all that icky alien blood in the river. “I know, tell them the EPA did it!”

        1. There’s a local newspaper, the Silverton Standard, which claims to have published a letter warning of exactly such an incident. That it wasn’t an experiment which happened to go wrong, but a course of action would lead to a release of material, eventually.

          There are claims that the EPA caused it on purpose, so that they could have the jobs from running the clean up. Which sounds appallingly evil, for them.

          Given their prior behavior, the Obama administration, and the Iron Law, this is sadly not so much of a stretch.

          1. Which sounds appallingly evil, for them.

            Had you said incredibly evil I would challenge you, but appalling evil is SOP at the EPA.

  5. Yup, I did the body-going-to-bed-brain-can-follow bit last night too, after getting seriously dehydrated. (Got wrapped up in lesson planning and test writing and didn’t drink anything. Oops.) Then went to the gym this AM and realized that for the first time this year, nothing hurt that wasn’t supposed to. How odd. But I’m getting a sense of how the rest of the Powers book will go, and the next Baba Yaga story is starting to shape itself in the hind brain. And a bit of “Patterson’s War” popped up this AM.

    I vacuumed yesterday. A.T. Cat spent the night replacing what I so carefully removed. *le sigh*

    1. We thoughtfully selected a couch with a back that Kili could mold into perfect perching point, in the same color scheme as the cat. This is perfect for hiding the fur accumulation at the preferred ambush site, but alas, it still must be vacuumed. The cat objects with furious sheddery to this disarrangement of her environment.

      1. Some days it’s almost, almost enough to make me think fondly of the fudge-ripple shag in my first grad-school apartment. Almost. The joys of calico cats – they can always find something their fur will stand out on. And her back-pattern is a form of night camo. Then she squalls because it is YOUR fault that you couldn’t see her in the dark.

        1. Reminds me of a rental house with green rugs throughout–all remnants, different shades, heights, patterns, and a plaid with yellow.

          1. The rental we had when we first moved to Ireland had carpet sort of like that. When you got to the top of the wood stairs you could see the olive tile pattern carpet of the hall. On the far left was my sister’s bedroom with a turquoise tile pattern. Directly in front of you was a tiny bedroom which came furnished with a crib and horrifying hot pink and orange swirl shag. The bathroom to the left had the same pink and orange shag with olive fixtures (which actually went quite well with the carpet in the hall.

            We eventually learned to ignore it, but then my grandmother came to visit and practically screamed at the visual assault the first time she went upstairs.

            Downstairs I remember that the living room had some sort of generic brown pattern carpet, the dining room was I think some sort of cheap wood, and the kitchen had linoleum with a tile pattern. The pattern in and of itself wasn’t bad, but it emphasized that there wasn’t a single right angle in the entire house.


                (Joyful glee, no thanks to the lack of help at WordPress, who basically shrugged “I dunno” when I told them several months ago that I couldn’t post.)

                1. … and now I’m wondering if it’s that I’m traveling. Hmm. If it happens again once I go home, I’m going to know where to look…

  6. Ha! Yes, I just finished the first draft of my novel, and so my lizard-brain is saying, browse the Internet for a week! Watch cute animal videos!

    Hopefully what I’ll actually be doing is putting some baseboards down.

      1. Speaking of which, you should very seriously consider publishing a collection or collections of your blog posts. Group them by category. Your posts on your perspective as an immigrant to America would be especially valuable to a lot of readers, particularly younger ones growing up in the proglodyte monoculture.

        1. I believe Mad Mike did something of that sort, mixing in some short fiction, essays and other such brain detritus — you might check with him on Tour of Duty‘s sales and his process in selecting contents.

          1. Is that an invitation to the Huns & Hoydens?

            I suggest the first step might be asking T.W. if Baen would want to publish something of that sort. If she say jah, then she will give you criteria for choosings, eh? If nyet, then you be taking the Indie Road and are free to listen to the great unwashed (well, I showered this morning but most folks seem to think I grate, so halfway there, right?)

        2. I always tell the hubs and anyone else I can about the immigrant stories you tell. They’re my favorite posts. I would definitely buy that book.

  7. No, you’re never done raising a child but if you’re lucky and successful there comes a point where you have to take another step back and let them mostly raise themselves.

  8. … we still need to get a realtor.

    What happened to the broker you interviewed last weekend? Sure, you can’t get any broker, but I was under the impression you thought that one acceptable.

    1. Every prospective employee invited to an interview is acceptable on paper, but a wise small business owner doesn’t stop at the first candidate. 🙂

      No sense putting any less thought into selling a high-dollar piece of property than into selling the intellectual property!

    2. He came back with the equivalent price of $1.75, if you throw in a pack of gum. I mean, he gave us an estimate commensurate with the price houses half the size of ours with fewer amenities (modern heating/air conditioning). I mean we could reconcile ourselves to “low ball for quick sale” but what he came back with was risible.

      1. Ouch.

        A reasonable assessment is sometimes hard to get; certainly harder than an unreasonable one.

        I assume you’ve done your due diligence, looked at comparable square footage in the neighborhood and similar neighborhoods, with similar amenities/appliances, so you have a sense of what the market currently is. Unless and until you get several realtors “clumping” their estimates I doubt you need to revise your expectations.

