Having lived a good life

Last night was the quasi-monthly meeting of the bookclub to which I belong.  Wait, I think I should restate that…of which I am a member.  That is more accurate, as after last night I’m not so sure about the belonging part.  The book we read was, The Middle Place, by Kelly Corrigan.  It was a memoir about the author’s and her father’s bouts of cancer which took place roughly at the same time.  Actually it was kind of a love letter to her father.  As such it was very well done.  Never mind that I didn’t really like either the author or her father.  The book was a quick read and is well written.

What it is also about is the time in life when you are someone’s mother and someone’s daughter at the same time.  You are in the “middle place.”  Before I go further I should say that I am the age of the other club members’ parents.  All but me are in their mid to late thirties.  Usually that isn’t an issue, except that they are all best friends as well and I’m just a fringe bookclub member.  But that’s okay.  The books are always good and I like the women in the group.  I’m just a lot older.  I was invited to join by one of the original members who has been my friend since we went through student teaching together a long time ago.

Last night as we discussed the book, someone said that “we” are all in the same place as the author of the book, which isn’t true for me, but NBD.  Eventually the zinger dropped.  “My dad just turned 60 this weekend.  He’s healthy and active, but really, if he got sick and died now, it wouldn’t be such a big deal.  He’s older, he’s lived a good life.  He’s not raising little kids.”  While I totally get the kids part, and I can’t imagine not living to raise one’s children, I’m definitely not in agreement with the other part.  She’s talking about my peer, and I don’t feel that the part about being done and ready to go now.  I have not yet looked at my life in that way.  I still see myself as having a lot of things left to do.  I’m not even thinking of retiring yet.  Frankly, the comment just creeped me out.  Made me wonder why I was there.  Or if I should return.  But I’ll get over it.  As long as the books are good.


6 thoughts on “Having lived a good life

  1. dkzody says:

    Lynn, you are so funny, and right in line with me! 60 and you can kick the bucket? Sheesh. Were we like that at 30? Maybe, but I’ve always thought 70 was a good life. Of course, I am not interested in retiring but I am ready to retool and do something different. This teaching job has just gotten too hard around here in the inner city.

    As for the book group, that’s why I’m no gungho to do much with the writing project people here.

  2. lynnjake says:

    My mom is 84 and going strong, so I have a definite view towards longevity! If I had been teaching long enough I think I’d be thinking about “retooling” as well. About the WP – have you gone on our ning lately? We’ve been having so much fun writing together. Some people write from far away, and others of us meet at Chico State and write together once a month and then read it out loud. We laugh so hard at some of it. It definitely takes the edge of a hard day!

  3. dkzody says:

    Hey, I met some Chico people today at Fresno State. They are mostly community college teachers and ROP and are coming to visit my entrepreneurship class tomorrow. I mentioned blogging with you to them when we talked today.

  4. lynnjake says:

    Interesting about the Chico people. I bet they will love your class, from the sound of it. I wonder if I know any of them. Chico’s pretty big, and I don’t teach at the college, so probably not, but could be!

  5. blkdrama says:

    Hi to both of you ladies who have come before me and are on my wavelength. 88 for my dad, 85 for my partner. My mom 90 and I’m coming up on 60 and can’t believe it.
    And to think I’m officially retired? No way!
    I’m proud to share this group with you two. I’m not sure about that book club Lynn.

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