Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Easement

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.

15 comments:

Pauline said...

Oh Roberta, I am GLAD to see you have returned to blogging. I am also glad to see you are doing it for yourself and not for the rest of us. To see in print what one thinks, to have to sort out the words and the ideas and make them coherent to one's self, that, to me, is one of the pleasures of blogging. As far as I am concerned, you'll make a delightful elder!

WheelDancer said...

Clever, witty, wise or silly, the lucid turn of your prose is a pleasure to read. Glad you have chosen to enrich the internet once again with your wonderful writing.

Dick said...

Welcome back to this small corner of the world, Roberta! I'm glad you're back.

In the final analysis, whatever the nature, content and style of our pronouncements, the consistent reward of the blogging process is the company of friends. For all my falling stats in the face of attempts to broaden the readership and the discouragement that results, after nearly eight years I've built up a circuit of like-minded (or maybe more, like-spirited) e-pals and I keep on keeping on so as to stay in touch with them.

As for the 'elderly' tag, I'm neither in denial nor gloomy acceptance. I'm 65, which statement of age I see solely as a function of the means by which we measure the passage of time. I'm still me much as I have ever been, a little wiser in some areas, as foolish and wayward as ever in others in a world that's disappointing and distressing and exciting and life-enhancing in equal measure. That's the be-all/end-all of it as far as I'm concerned. Onwards and sideways, as a friend of mine has it.

So. Business as usual, then?

Joy Des Jardins said...

A beautiful, wise, and insightful first post back Roberta....and I'm so glad to see you dear friend. Whatever words and thoughts you let flow in your future posts will be absorbed and appreciated to their fullest because they're coming from YOU...and I have always loved what you have to say...and the unique way you say it. You are a special and treasured friend...and I have missed you. ~Joy

Roberta S said...

Hi Pauline. I really thought by now you would have forgotten me, but no, we're still friends, and while you've been thinking about me, I haven't stopped thinking about you. Thank you for the grand welcome back.

Roberta S said...

Yes, Dick, business as usual or so it seems. Love the adage "onwards and sideways" -- descriptive of a path that allows a little sidestepping and beats in every respect the tipsy path of my youth - you know, three steps forward, and two steps back. Thanks for popping by to greet me. I was worried about you for a time--almost too worried to read what you were writing. Hope all is good now.

Roberta S said...

Hi WheelDancer -- great to hear from you. Still wishing I could have accompanied your group on that gorgeous autumn ride. Sticks in my head what a grand biking day it was -- can't say I was green with envy because I wasn't -- when I looked at your pics I was autumn gold, and brown, and red, with envy.

Roberta S said...

Joy, you are such a dear. Thank you for visiting me, for welcoming me back, and for sharing your thoughts about the stuff I write. It is not always absorbing, of that I am quite sure, but I still thank you for the vote of confidence in my rants. You make me feel it is truly nice to be back.

Alan G said...

Roberta….

Well….I am sure you can imagine my amazement this morning when I found you had left a comment on my blog and informed me that you too had just returned to the blogging playing field. That was just too cool….if I, at this age, may be so bold as to exclaim. As you may have deduced, you were indeed, one of those favorite bloggers I referred to so it is quite coincidental, if not right down uncanny!

Anyway, welcome back and “ditto” about all those elderly things you mentioned. I found myself in a situation quite like you as my bucket of stories and experiences had seemed to have run out. I admittedly however have enjoyed my break of some six months but have always felt that to continue blogging was actually somewhat therapeutic, especially when it came to mental health. But doing something with no measure of passion associated with it is not my style. I suspect the same is true with you.

Look forward to future posts and again, welcome back.

Scotia said...

Ah, nice. Welcome back. :)

Roberta S said...

Thank you, Alan G. & Scotia for such welcoming encouragement upon my (still rather precarious) return to the blog world.

joared said...

Glad you're back, whatever you write. I don't think you're "elderly" yet -- an "elder," yes. Check out the difference, with the former meaning much more physical debility that I perceive you having. You can call yourself whatever you want -- wanted to give you something to stimulate those brain cells.

Roberta S said...

Hi joared, thank you for joining the welcome back committee. I always enjoy your comments, waves, and acknowledgements. Physical disabilitie? Not sure...if this includes inability to focus, form time commitments, and being well organized, I might be a little bit past 'elder' (i.e. closer to elderly).

If (and here I'm just guessing) the most significant marker of old age is loss of humor -- mine is till in tact regardless how the rest of my endeavors succeed or fail.

Anne said...

Two things to get out of the way, Roberta. First, we're here because we've always enjoyed your writing. Second, glad you're back again.

I was just talking to someone about that time you were discussing the irritating disappointment of generic friendships. Remember that? Great post.

And how and when did this 'elderly' thing happen? Over time, it creeped up on me as well. I was shocked last year to suddenly realize I had 'granny hands'. And then every thing pretty much hit the floor.

Roberta S said...

Hi Anne, I'm so pleased you stopped by. And I'm flattered that you remember the blog about "No-name yellow brand friendships".

Yes, time passes quickly. You may think your hands are aging, but take delight girl in the fact that your memory is still right up to snuff.

Enjoyed your comment. Thanks again.

And where are you writing rants these days??