Lee Wochner: Writer. Director. Writing instructor. Thinker about things.


Phase 3

I had a big birthday two weeks ago, which prompted me to run some of those life-expectancy calculators once again. They agree that, barring the proverbial misfortune of getting hit by a bus, I should live to age 90 or so.

So: sometime next year, I’ll be in Phase 3. Meaning I’ve got 30 more years to potentially read all of the thousand books piled up in my writing room.

In celebration of the big birthday, I threw a big birthday party for myself. My girlfriend strongly suggested that I hire a party planner and caterers — and even referred me to a party planner — but my own plan was to spend a carefully budgeted amount at Costco* and then enlist my three adult children in preparing and serving it all. This saved me an amount calculated in the thousands, and everyone seemed happy… even those children**, and even the one who is in the Army and who has bulked up extraordinarily and who was on the receiving end, in the kitchen, of a longtime friend of mine ordering him several times to “drop and give me 10!”

(*Yes, I rejoined Costco. Which is not for the faint of heart — and surely not for those of us who like to spend only 30 minutes grocery shopping, working directly from a list. Oh, the things I’ll do for a party!)

(**Well, to be honest, my daughter was a bit put out that my birthday party was being held on her actual birthday. So much so that she swiped my “It’s my birthday!” sash and wore it for herself, posing for photos in it. I myself never got to wear it… which I’m not counting as a loss.)

After all the weeks of prepping and sweating over the party — which included developing three sets of custom games, because I’m a lunatic and thought it would make things more interesting — Comic-Con was right around the corner. With all these doings, July was a write-off, and by the end of it, my house looked like a tornado had struck it. Only yesterday were my son and I finally ready to start restoring order, he by vacuuming and cleaning everywhere, and me by putting away all the detritus: empty boxes, assorted decorations, read or unread magazines and newspapers, clutter, and many many many birthday bottles of bourbon.

Perhaps I should also mention that I started the month recovering from a case of Covid, which put me behind a bit….

But, I’ve moved on. I neatly sorted and put in order all the comic books and magazines and books I’m in the process of reading. I washed all the bed clothes. I trashed/recycled debris. And I’m at my office right now, having brought here some things better suited for here. (Like soda, which my son and I generally don’t drink. And like lots of receipts I’d piled up at home.)

Yesterday, I put away my suitcase for the first time in months. Actually stored it in its storage space. That’s because I’m not going anywhere for six weeks. What I’ve reluctantly learned is that even if I unpack and restore right after a trip or an event, it still takes days or weeks to set everything straight — for me, at least.

Maybe I can do better in Phase 3.

2 Responses to “Phase 3”

  1. Adrian Says:

    That all sounds, fun, productive and stamina-demanding. Three essential ingredients for phase three. Go Lee!

  2. Dan Says:

    Sounds like you’re getting your priorities straight as you head into that final glide pattern. As for me, at age 72, I can now just discern the distant lights on the far-off foothills of approaching early old-age.

Leave a Reply