Monday, August 3, 2015

What a compliment! Looking back at my blog

I've been writing this blog since January 2010 - five and a half years. I started it at the suggestion of a friend. I hadn't retired yet, and I was afraid I'd become a bag lady. My friend suggested I write about it as an antidote to my fear. Now here I am writing as a discipline and as a reminder of my life and as a correspondence with online friends.

Last week's blog post got a comment that was so complimentary I wondered if someone I know was teasing me:
Just wanted to know that I recently found your blog and I love it. I went back to January 2010 and read them up to the present. I love all of the adventures that you and Art are having. I read your entries regarding your 2003 schooner trip and I think that my spouse and I might do it. It sounds like so much fun. We have done one Road Scholar trip a couple of years ago and enjoyed it very much. I can't believe how many trips that you have taken. I need to get on the ball and your blog inspires me to do it. Love how you are giving back. Can't wait for your next post.
The commenter, "Dreamer," just joined blogger in July and I am the only blog they follow. What an honor that they took the time to read my posts.

Each year I've ordered a soft copy of my blog, so I have a written record, and I read a year's worth every once in a while. Prompted by "Dreamer" I pulled out the soft copy for 2010. I was six months from retirement and scared but excited. I had some goals. Uncertainties. Wonderings. Reading those pages brought the time back and I saw it in front of myself again, the memories fresh as yesterday. And reading that volume made me realize how much has happened between that first post and this one, my 448th. I'm a mediator now; Art and I have taken 40 trips within the US and internationally; we've helped build houses for Habitat for Humanity; Road Scholar produced a two-minute video clip about me; I've organized annual weekends for six fellow bloggers; we've found a winter residence in Tucson; I've saved a life with CPR; I've found a faith community; we've got a family community on our property after years as an empty nester. I still weigh too much, still keep a to-do list in spite of my better judgment, still spend too much on mochas. As far as I can tell, I'm the same person I was in January 2010. Just older, with a second cataract being removed in September! I think we all have multiple events happening over time, but unless we write about them, they may get lost in the memory.

One thing I'm especially grateful for is that keeping this blog has allowed me to identify and refine my values. At present, they are spirituality, health, community, curiosity, and purpose. I find that if I look at my life as I go along, I'm more content if life is mostly aligned with those values, in that order. At the moment I'm a little hazy on purpose. I wrote last week that I've been bored. Most of things I'm doing are not new and a few are getting a little stale. I'm encouraged, though, that the hazy one is number five on my list rather than number one. And not because I moved it to the end!

In two days I'm flying to Toronto, being picked up by a friend who lives a couple hours north of there. Judy was my neighbor in Tucson for a couple of years. She and her husband Ken sold their place but we are continuing friends. I get the giggles with Judy. We gossip. When my husband Art had a cardiac arrest last year, Judy was an expert I texted for the first 48 hours. I asked last month if I could come for a three-day visit. Judy suggested a week. I said, "Isn't that too long?" She said, "Why? Are you  planning on being annoying? Bring a good book because you'll be sitting on the dock reading it." How lucky am I to be able to take this unscheduled trip?


Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Congratulations on five-and-a-halp years of fascinating and inspiring posts! Dreamer is so right! It IS interesting to
go back over blog posts and see how life has changed and evolved with time. I retired in April 2010 and started my blog in
October 2010, so mine just spans life from six months after I left my job and L.A. for Arizona. I love the fact that your blog has included the six months before your retirement -- with all the attendant fears and threshold anxiety -- and the resolution of so many of those feelings. Think I'll go back and read some of your early posts again, too!

#1Nana said...

I've been blogging about the same length of time, but you have been much more consistent than I. We've travelled the same roads and I love how our paths have crossed. I'm looking forward to a great gathering in October.

Olga Hebert said...

Greatly deserved compliment. You always challenge me to look at my own life.

Meryl Baer said...

You are an inspiration to so many of us. Keep up those trips and other activities! And congratulations on five years plus of blogging.

Eileen said...

What a wonderful validation of your efforts. Perhaps this is part of your purpose, to share your experiences with us. I know that I came to follow you blog because I was interested in your comments on life after retirement. My journey into retirement is still 44 months away but I'm a planner!

DJan said...

I am so happy that I've discovered your blog, too, since you've introduced me to a fabulous circle of like minded bloggers, the Vashonistas. You created that and I am always completely impressed with how much you accomplish. Makes me feel like a slacker in the blog department, but we are very different people and our blogs reflect it. Congratulations on inspiring Dreamer! :-)

Retired English Teacher said...

You are an inspiration to a lot of us. I remember your first posts from 2010. You have been my friend through thick and thin. We have texted. We have talked on the phone. We have had our weekends on Vashon. We have gotten lost trying to find that darn ferry. You have been my driver to and from the airport. Linda, you have been a constant in my life for five of the hardest years of my life. We met through blogging. That is just amazing. Dreamer has met Dream Blogger. You are one of the best. Enjoy your time girl.

Dreamer said...

What an honor, to have my comments, as part of your blog. No one is teasing you either. We do not know each other, but I am sure that I would count you as a friend, if we were to meet. I believe in giving compliments, when I see people doing a good job.

I have belonged to another computer site for many years. Another poster on that site mentioned that he had been reading your blog and enjoyed it and posted a link to it. I was intrigued with the name and started reading it. My spouse has told me in the past that I must think that I will end up a bag lady, so I had to click on the link. I am sure that your blog inspires many more people than the ones who leave comments for you.

You really did inspire me. I called and booked our first schooner trip on the Heritage. We will be traveling on it in September and we can't wait. I feel that I know what to expect, because of your blog. I love your explanations on how things work when you are traveling and your honesty. For example, when you were blogging about the Heritage and you stated that you felt like you were going to a party where you did not know anyone, I was nodding my head. That is exactly how I would have felt. I would have been hesitant to book this type of trip, but now I feel like I have attended this party vicariously through you, so I am able to take the leap. I told the person that took our reservations that I heard about the Heritage through your blog and she stated that she remembers you and Art. I know that you will be on your cruise to Eastern Europe when we are on the Heritage, but who knows, maybe we will be on the Heritage together another year.

Sorry that my comments are so long, but I wanted to emphasize, that I really do enjoy your blog and that you are an inspiration! Keep up the good work and I hope you are having fun at your friend's place.