As some of you have heard, I am writing my second memoir about how the sacred and the secular co-exist. Most of the time I’m having a good time writing though occasionally I feel stuck which my writer friends tell me is normal.  

I’ve started thinking about a title. I want it to be catchy and explain what I learned each month during my year-long termination process.  My plan is for this to be a book that would make sense to a reader even without reading Fear, Folly & Freud: A Psychotherapist in Psychoanalysis

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Sometimes I scratch my head when thinking about a new title. I look at the titles of other people’s books. My favorite title so far: Aging for Beginners by Ezra Bayda. Isn’t that a great title?

It’s also a good book! I am learning as I’m reading it that some of my fears about aging are shared by others and are normal.

Bayda writes that when he was younger and feeling like a beginner in life, he coined the phrase, “the anxious quiver of being” to describe how his anxiety and confusion felt. When I entered Freudian psychoanalysis in 2007 I wish I would have had those words to describe how I was feeling as they fit for how I felt.

Now, years later, Bayda writes that he is feeling like a beginner again – but this time about the process of aging. Being closer to 76 than 75, I’m feeling like a beginner about aging too.

I am trying to remember the perks of being a beginner. Ideally being a beginner means that you don’t expect yourself to know all the answers and that when you need help, you ask for it. I want to remember the excitement of starting something new that is also part of the beginning phase of any project – even aging.

Are there places in your life that it might be helpful to you to think of yourself as a beginner?

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4 Responses

    • Hi Diane! What a gift to be with a toddler – and also exhausting! Just had the thought that most toddlers nap.
      That’s what I have been needing these hot smokey days when beginning Chapter 7!
      Enjoy every minute and thanks for being in touch after reading! Much appreciated.

  1. Of course I am a beginner in learning how to be single. A book given to me by Lucy Elrick (UMC pastor who lives here at Brio) had a quote from Sonja O’Sullivan who summed it up well for me: “I must learn to: open bottles, move the furniture, open stuck windows, go home alone, investigate the noise in the night, eat alone, make decisions alone, handle money alone, go on trips alone, fight with service companies alone, be sick alone, sleep alone, sing alone.” Some of those I already knew how to do, but the truth in the “aloneness” sometimes smacks me in the face. I had always tried to imagine what it would be like but could not even get my mind around that possibility. Now, as in so many things in life, I am learning as I go.

    • Thank you for such a poignant message Sue. Learning as we go is certainly another definition for being a beginner.
      Sending love,
      Nicky

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