never married, over forty, a little bitter

judgment days

Having just started The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. by Adelle Waldman, I’m so glad I’m no longer experiencing the fraught dating years of my thirties.

I remember how much pressure I felt to “get out there” and “make it happen” while I still had time for marriage and babies. It is nice to be able to concentrate on other things now without feeling like I am “missing my chance” by doing so.

More on the book here:

ask the dust

When I went to my college reunion, which was held in a beautiful but smallish city, I had a casual conversation with a yoga teacher that I wrote about on this blog. The teacher had relocated from New York City and said that, while at first she missed being away from the “center of things,” eventually those feelings faded.

I’ve only been gone from L.A. for four months and I feel the same. For the first month or so I too felt like I had left the center of the universe, but now I barely think about L.A. at all. I’m only in minimal touch with a small number of people; that probably has a lot to do with it.

I’m still glad I went though. It’s like I was granted this other life that was carved out of time. If I do end up back in my former organization, my retirement plans will be delayed by the six years I was gone, but I think it was worth it.

playing fields

In its pencil and paper and online self assessments, positive psychology assumes that it is personal characteristics that are being assessed and that they are modifiable with the advice and exercises that the workshops and the books provide. The emphasis on character and character-building is neo-Victorian. Positive psychology assumes that life is a level playing field except for the advantages or disadvantages that people have created for themselves. It is not circumstances that matter, so much as what we think about them.