Every day, it seems, I'm starting over. Why? In large part because I don't have a "real job" to go to anymore, I have a new lover and I spend more time at his place in Manhattan than my place in Rockport.
Before, my life was defined by my responsibilities. To-do lists, sticky notes and various computer and smart-phone calendars took me by the hand and walked me through my day. Partly because of habit, I still use all that stuff but it no longer occupies a place at my core. It's like a motor without gas. If I want to use it, I suppose I can fuel it up, add volition to the exercise of penning "want to's" that magically transform to "to do's" should the need arise. That stuff can structure a day and a life. It's lucky but it's scary to live a day without it. Try a couple of years...
Nowadays, to-do notes can be ignored with little consequence. I'm starting over, not just today but every day. Continuity, like meaning, is something I have to invent. Or, should I say "reinvent" since nothing is the same and what happened yesterday is relegated to simply that — yesterday.
— In Free Fall, you get used to the feeling of vertigo —
In Free Fall, I've learned continuity doesn't come naturally. Life for me is more random, though I find I move from association to association as if problem-solving. I find a recipe I like on Epicurious, for instance, look for something yummy I want to serve with it, head down to Chelsea Market to buy ingredients, cook, eat — a food chain of sorts! This is also how I write and think. It may frustrate some of my readers because I like to grab these associations when they happen, fill them out, move on. I can't write chronologically and I suppose I'm saying I'm finding it hard to live chronologically. Can you live like one of those super bouncy balls, careening from one thing to the next. Order? Process? No, it's free fall, but with vigor.
I haven't imposed much discipline beyond the essentials: feed cats at noon; go running sometime during the day; read the paper (if I get to it); submit my book review by 10 a.m. on Wednesdays. There aren't hard links that draw me through the minutes of my life like before. I didn't leave behind a half-filled cup of coffee or a magazine proof that needs a third review or a boss pacing, waiting to deliver the next big job. Continuity, then, is something far more amorphous, than I've known. Nowadays, staying confident requires a strong component of faith (not religion).
If you read Jim's (my lover) blog (Jimat70.blogspot.com), he says the same thing. He's starting over. But he's 70 so maybe starting over at 70 and being a man is different than starting over everyday at 61 and being a woman in waiting for the next really cool thing to happen. And it always does.
See freefallrae.com for a related blog, where I share my day-to-day adventures. You never know what you'll bump into when you're in free fall.