Writer, author, memoir teacher. I write about the connections we find by giving each other the time and space to be heard.

Get It Down (While You Still Can)

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Does anybody but me have this underlying anxiety, this fear of aging, of being unknown? Some days I think it’s the malady of our age. Otherwise, why the popularity of so much “escape” entertainment, TV, movies, the web, video games, gambling, drinking, etc. etc.? What are we escaping from? Facing our feelings, says Dr. Margaret Paul, author of Inner Bonding. We are afraid of facing the loneliness, heartbreak and emptiness of our lives, and our helplessness over others.

James Taylor sang “the secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.” But how can I do that? It’s passing, tick by tick of the clock. Yesterday, I was in high school, now I’m collecting social security. What happened in between seems like a day, a week, a month at most. The great actress Maggie Smith said, “old age is like having breakfast every half hour.”  

How do we come to terms with this, if ever? I want to. I don’t want to be an anxious old woman. I want to live with purpose, to do something worthwhile and do it quickly, while I still have time. Maybe James is right: the secret is enjoying every minute as it passes, not because it passes, not focused on the passing, but on what is here, now, this moment.

And maybe that is the reason for the popularity of memoir writing. We want to record that we were here, that we learned something, that our lives had meaning. Invariably, there is something in everyone’s story that teaches us how to live, reminds us what we have known but forgotten, gives us permission to be whole.

Now, at the beginning of another season when so much is unknown, unwritten, my heart quickens at the thought of people sitting down at keyboards, or picking up pen and paper, ready and willing to discover the hidden treasure, the meaning of their lives.

And maybe that’s the cure for our free-floating anxiety. Slow down time. Stop the clock. Face what your life has been and decide for yourself what it all means. Then, adjust as needed.


If you’re local to Bucks County, PA and would like to start your memoirs with likeminded folks, consider joining me in person (Yay!) for a six-week workshop in Harleysville at the Mennonite Heritage Center, from October 12th through November 16th.


This month, I’m restarting book giveaways! Comment on this blog post and I’ll put your name in the hat for a signed copy of Where the Stork Flies, my new novel written as a memoir by a modern librarian whose search for her best life pushes away her family. Lucky for her, time travel connects her with her ancestors and she learns a thing or two about women’s friendship, faith and unconditional love.

If you don’t want to be in the drawing, just put “No drawing” at the end of your comment. No problem!

And enjoy this new season, whatever you do.

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