The Other I

July 2, 2014

The limitations of prediction

Filed under: Just Stuff — theotheri @ 8:41 pm

I’ve been pondering the fact that the number of posts I have been writing in recent months are getting fewer and fewer.

Why, I wonder.

It’s not that I don’t have anything to blog about.  I find it impossible to read about what is going on in the world and not find myself mentally blogging.  It might be about economics, climate change, war, religion, even the possibilities of humans managing to wipe ourselves off the face of the earth.  Or it might be more light-hearted things – like Dolly Parton being the most popular act at the Glastonbury music festival last week.

So why aren’t I writing more?  it’s something I have been doing since I was ten years old.  What’s happening?

I don’t know.  I am finding myself driven out doors to be more physically active than I can ever remember. Since I tire more easily, I often sit here in front of my computer screen too exhausted to string three coherent sentences together.  But I don’t know why I’m choosing to work outside rather than write more.

One of the things that is fascinating me is how hard it is to plan reasonably about how to get old.  When we’re young, barring the unexpected, we have some idea of how our capacities will develop over the years.  We have some idea ahead of time what it’s going to be like to be 20 or 30, or even 60.  But the energy and health levels get more and more unpredictable as we move into our 70’s and beyond.  Will we be able to handle this garden in ten years?  even in five years?  will I reach a point when I can’t handle my own bank accounts, or do my own tax returns?  What about cleaning?  and cooking? in  fifteen years?  twenty?

I’m beginning to understand how life overtakes people in their old age.  I have no desire to move into a care home at this point.  But when or if I need to, will I be too old to engineer it?

I’m not afraid of dying, although I can’t say I’m looking forward to leaving this fascinating place we call life on earth.  I’m just not 100% sure how not to let my last precious years drizzle away in an unfocused haze.

Getting old is a different kind of challenge than I thought it was going to be.


  1. Hi, Terry, so happy you continue to blog, even if less frequently, and w/o knowing exactly why. All the questions you raise about this subject are my own issues, too. Now 75, I have slowed down OH SO MUCH. Even so, I care for three precious granddaughters (ages 3, 1, 5 months) as often as possible ( such as right now). And I get very tired even as I LOVE taking care of them.

    I never visualized this to be my primary focus in late life when I was younger and seemingly endowed w/limitless, unbounded energy, enthusiasm, yes and zeal for – well, EVERYTHING!
    Truth be known, I continue to feel those same boundless interests in all things human (the ones you listed, for sure).

    Before my 75th birthday (in March), I declared that I will create my 25 year plan. I don’t want to come to the end of my life w/o having done the things most dear to me. I haven’t yet created this plan – giving myself a whole year to complete it. However,I’ve decided on format and will keep you posted as it materializes in time and space (and not just inside the bubble of my brain ).

    I love what you write. Most of the time, I feel EXACTLY what you describe so well about the important issues. BTW, how is your “research” into the question of war motivated by your recent reading about WWI? I wish I might have had time to follow up on the very brief dialogue we had several months ago when you first introduced it.

    In any case, please keep writing as often as you can. I must sign off here as my granddaughter Delaney (1 y/o) is awakening from her nap!

    Love you, Delia


    Comment by 1delia — July 2, 2014 @ 9:02 pm | Reply

    • Delia – Thank you so much for your generous and encouraging comment. It sounds as if I am almost exactly a year behind you, with a birthday in March as well, and I will read your “25 year plan” with very special interest. Don’t let it evaporate — even if you do have to pause to respond to Delaney and the other two – who no doubt are just as exuberant.

      Yes, I have continued to read and to try to think about the fundamental causes of war. I think it will be the subject of my next blog. Either that or this vexed question of equality. (Just between you and me, I find Pope Francis’ talk about “serving the poor” quite infuriating. We are all poor in some way, for heavens’ sakes! we *all* need each other, even if financially we are not living on the edge. I would be a disaster without what others have given me.

      Speaking of which – thank you again. Seriously.

      On Wed, Jul 2, 2014 at 10:02 PM, The Other I wrote:



      Comment by Terry Sissons — July 3, 2014 @ 7:43 pm | Reply

  2. There are days I feel like-wise though luckily not for long thanks to the distractions..


    Comment by tskraghu — July 3, 2014 @ 1:13 am | Reply

    • Oh Raghu, I think you are still too young for more than a passing whiff – wait until you are your mother’s age! Your energy is still vibrating through your posts – for which, btw, thank you.

      On Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 2:13 AM, The Other I wrote:



      Comment by Terry Sissons — July 3, 2014 @ 7:50 pm | Reply

  3. I am the same. My blogging is much reduced – and it is not really to do with the lack of thoughts. I think my physical exercise has let me get some of that ‘urge’ out that used to manifest itself in writing. I used to blog to feel better. Now a thought has to be on my mind for a few days before I feel the urge to post it.
    I still find life as fascinating. I wish I posted more often.
    I also blame my children for generating laundry and needing fed… 😉


    Comment by sanstorm — July 3, 2014 @ 11:01 am | Reply

    • What an interesting parallel – that both of us have found that increased physical activity seems to have influenced how often we feel the irresistible urge to blog. It doesn’t seem that either of us have given it up altogether – I still get a unique fulfillment out of blogging, which you seem to suggest you do as well. But it’s not everything.

      Ah, the children – I don’t have that responsibility. Not even grandchildren. I don’t even have students any more since I retired. I do wonder how I ever got so much done in those days.

      For what it’s worth, I do hope you don’t give up blogging. I very much enjoy your posts.

      On Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 12:01 PM, The Other I wrote:



      Comment by Terry Sissons — July 3, 2014 @ 7:58 pm | Reply

  4. Your insight about wanting to be out in nature is definitely shared by me. More and more I crave that nourishment for my soul and psyche, which is exactly what it is for me. Keep writing, though, I enjoy the thought you put into your posts.


    Comment by Kas Sartori — July 6, 2014 @ 9:25 pm | Reply

    • Thank you for your encouraging comment.

      I wonder if our religious background influences our need now to be out in nature?


      Comment by theotheri — July 7, 2014 @ 4:11 pm | Reply

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