Sunday, March 26, 2006

Elderblogger

I found Ronni Bennett's blog, Time Goes By, shortly after I started my own blogging journey. I was immediately captivated by both the clarity of her writing and by the depth of her posts. She is insightful and humorous, and more often than not, leaves me with a jump-up-with-fist-in-the-air, "YES!" feeling.

She writes about what it's like being older in our (western) society and examines the biases and issues surrounding aging.

From her blog site bio, she states:
In my private hours now – age 63 at this writing – I am excited about exploring what getting older is really like. There is precious little information available in popular writing that is not negatively focused on disease, debility and decline. But I don’t believe getting older could possibly be as bad as our culture makes it out to be.

Lest you think it's a whiny blog about issues only related to aging, let me say that she looks at the broad spectrum of society from politics, to healthcare to almost anything that touches us as human beings.

I've occasionally left comments on her blog and was flattered when she added my site to her blogroll of Elderbloggers (you'll see us listed on the lower left sidebar). However, it's taken me some time to embrace the term elderblogger. In my mind, I always equated elder with OLD – and I don't feel old. Yet, as I've let this term settle into my consciousness, I realize that it's not so much about age, as it is about a way of looking at the world from a different perspective - an elder's perspective.

As I further examined my feelings about this, my attitude towards the word changed. I've known for some time now, that the way I view the world and how I deal with things in my life is completely different than how I dealt with things in my twenties, thirties, even forties.

There was a time when I had to win every argument and respond to every annoyance. And if I wasn't confrontational about it, I made my family miserable with my griping and complaining. I wasted a lot of time and energy on things that, ultimately, didn't matter. People who know me probably don't recognize the above self-description, but that's because I was always very "nice" in my disagreements and arguments. In truth, it was the underlying turmoil that was most counterproductive.

So how have I changed in the last few decades?

I'm not so quick to judge, for one, and no longer think that a jerk will always be a jerk – that people are capable of changing for the better if they're motivated, encouraged and nurtured. Instead of feeling helpless because the problems of the world are too vast, I believe in doing things within the realm of my smaller world to affect change – I believe in the ripple effect; one good action setting off a chain of other good actions. I don't feel the need to prove myself, my competency or my intelligence anymore. Instead, I'm content with a quieter introspection and the realization that others will judge me however and in whatever way they choose – whether I like it or not. I no longer think it's necessary to respond to every little challenge or argument anymore – as if it's some red badge of courage. Instead, I stand up for what's truly important to me and don't waste my energy on petty issues.

The passage of time, experience and maturity have all brought me to this state of elderblogger-ness. The more I think about it, the more I appreciate where I am in my life.

So now, I've come to embrace the term Elderblogger and thank Ronni for including me as one of them.

8 comments:

TedMcDermand said...

hi! i'm an elderblogger also. trying to live with aching knees but stil enjoy being a freaky poet and artist

groundhogger from
bluewarp

Simply Coll said...

From one Elderbogger to another.. thank you for this post. :-)

Cate said...

I really enjoyed this post. There are so many good things about getting older (namely, you get smarter and reprioritize!) but you're right--that positive stuff all gets pushed to the side and attention is on how our appearances have changed, how much sicker we are, how much slower we are. BULL! It's all in the way you approach it. Most of the elderbloggers I have "met" possess an energetic, take risks, positive and enthusiastic approach to their lives!

It's another thing I love about blogging. The anonynmity of not knowing, in many cases, if the person you are reading about is 20 or 70 or somewhere in between.

P.S. I didn't mean to discount sickness, though, in my above "monologue." I just don't think it's fair for society to make assumptions that most older people are sick or debilitated.

ell said...

It's been great finding all those vibrant, intelligent, creative and positive elderbloggers out here in cyberspace.

And Cate, you're right, the anonymity of age allows all of us to converse in a more open way.

I love this time in my life - though I DO wish my knees were younger, so I could get in more ski runs in a day! :)

Joy said...

What a wonderful post! I identify with what you wrote about priorities, acceptance, and perspective. I'm glad I found your blog as well as Ronni's and Judy's and several others from links. We Elderbloggers rule. :-)

Schmutzie said...

Congrats on the status! I am a huge fan of Time Goes By, and it is an honour to be recognized.

Junebugg said...

Thank you so much. I'm 50 and tired of everyone telling me how old I am and that life is over. I don't feel that old and I still do most of what I want. I prefer to think that I've reached the stage of life where I can pick and choose instead of be driven by fate. You put the way I feel into words. I got here through Ronnie's site.

Journey Through Life said...

I loved this post! I'm only in my late 30's, so I don't have the wisdom and experience of an elderblogger, but there are so many wonderful things about getting older. I would never choose to go back to being younger. I like all the things that I learn and the ways that I have and continue to change and grow.

I loved all the descriptions you wrote about the changes that have occurred within yourself - how you approach life differently now. That is the absolute beauty about moving through life. I look forward to continuing to move through the different stages of life.

JTL
xxx