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Balancing Act

Posted by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
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on Thursday, 10 January 2013 in Uncategorized

Tonight I went out to dinner to celebrate the 70th birthday of a dear friend and at 75 (almost 76) was able to...well, not to impart wisdom, that's for sure!...but to look back and remember age 70, which was just yesterday. Or maybe last Thursday.

Things that have changed for me in the past five years—apart from the obvious—are that I have quit both skiing and horseback riding. There were subtle...okay, not so subtle...hints that my sense of balance was not as good as it once was. In short, that I was suddenly in danger of falling off the same horse I once felt very much at home upon...or of ending up in a snowbank with my skis cross-crossed above my head.

Here I am at Aspen maybe 15 years ago. And here I am, on horseback in Montana 5 years ago.

 It is good, I've discovered, if you are able to laugh at yourself. Like the time not long ago when I was alone, on snowshoes, outside my Maine farmhouse, and fell in the deep snow, and couldn't get up. That's right: could not get up. I sprawled there, laughing, and then found myself thinking two opposing thoughts at the same time. A friend was inside the house, and I found myself thinking: I hope she looks out the window, and comes out to give me a hand; and at the same time: I hope she doesn't look out the window and see what a complete idiot I look like.

It takes you by surprise when things begin to diminish. But other things become, oddly, enhanced. The enjoyment of a wonderful book, or a concert, or a dinner with an old friend. My amusement at a cat's antics (mine just jumped on a table, overturned a saltshaker, and scared herself). Life's pleasures are still enormous...just somewhat different. The balance of things has changed.

I'm not ready for the rocking chair, though. I have a plane ticket for San Francisco week after next, to see both a daughter and some old friends. And Paris in April, with a longtime pal.

I have a lot of books still to read. And some to write, as well.


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Jane Hinrichs
Jane Hinrichs
I'm a wife, a mom, a writer and an artist. Currently I'm working on a young YA book called Giant Sophie. I hav...
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Jane Hinrichs Friday, 11 January 2013

Thanks Lois. Laughing at oneself -- I sometimes can. Other times I cannot -- gotta get better at this!

Jill Comcowich
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Jill Comcowich Friday, 18 January 2013

Lois, This isn't about laughing at oneself, even though it is a life-saving trait. This is a long-overdue thank you, and I didn't know where else to write to you.

Thank you for The Giver series. I should have written you a long time ago (I've taught the book for at least 10 years). The message would have been the same as it is now. My 8th graders are obsessed and enthralled by The Giver. Some are furious with you for "not giving more information and forcing me to continue to read to find answers"...but they "can't stop." Some say, "She is toying with my emotions and my brain." I LOVE IT! One said, "I'm so frustrated I want to punch something...I want to keep reading, but I'm still thinking about something else in the first book; I want her to resolve that." The library is now empty of all copies of the rest of the series, and I bought two copies of Son from Amazon b/c I know the library won't be able to keep up. When the kids get this wound up about personal freedom and individuality and their prices, I know the book has done its job. Thank you for your awesomely-twisted stories.

Gigi DeVault
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Gigi DeVault Saturday, 19 January 2013

At 62, I no longer attempt to golf, and am delighted with that decision! I, too, miss horseback riding and downhill skiing. But I can still be in the snow - closer to the ground (sometimes exactly as you have described it!). Most of all, as I age, I enjoy not missing one iota some things that I have happily left behind. High heels, in situ corporate competition, pretending to watch football, caring about what men (in the collective) think. So, yes, a balancing act - and grace...a quality you exude. So happy I found your website! Looking forward to seeing what you do next!

Clay
Clay
Clay teaches 7th grade Language Arts and enjoys reading, writing, cooking, and sports. He belives teaching mid...
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Clay Saturday, 19 January 2013

Mrs. Lowry,
I am sending off my late Christmas gift to my step-mom - who was out of the country for the holiday and rather than risk it getting lost or stolen I decided to send it late. The gift is - your four books, the quartet with a note from me and your acceptance speech for the Newbery Award for The Giver. I am including this blog post as well, perhaps she'll get a chuckle out of it as I did. We all age, at 51 I am hardly as strong, or nimble as I was when I was younger and I know my days for the 'balancing act' are coming, some day. But each year I tell myself and my seventh graders, when I start acting my age, then I'll worry. Take care and thanks!

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