Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Life Gets Real

It is a fact of my life that if I join a trend, it is approaching its expiration date. When the latest and greatest begins, and something else has arrived to replace it, that’s my signal to jump right in. Do I have an iPad? No, I do not. Am I on Facebook? Yes, as of last year — right about the time when pundits starting saying it was so yesterday. Now that there are articles commenting on the death of blogging, I thought I might try it.

I am a week past celebrating my 57th birthday, and my mother just celebrated her 94th. My father was a man who did not eat right or exercise regularly; he started smoking when he was 14 and never stopped. Even in the nursing home, we found out that he had been bribing his roommate, Al, to go get him some smokes. That’s right. My father bribed Al, a man who, when he was not using a nebulizer, was rolling up and down the hallways in his wheelchair. My dad was a wiry Norwegian, stubborn as they come. He died at age 84. All of this is to say it occurs to me that I may live awhile. I will add (she says, not wanting to tempt the Evil Eye) that one never knows. Cancer, blood clots, the Crosstown bus. It’s a minefield out there. As long as there are decent odds that I will continue on for a while in this life, I want to make sure I can still grab a new experience or two as I wander down the path. This is why she’s blogging? I hear you ask. Well, yes. And no.

I wrote my first song when I was 17. It was terrible but there was something about the process of writing that I could not get enough of. The blank page is like an older sibling who sits there and tells you every idea you have is just too stupid. Then you sweat out something wonderful and it is received, perhaps even respected, and you feel washed and refreshed on the inside. Working with words and music helps me make sense of my world, sort things out. It was my armor in adolescence, and remains a treasured tool, a shovel to dig my way out of collapsed emotional tunnels. Time is ticking and I’d like to finish one of the six plays or maybe a couple of the four short stories I have started. I find I cannot always summon the discipline required to write. It has been said that politics is the slow boring of hard boards. Same can be said for writing, although I would choose working with words over working with politicians any day.

My website [] has a link to a newsletter. When the newsletter was added to the site, there was an expectation that I would be writing a newsletter each month. That has not happened. Will having a blog encourage me to write more often? I don’t know. What the heck is the difference? Either way, I have to sit and write something, send it to my friend, who takes out her red pencil and has her way with my offenses, both in punctuation and grammar. Maybe it just sounds better to say “I have a blog” rather than “I have a newsletter.” My mother’s senior apartment complex has a newsletter.

I’m looking at this blog not only as a replacement for the newsletter but also another way to grease the cogs and wheels in my aging brain, and keep it as flexible as I try to keep my body. How often will this blog appear? We’ll see.

It’s a new activity for me. I’ll try it and see how it feels. This time of life, this post-midlife adjustment, is a curious place. Even as I hold firm to the comfortable and familiar, there’s room to try new things.


  1. Blogging is like writing to your bestest friends but not having to repeat yourself and so more people get to hear from you. It's like a Christmas letter but more often. I find that if even one person responds to a comment I have made, I will be encouraged to continue. And so I encourage you to continue just like with your poetry in high school and your first notes singing.

    Speaking of you singing, I especially like to remember that you sang at my wedding and the guests were hoping they could stay in church and listen to you rather than trudge through the growing snowdrifts for another chicken dinner.

    I for one am looking forward to your next posting.

    Love & hugs,
    one of your biggest fans,


  2. I applaud your ability to express your thoughts and feelings through words - both here and especially your songs. Keep writing - I'm listening!

    Your 57 yr old friend,