Sunday, October 12, 2008

Reflective Musings for a Sunday Afternoon

Posted by PicasaI began blogging fairly recently – in early July. I had never even thought about doing it, had no real interest or even any curiosity, until a friend gave me an article about and written by older bloggers. It did prick my curiosity at that point primarily because I’ve always loved to write and have since I was a child. It had always been my escape from unhappy times, a way to sort out feelings, as well as just for the sheer fun of it. It offered a creative outlet that was important to me. I have published a few things, articles on parenting when my kids were growing up, some children’s stories, but I never really pursued publication for the eight books that I have written over the past forty or more years. Why? Because I was assured by nearly everyone from parents, to well meaning friends that it would just be a futile effort that would leave me frustrated, would eat into the time I needed to – depending on the stage of my life – concentrate on my studies, on my job, on my family. So, I put thoughts of writing for publication pretty much behind me and got on with my life. But I still wrote whenever I could find a few extra hours.
I never felt that I was missing anything as my life was busy, with college, with jobs, more college, teaching, raising a family, getting back into the work place and then suddenly I was retired – well, not suddenly I was sixty seven, but it was retirement I hadn’t planned on, but as those of you who’ve read my blog for a while know, the company was caught in, yes, another of those financial disasters and I found myself without a job. I was devastated, but decided I’d take a year off and then start looking for another job. You see, I didn’t really believe that age discrimination would have any effect on me! I was healthy, active, I had just learned to snorkel, I danced a wicked tango, I spoke Spanish, a little German and a little Japanese and figured I could learn more if I needed to. So, after a year in Mexico, I was ready to tackle the project of finding a new job. It took nearly three years for me to finally concede that there was indeed age discrimination and that regardless of how I felt and thought and/or believed, I was still getting ready to turn seventy!! Me?? Seventy?? Surely not!!
The next four years were difficult, painful, destructive in some ways because I let it all get to me and I felt much of the time that life – or at least an interesting one was pretty much over for me. Oh, I’d get it together much of the time – I took swim classes, I took short trips, went river rafting over class four rapids, jet boat cruises up the Columbia River to Astoria. I took poetry and life writing classes, got to California to spend holidays with my youngest daughter, and to Texas to visit my oldest son, made new friends – good stuff. But there was always that occasional dark night of the soul that led me to wonder what in the hell was I going to do with whatever time I had left.
Then my youngest son, who lives in Seattle, decided that I needed a keeper, built me a lovely space at his house and finally, after three years of talking it up, I was persuaded that perhaps it would be a good move – for both of us. It’s had its difficult moments – we had both lived on our own with only our dogs for company for a lot of years, we both accustomed to having our own space and sometimes the dark clouds would make it difficult to see the light.
And then I found blogging! What started out as a casual glance, was soon occupying most of my days and I had to make myself stop and take time to go my Tai Chi classes, do the volunteer work with the Jump Start program. Suddenly, my life was and is full, exciting, challenging, stimulating and, yes, fun! Even at seventy-five!
So, I’d like to thank my friend, Linda, for opening the door to blogging, and thanks to all the lovely, interesting, fun people that I have met through my blog site. It has become my voice, my place to vent the frustration with, not only growing old, but these days – politics; it’s a place to exchange ideas, to challenge me mentally and emotionally. It’s the best reason in the world to get up early and stay up late, for reading and learning, for sharing laughter and frustrations, for meeting new people, discovering new ideas and best of all providing me with a whole list of new friends.
So, we blog on Elders, just think how much worse off the world would be without our combined wisdom – whether anyone listens to it or not!


pink dogwood said...

I want to thank your friend Linda as well because if it wasn't for her, I would have never met you. It is funny how I often refer to something from your blog and say "My friend Sylvia.." - people say which Syliva - Then I say - well my blogging friend Sylvia :)

So blog on friend :)

Linda said...

Sylvia, you have blossomed since you've been blogging. I'm totally convinced now of the value of elderblogging. It's done wonders for you.

Mortart said...

