I 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!