I had some fun writing Week 13's topic; Age. Remember that when I post my "Project 52" layout and journaling I'm always a week or so behind as I collect notes and photos for during that week for the week's layout. Same as in a photo Project 365, you take a photo a day and if you put them in a scrapbook layout you'd do that page after the week is done. So, while today starts week 15, I'm just now starting the write up and layout for 14, making 13 the latest. Age is just chapters in our personal books of life.
Age is good on some things, not so good on others. If the condition of an item is good it can be a “classic” or an “antique.” Cars over 25 years are classic cars, but they can still just be old cars if they bear the scars of fender benders past or rust has spread its cancer through the metal. A child’s toy that’s over 50 years old is an antique, but if it’s in more pieces that it should be, or if there are fewer pieces than there should be, its value and usefulness are not so high.
The value of people is not tarnished by age, not the real value. As you get older, your book of life becomes a greater volume. Every year that passes is another chapter of knowledge, of relationships of personal history. It’s another year of new companion books to the story of your life, some are new friends you’ll catch up on the parts already written in coffee shops and living rooms as you get to know each other and share the books of your lives. Some new ones will be children’s books with pictures and no words to be written in them yet. And your book has references to many other books, good and bad, as your book is written in the library of the world. Your book will recognize completed books; some with beautiful final chapters, some with abrupt ends, some huge volumes with dozens of chapters and some books that are too short.
When I look back at what I hope is only the first half of my book, there are some great chapters. There are also some chapters I’d like to mostly forget. The end of the 12th chapter was my very first rock concert and going to Italy, even though that chapter started with a broken front tooth that I had in my very first passport. Chapter 17 was when I finished high school and though it took longer than it should have, I love chapter 30 when I finally completed my college degree.
It was very early in Chapter 24 that I had lunch with a writer from Headline News at CNN Center and he told me that I should go home and sign up at Specs Howard, then come back and apply. Most of the rest of Chapter 24 was doing just that. It was a great chapter that I enjoy rereading a little of from time to time. For a few chapters after that I spent a lot of time in Atlanta, as a tourist and a job seeker. I had started a job a truly loved as a cable TV producer in Michigan in Chapter 26 and much of the next 4 chapters revolved around that.
In Chapter 28 two new companion books to mine started. I never thought children’s books would be as much fun to read or help write until I became an aunt. It’s amazing what plot twists can make your life story even better.
The plot hasn’t always been a great one. When my mother’s book ended after only 58 chapters, I thought the character of my book would never be the same. And for a while it wasn’t. In our bookcase of family, each book is so dependent on the books of friends and relatives for story ideas and the passion that makes us all great writers. We have many cowriters in the books of our lives and we co-write in chapters of many others. I was in Chapter 37 when my mother’s book ended, but you’d think I was in Chapter 3 and not able to write for myself for a couple of pages. It was one thing that I did in tribute to Mom’s book, a club I joined in her memory in my Chapter 38, which set my book on a coffee table next to another book I couldn’t put down. Mom’s book lead me to so many other great books through my chapters, of course her story’s effects on me still would! It’s a book Mom never read, but she would have loved the book being written by the man who became her son-in-law.
My book has had many twists and turns, Chapter 42 was the fun of eloping and surprising family along with steamy romance of newlywed life, but chapter 43 was a sad chapter of profound loss as 7 books in my bookcase became complete; one was one of my closest friends, John, after only 50 chapters and my grandmother and mother-in-law, both after 84.
As I move forward with writing my life story, though some books have ended and their authors no longer co-write any pages with me, the stories are still mostly good. They are filled with new endeavors and new ideas. There are new collaborators and new views from faithful coconspirators in my life’s capers. I have new challenges all the time which make for interesting and sometimes exciting stories as I face them and come out on top, which I usually do in one aspect or another. An optimist’s life story is an inspiring and fun read!
Age is a mindset. We ultimately don’t choose how long our books will be and we don’t always control what there will be going on to write about, but we do control how the story is told. The longer your book is the more cowriters you have and the more can fill it with your own history. We decide if it will be a happy, inspirational and strong book, a dark and brooding book or something in between. However you write it, like any book good or bad, it is part of the library of the world and will leave its mark on everyone who reads it.