Sylvia, I'm delighted that you entered the blogosphere. The posts on your own blog and your comments on mine have been thoughtful and insightful, and I am glad that we have gotten to know each other via this unique blogging world. I do not understand why you did not pursue publication of those manuscripts you have written. If they are as well written and provocative as your blog postings, I am sure they are worthy of publication as books.

Margie's Musings said...

What a lovely thought and blog today. I am 72...almost 73 and have a lot of life left. I will probably outlive my is nearly gone.

yet, I too enjoy blogging and scrapbooking.

ugich konitari said...


What a wonderful blog you have. Gives me a lot of inspiration. Am the next batch of elder types so to speak, just about to hit 60.

My best wishes to you. I have put you on my blogroll, I hope it is OK with you. (You might find some of your other friends there too....:-)

Darlene said...

Sylvia, I feel as though I really know you. I so appreciate your kind comments on my blog and after reading this post, I know that you are as nice as I had surmised.

I have been too busy with my blog and answering e-mails to be as faithful to you as I should have been. I will remedy that from now on.

Rain said...

I am glad you started blogging also as we'd never have met otherwise. I saw today that you were added to Time Goes By list of elder bloggers. Blogging is a wonderful chance to communicate with the world and make friends. :)

Judy said...

Sylvia, You are such a great writer. I love your blog and have from the very first time I read it. Like Margie, I refer to you and other bloggers in my daily life as if you were just down the street. I love all my blogging friends.

robin andrea said...

I came to blogging much the same way, after retirement. It has been an incredible adventure, and yes, so many of the people I "know" online feel like kindred spirits and dear friends. Our lives have been enriched in this most surprising way, and I feel so lucky for it. I'm glad we found each other, Sylvia.

bobbie said...

First - your butterfly picture is just beautiful.

Sylvia, I hadn't realized that you were that new to blogging. Me too. I stated at the beginning of the year

Writing is an escape. And for you it is also a real gift, which you have shared with us so freely. Thank you for that. You sound so much like me. I had about decided there wasn't much reason to get up in the morning, when I almost fell into blogging accidentally. What a difference it has made! So many new friends and interests!
Please keep at it.

clairz said...

Sylvia, I had to laugh when I read Judy's comment above. Reading what you have to say is such a part of my day, and my husband knows exactly what I mean when he hears, "well, Sylvia said..."

You should have a world map on your wall to remind you of how far your influence spreads. Put a pin in eastern New Mexico for me!

Aleta said...

Hello. I'm new to your blog and enjoyed your post. There's a lot of truth to it ~ that the world of blogging has opened up the potential of friends that wouldn't normally have been available.

Natasha said...

Hi Sylvia!

I'm popping by again!:) I've been checking out whats new, and I'd like to remind you of my offer to join in at :)
Do think on it!


Dogwalkmusings said...

Well, all the comments before mine pretty much sum it up. One thing though. You definitely do not need a keeper!

June Saville said...

Sylvia I have tears in my eyes. You are some woman!
Fun times, caring friends and wisdom on tap is what blogging means to me. As well as the possibility of sharing my body of writing which has lain in dark cupboards but is now being appreciated and is growing in size. (I'm speaking about Journeys in Creative Writing here of course.)
Sharing frustrations and knowledge - oh yes! (70 Plus and Still Kicking).
And emailing special chats with special mates.
This post of yours really hit the spot.
Thanks for sharing Sylvia.
I just heard the news about the huge rises in the stock exchanges in the US and Europe. Whacko! Ours was up the day before. Let's hope things continue this way.
June in Oz

1000myths said...

Many, many pennies for your Sunday Musings. It occurred to me as I read your piece, that we, "elderbloggers" have a special voice and a unique message which some might call
a "perspective" on things that comes from seeing both sides of the mountain.
Seeing life from the top of the mountain means that we know what a hard climb it is to get there and what a fast fall it might be to go to the bottom- unless we do it carefully and watch our step.

Having already made the climb, we understand how steep and frightening it can look from the bottom- starting out but it's not nearly as steep or challenging once you're on your way.

But the view from the top makes some of us a bit skeptical about the basic intelligence of the people who are about to embark on the journey we've already made. Have they got what it takes to "make the grade"? (pun intended)

Nice blogging with you. Talk to y'all again real soon.