"I’m one of those people who often gets told: 'You have an old soul.'"
Oh, magnificent Mark! Good luck with your novel but please write a memoir. I feel like you have so much to share that we can benefit from :)
This was fantastic! I particularly loved this gem, Mark: “There are so many pitfalls you can’t fully see when you’re young...and you’ll never know how dangerous some of those were, and how liberating those wins will feel, until you’re on the other side of the minefield.” So much truth! Really enjoyed reading your words this morning!
Echoing others by saying I loved this! Friendships, a choir to sing with, living in a place that you find comfortable/interesting (obviously not the same for everyone) really are the antidote to jonesing for what everybody else seems to have.
Wonderful piece! As a fellow 1959-er I decided in June that this is my "practice year". Each month I try new habits(tv free august), trips and experiences. Why do this monthly- I thrive with smaller goals!
Like you I mostly grew up in the North Country-Canton,NY- and have recently reached out to childhood girlfriends that share all my remember when we... moments. After 50 plus years of no contact AT ALL it's bizarre to share how we all impacted one another and how our family traditions and philosophies have echoed across time and the continents. I love your writing and look forward to your book! You put into words aspects and practices of being this age that I hadn't seen that I share. I'm grateful every day that so many of the things one thinks it's important to strive for in our younger years are now in the past. We know how stuff turns out, we've tackled the challenges, and the life list making of my younger colleagues is a thing of the past (partner, Wedding, career, residence and it's decor, children, their schooling and emotional growth, hobbies, etc etc). Thank you!
This came in the nick of time for me. Tomorrow (Sept. 14) is my 64th birthday. I am taking it very hard. I have friends, but don't have anyone close in my life and it makes me sad. I, too, write and this birthday has left me wistful and filled with many regrets.
Loved this. So down-to-earth. I like particularly that older people talk more fearlessly - I recognise that in others and in myself. Good luck with the book launch.
Sweetest story ever. From one old soul to another.
Thank you for the interview and this particular phrase:"Even if you don’t go at it intentionally, you shape yourself by every decision you make: What you read, your work, who you love, the people you chose to be around and where and how you make a home. With each choice you’re gaining something while putting something else aside — sometimes irretrievably."
What a great interview! I really love the insights about being intentional and choosing relationships and a certain way of life over a big house. Ordering OUTER SUNSET now.
This was a fascinating thoughtful piece. I was forced as a teenager to spend summers in an RV with my family. I can’t even imagine what year-round living like this would do to a kid. I’d love to read more about that.
Gosh, I love this! The decision to stay rooted is a big one. I know my adult child regrets that their father and I moved 900 miles away from friends and family when they were 8.
Ah but the mind remembers what the body forgets. And that’s a part of it as well.
Congratz on your novel. Lovely title.
Great essay. I’m 76 and also live in an area that has become increasingly unaffordable. I’ve been a renter on Cape Cod almost 50 years and don’t plan on leaving. I’m lucky to have a stable place. I mostly grew up in Maryland and the photo of you in Ocean City brought a smile to my face. Spent many many summer days there in the 50s, 60s and 79s. “Wacky, tacky Ocean City”. My parents ended up there and now my daughter lives in nearby Berlin.
"Every choice I’ve made since has been (consciously or no) to counteract that tight interiority I’d felt so trapped in that winter."
I so enjoyed multiple aspects of this, but that particular line really struck me. It's an experience I've only begun to have post-50-- having the necessary accumulation of experience to see the origin stories and through lines for so much of my life. Thank you, Mark, for articulating it so succinctly.
I really enjoyed this. It’s good to know that I feel like I’m on the right track and have some goals. My father and grandfather died at 64. I just turned 54. I’d like to accomplish so much in case I’m gone in 10 years (or less).
I've started to become aware of repeating cycles like Mark outlines here. It's kind of trippy to think about having lived through a few long economic cycles (at least the business cycles), and even stretching my brain to comprehend the last half-century I've been a part of.