Monday, June 04, 2012

promptings—now a blog for old fogeys

In November I will have been blogging here at promptings for eight years. Eight years! In all that time I've resisted latching onto any one theme, wanting to keep this a place where I share the eclectic variety of my life.

Themes have emerged, though. In the last two years I've concerned myself pretty much with three things—my list of 1000 gifts, book reviews, and Thursday Challenge photos.

A few weeks ago I reached 1000 in counting thankfulnesses. Though I enjoyed keeping track of and posting about them, I'm glad that project is done. Now I feel like I'm entering a new season here on the blog and have been casting about for a new focus.

Last week I read Michael Hyatt's book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. I paid special attention to his chapter on blogging and got inspiration from what he said about why he blogs: "I blog in order to clarify my thinking and archive my best ideas. In short, I blog for me (But you are welcome to read along!) .... If you are writing, you are achieving greater clarity about your life, your work, and what matters most." Michael Hyatt, Platform, Kindle location 2204)

The idea of writing to figure out what I think about things resonates. I believe that's why many of us write—because the act of writing helps us to work through issues and ideas. So, I asked myself, what bloggable things am I preoccupied with at the moment?

My kids are grown up so I'm no longer working through potty training and adolescent discipline. I see my grandkids too infrequently to make granny topics a good blog focus. I don't have cancer, or diabetes, or any other chronic disease, so coping with sickness doesn't preoccupy a great deal of my thoughts. Neither am I into shoes, or decorating, or fashion ...

But one topic does keep coming to mind. Aging; my aging, the aging of my generation.

Even as I write that, I hear you groan. I hear myself groan. Yes, in a way it's a depressing subject. Who wants to dwell on losing function, on changes in us that society makes fun of and that we ourselves resent? And yet...

As I've been thinking about taking this tack, I've become aware of age-related stuff all around me.
  • There are a lot of us. The latest reports show how baby boomer seniors (we) are creating a bulge in the census numbers.
  • The government is taking notice by proposing changes in OAS (Canada's Old Age Security payment, which all seniors in Canada now get when they're 65; that threshold scheduled to increase to 67 in the years ahead).
  • People our age are handling retirement differently than those a generation ago.  We're living longer. Some of us are dealing with aging on two fronts—our own and our parents. We're working longer. Many of us are richer than our parents were. But some of us are poorer.
For the Christian, I believe aging doesn't have to be—shouldn't be—a negative thing. It means we're closer to what we've lived for our whole lives: meeting Jesus and hearing His "Well done."

Yes, some of the last steps will probably be awkward, uncomfortable, even painful. But by living with our eyes open to what really matters, perhaps we can take those steps with more foresight, purpose and intention.

And so I'm taking the plunge into exploring aging here on the blog—a subject I have been musing on for some years now.  I'll try to put up a new post on the topic each Tuesday. I hope you'll join me as I reflect on some aspect of the grey years, with the emphasis on aging gracefully and joyfully. We begin tomorrow with the review of almost-octogenarian author Luci Swindoll's inspirational book, Simple Secrets to a Happy Life.

(Wouldn't you know it, I'm launching this blog-focus during what happens to be Seniors Week where I live. If you're local, check out all the free activities for seniors in the Langley, B.C. area on this downloadable Seniors Week 2012 pdf.)

If you have ideas for topics, please let me know by email or in the comments.

Violet Nesdoly / poems
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CallingForth said...

Looking forward to this Vi:) I like how you have presented it...

The writings of our age group on spiritual things fascinates me ... interesting that as we went through the turmoil of 1960/70's - 'faith lost and searching' our writings seem to indicate that this is an ongoing quest - that we haven't found the answers... Recently read Barbara Brown Taylor, Nora Gallagher and always enjoy Kathleen Norris...and Philip Yancey...

violet said...

Thanks, Calling Forth! Now I need to check out some of those authors you name... There is lots of wisdom coming from folks our age, I know... and maybe some disillusionment.

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