This blog, started in 2005, has always been a place for me to reflect upon my life, whatever I am dealing with or learning about. At 66, that reflection has softened and widened.
The first few years (which I lost when I moved my blog to wordpress) focused on learning to run. I went from someone who couldn’t run more than a minute to a 50 year old who ran five half-marathons. Those were proud moments. I also experienced an online community for the first time. Is it dramatic to say this changed my life? It did.
Phase two: I learned all I could about the internet, finishing a master’s in instructional technology. I was an early adopter, and I often faced challenges and push back from my teachers as I tried to help others learn to use technology in the classroom. But I was a true believer, and I started a laptop program in my school, the second in the state. Once again, community helped me learn about wifi, cables, programs and apps, and how to best serve students. I still laugh when I think about downloading Manilla to our server to be able to have my first blog!
Why did I ever think I could be a poet? But I did. So the next few years I wrote about writing, publishing, and writing groups. Though I no longer write poetry, I renewed my love of words and still read and share verse often.
Upon retirement, I began letterpress printing, which brought together my love of words and quotes and a new passion for learning an old skill. Printing brought me back into community with caring folk, both young and old, who share their knowledge and love of letterpress.
These days, I am beginning to write about Alzheimer’s and the difficulties of caring for my mom, who is suffering. I write “suffering” because she is in the stage of knowing how much she has lost, yet still mentally “with us.” I try to balance what is best for her with what she wants— and it’s not an easy dance. Once again, I reach out, knowing there are others who have walked these steps.
For all the negatives of social media-and there are many-I am grateful for the community of friends and thankful for the support. As Mary Oliver says, “how miraculously kind some people can be.”
by Mary Oliver
Everyone should be born into this world happy
and loving everything.
But in truth it rarely works that way.
For myself, I have spent my life clamoring toward it.
Halleluiah, anyway I’m not where I started!
And have you too been trudging like that, sometimes
almost forgetting how wondrous the world is
and how miraculously kind some people can be?
And have you decided that probably nothing important
is ever easy?
Not, say, for the first sixty years.
Halleluiah, I’m sixty now, and even a little more,
and some days I feel I have wings.