I spent a day with beekeepers. The idea came from many articles in the news on the decline of the bee population in the Toronto area. Really, worldwide. Without bees, we can’t have avocados. Without avocados, what is the point of living really?
Seems city bees are not unhappy or declining after all. There are various gardens everywhere, and they are living the bee dream.
It is the country bees that are dying off with all the single yield crops. I hadn’t thought of it before this day, but all the soybeans bloom at the same time. The bees go crazy, then they have nothing. Bees work. When they don’t work, they die. There is no retirement plan for bees that have finished their soybean pollination. Just death.
Aren’t we all just a little like that? I fantasise about the days when I retire from being a mum (ha, that’s funny) and from doing dishes and making meals. I sit by the window and read with a coffee in my hand in most of those daydreams. Realistically though, I’d get bored after a few dozen years of that. I’d need to get off my six-hundred-pound ass and maybe clean my coffee mug that has so many layers of backwash covering the inner walls that it looks like the inside of my colon.
Staying busy keeps you healthy and makes you live longer. My grandpa, an active 101-year-old, will tell you that is his secret. Well, that and his daily dose of whiskey not a minute before 4 o’clock. It really is 4 o’clock somewhere.
One of my favourite grandpa stories happened when I called to find out what he was up to for the day. He had to help, “the little old lady in the condo below his with her washing machine.” I shook off the possible euphemism and asked how old this little old lady was, and he replied, “I’m guessing 80.” My grandpa was 92 at the time.
Age is not how you look but how you feel. My grandpa felt better than 80 so projected everyone older than that to be actually old. Today I suspect his age is catching up to him finally, but he still lives on his own in that condo, has a girlfriend ten years his junior, attends exercise class three times a week, and walks the halls every day. It takes more than a century to catch up to that man. He’s also blissfully unaware of the time so it can be 4 o’clock all day.
Those bees and my grandpa know that if you are not busy, there is no point. I have been a tiny bit busy this year, but what happens the next year and the years after that? It is a real concern.
Sure, next year I am likely to have a book tour and signings all over the world. Howard Stern and David Letterman will be knocking on my door to have a long-form interview, and Oprah will add my book to her list, but that is fleeting too. Even if I have another book in me (spoiler alert: I do), it will never be the same as this year has been. Nor can we afford to have my next book be about my travel bucket list. That one is never ending even for an Oprah book-club author.
It does worry me though, stopping this fun train. It bothers me that depression will find a crack and widen it to a crevice, and invite all his depression friends like anxiety, PTSD, and a little bipolar for comic relief. Sitting on the couch with the remote in my hand is the soybeans of life. Fun for a little bit, but then, when the bloom wears off, you realise the meaning is gone, and some part of you goes with it.
I do not want to be that person again, and I will fight my illness in the octagon if I have to. It will be the hardest battle of my life, but it will be worth it. Living, being, and doing are the point, and the variety of the city garden is going to be my muse. I have added tap, the food bank, and knitting to my list of weekly activities already. Besides, there are still plenty of weeks left in the year to find something else new. Maybe I should be less worried after all. I’ll be busy. And, our kids are still in the house so I should hang out with them sometimes too. You know, formative years and all.
Seems like the coffee and staring out the window might have to wait. Wellness comes first. Well, after that glass of whiskey because it is 4 o’clock somewhere.
My Turning 50 Like a Boss Pro Tip: Just keep moving. That’s the point.
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