        Lots of realtors in the sea, no need to settle for the first one that bites.

      2. And you let him/her walk out unscathed, or with the “never darken our door” admonition?

  9. I know what you’re saying… I just finished a first draft of a novel– need to go back and color in the lines. So I am relaxing a bit (an hour or two) before I go back to the short stories I need to polish.

  10. My milestone today is actually my youngest grandchild’s. She is off to college. That makes us officially elderly. Not that being 78 and 80 wasn’t enough to make us notice. Her sister started med school this month. Wishing them and yours many, many wonderful milestones.

    1. My husband’s nephew’s son started college this week. Nephew posted pictures from the first day on campus today.

      Our youngest still has two years of high school while some of husband’s nieces have grandchildren now. If I hadn’t had that last miscarraige, we’d have one with a year or two of middle school still.

      We haven’t decided whether this makes us feel really old or really young.

  11. A wise woman told me when my youngest moved out, “you know that empty-nest thing? It way under-rated. You’re going to LOVE it!” And I have.

    1. That reminds me of an old Cheech & Chong skit. A couple notices that all of the children are out of the house at the same time.

      “What should we do now?”


      1. I don’t know how many times we’ve said that.

        But they’re never gone for the three months it would take us to pack…

  12. Congrats to Robert, and will he let those of us who read Ninja Nun if he plans to continue it?

    1. He does plan to continue it, but he was assaulted by trilogy which is consuming all his time outside class. It’s called War In Heaven and includes angels with machine guns…

  13. “Hit’s not the ‘eavy ‘aulin’ what ‘urts the ‘orses ‘ooves, but the ‘hammer ‘ammer ‘ammer on the ‘ard ‘ighway.”

    Although truth tell, it’s both: the age PLUS the miles. There’s some other factors in there as well, which might as well be regarded as elements in some awe-inspiring equation. First we are without power and understanding as babies. Then we gain power as adolescents, and understanding as adults, and for a while, we are bouncing along on the sweet spot of the power curve, with so much to spare that we don’t even notice we are spending away.
    The final stage is husbanding our few vestiges of power to disseminate our wisdom, before tat, too, is gone. Our best hope is to dispense the last bit of wisdom, with a kiss, with the last breath and the last heartbeat.
    Or to be shot by a jealous spouse.
    Either one will work, really.

  14. Ah well. I’m a bit older than you, I know, Sarah. Wondering if I’ll get to everything I want to do (just had ten planned books blow up to fifteen today – which is not a BAD thing, but it’s like looking up and seeing that you’re barely into the foothills…)

    Best wishes on the house sale – dang it, there have to be some people around there that aren’t actually buyers’ agents with a false mask on.

    1. Real estate is not kind to the virtuous. They can and do exist, but they have it harder than the unscrupulous.

  15. “Do you know when you finish a book and your body goes “I’m done” and for a few days falls into something akin to flu only it’s not, and you sleep a lot and end up watching the A & E edition of Pride and Prejudice and IF YOU’RE LUCKY don’t read all Disney comics for 2 months?”

    Mind you working on projects in parallel has many, many, many flaws, but at least doesn’t have the sharp transition problem.

  16. “Do you know when you finish a book and your body goes “I’m done” and for a few days falls into something akin to flu only it’s not…”

    Very well — and I’m not even a writer. (Though I’d like to be.) “Major project coming up” becomes “major project underway” becomes “major project in the homestretch” becomes “out of time and major project MUST BE DONE RIGHT!” Stress buildup, energy buildup, adrenaline buildup, and you never realize your body & brain (especially brain) have been running on reserve energy for days… until major project is over, you don’t need to be at high energy anymore, and your energy level crashes. I call it “post-project crash”, and I always need a day or so to recover from it.

    (Something similar often happens with long-planned vacations.)

    1. There’s actually a sound physiological reason for that reaction. Your immune system reacts quite strongly to “I don’t have time to get sick,” and bumps up the troops. The problem is that you can’t run your physical systems on overdrive forever, so the moment you think “I’m done,” they all say, “Great! Now we have time to rest up for the next round!” So you get all the tireds from not getting enough sleep PLUS any mild infections that you’ve been fighting off, and you basically crash.

      The only real solution is to get as much sleep as you need on as regular a basis as you can, and eat decent food as much as you can, to try and keep yourself in good health.

      1. Those of us with the black dog for a companion have to be extra careful of those precautions. Sleep deprivation and low blood sugar are major short term triggers, and if you run out your reserves on a project the crash is that much more devastating. Heck, that’s 75% of my therapy right now: go to bed on time and eat at least thrice a day. Gotta be watchful that you don’t mistake that forced rush for something sustainable, too; that’ll bite you hard on the nethers before too long, depression or no.

  17. Did you find a realtor yet? I messaged you via FB about Creed Spillane, a great guy and realtor, if you’re still looking.

    1. My husband has narrowed it down to two, but I don’t remember getting your PM. Just in case the two don’t work. Because our house is in an idiosyncratic area we are looking first at realtors who specialize in it.

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