Seven years ago I began blogging. And for some considerable time I wrote daily, then every second day, then twice a week, and then once a week…and then I stopped writing altogether several months ago.
I knew and more than once mentioned why I wrote that blog. I wrote it to circumvent brain rot and I wrote with the expectation of forcing myself into a disciplined and self-challenging act that would improve my writing. I think in many ways my writing did improve but what I didn’t realize until now is you can’t keep doing that. Expecting more and more of yourself without eventually burning out. And so I burned myself out and quit blogging.
But now there is something happening that is forcing me to reconsider whether the halt of my blogging is more bad than good.
I am now an elderly – no longer on the cusp, no longer near but yet so far – I am an elderly. My neighbor gets short with me and tells me “you are not elderly!” –but she is wrong. She is as much an elderly as I, but she lives in some kind of material world and technological time, that allows her to circumvent elderly with a little more bling, the latest fashions, the latest internet jokes, and frenzied gizmo aps.
While she endeavors to keep up with this merry-go-round of changes, I do traditional elderly things – writing, knitting, reflecting, spiritualizing, watching the news and ceaselessly groaning, as my mother did, and her mother before her, and her mother before her, “what, oh dear what, is this world coming to?”
And while I thus groan, my neighbor with much excitement and much animation tells me of the latest starlet, the latest song, the latest movie, the latest diet, the latest texting acronym, and the latest bow-flex, stationary bicycle, or stair-climber craze.
So blogging may continue, but it must take on a new face. It will be scrambled writing – no more that concerted effort to make it fun, witty, or wise. That is what led to my burn-out.
So now it will be scrambled, non-cohesive, dull, and often quite foolish, but that is because I now write for only one purpose – to avoid brain rot. No more writing to impress. No more writing to draw in a visitor or two. Because I am in authentic day-to-day reality, not virtual reality.
And in my day-to-day reality, there are far too many senior acquaintances of mine enveloped in dementia, or teetering on the edge of it for me to sit here and ignore how easily it can develop once the forgetfulness and dullness of mind sets in.
And so I return to blogging, but all that aside, a final thought about the distressing what-is-this-world-coming-to groaning I do. ‘Tis sad, but it’s okay. In fact, I’m thoroughly convinced it’s part of the greater plan—an easement as it were that makes the eventual leaving a somewhat welcome event. If all were as it should be I’d be so angry and heart-broken to leave the Garden of Eden.
But that is not the case. And the truth, if we can bring ourselves to admit it, is it’s much easier to depart from a place that is diabolically disappointing and distressing even if the way out is pitch black and sinister.