My birthday is in a couple of weeks. I turn the big 6-0. Akkk. Can’t quite believe that. Maybe that’s why I’ve been thinking and writing a lot lately about the changes that come with age. Both physical and emotional. If you read my blog regularly you’ll know what I’m talking about. If not…well… it appears that I’ve been obsessing about grey hair and wrinkles. And what to do about them. Or not do about them.
And I’ve been thinking about identity, and how the major life changes that go along with age, like retirement, make us rethink who we are. And maybe even give us the luxury of crafting a whole new identity. But change, even welcome anticipated change, ain’t easy, people. It can be a bit of a bumpy ride.
Better have your seatbelt fastened.
I love Bette Davis. And her off the shoulder dress in this scene in All About Eve. Davis’ character Margo realizes in the film that getting older has its compensations. It seems funny now to think that Davis was only forty-two when she played the role of “aging star” Margo Channing. But aging does have its compensations. And retirement is one of them. And the new paths that we forge when we retire. Which for me included starting this blog, and then “meeting” all kinds of new virtual friends, readers who comment on my blog, and other bloggers. Like Katie who writes the blog Katherine’s Corner. For the last few weeks Katie has been running a series called Between the Lines which celebrates bloggers who are over fifty. Like moi.
I knew when I retired that I wanted to write a blog. And so I researched blogs, and made lists of possible post ideas, and hemmed and hawed about what to name my blog… ad nauseam. And finally I just jumped in. Pressed “publish”… and gritted my teeth. And sweated with fear. And embarrassment. What was I thinking? Okay, I was pretty confident about writing my book posts, since I had spent almost thirty years teaching English, and had been an avid reader for a lot longer than that. But, why would anybody care what I had to say about anything else… let alone fashion, or travel? Or life growing up in New Brunswick? But these were the things I wanted to write about. And since I had been teaching kids for years that they should write about what interests them, what makes them mad or glad, I seriously wanted to take my own advice. And if I wasn’t going to write about my passions, why bother writing at all? So, as you can see, there was a lot of hand wringing those first weeks.
And then I just settled into the blog groove. And it’s become one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever done. Right up there with that first grade nine Shakespearean Drama Festival: “The Faces of Love” that my friend Susan and I ran back in 1995. And which was perhaps the most satisfying moment for me in my professional life. When a reader comments on my blog that they enjoyed a post, or laughs at a silly story I’ve told. Or says that a fashion post has given them ideas for their own wardrobe. Or when someone says they really, really get the essence of a person I’m trying to describe, like my stepfather, who I’ve written about often. When readers come back to check replies I’ve made, and to read other comments by other readers, and then even begin a conversation among themselves, like with some book posts. That feels amazing. And really, really gratifying.
So a few weeks ago when Katherine asked for bloggers who are over fifty to be part of her series “Between the Lines,” I thought, “What a great idea.” The point of the series is to introduce “over 50” bloggers to each other and to the readers of their respective blogs. Hence the discussion of why I blog. Which I know is probably old news for those who visit here regularly. Sorry about that folks.
But if you click on any of the links below, they will take you to the posts of other “over 50” bloggers, who might be new to you. Or if you click on the title of the series Between the Lines, you can peruse all of the blogs featured in the series. And for those who are new to High Heels in the Wilderness, I popped a bunch of links into this post that will take you to other posts on my blog, about fashion, or books, or just about life. Hope you find something interesting to read.
1. katherinescorner.com 2. www.gwingal.com 3. mixwilliams.wordpress.com/ 4. www.jtouchofstyle.com 5. trueheartgal.com 6. mamaslittletreasures.com 7. highheelsinthewilderness.blogspot.com 8. stonecottageadventures.com
I must say… turning sixty… does have its compensations. A friend and I are planning a girl’s trip for the fall to celebrate my entrance into a new decade. We did this back when I turned forty… ah… twenty years ago…gad! … hard to believe. We plan to eat, drink, soak up some culture… there may be shopping. Ha. “May” is perhaps the wrong word to use here.
Okay, I confess, “may” is definitely the wrong word. Let’s just call it “aging compensatory shopping” shall we?
How about you, folks? Any significant birthdays coming up? What are the compensations of age as far as you’re concerned?