While "snowed in," I've taken some time blog-hopping to my favorite sites to catch up on a couple of weeks worth of posts. My insides feel warm as I listen in on the thoughts of my online friends. I imagine I'm up in a balcony looking down at a party, quietly observing and enjoying the conversations going on.
At the same time, I feel like an outsider. I don't experience that as a negative so much as an awareness that I am in a different place in life.
I look with awe upon people like Liz, Troy, Phil and Rosa for their energetic and prodigious postings and extensive community building; my envy goes to Jory for her ability to speak with powerful transparency, and to Tony Clark for his artistic and resonant style that speaks to many. I feel tickled by Kammie's energy and touched by Kirsten's affirmations, and cheered by Starbucker. I feel a kinship with Rick and Dick because we share similar life philosophies, perhaps because we're closer in age. And Halina, I take great comfort from her soulful wisdom. These are only a small sample of the many wondrous bloggers I read.
What I am understanding is that we each need to be who we are, where we are. Today I am not the same person I was in my 20's and 30's. Nor do I have the same body - darn!! I still have a lot of energy but desire to direct it differently.
So much of my energy during my 20's and 30's and even 40's focused on proving myself, and being there for others. Today, in my 50's I am learning to get into step with my own "timing" and to be there for me. It's having a sense of checking in with myself before I accept an external "rule." Sometimes that means I blog frequently, and at other times I don't. (Dick Richards also discusses blog pauses.) It's taking the time to separate out the nagging pressure of ego-shoulds with what fits me instead. It doesn't feel easy yet, nor have I stopped comparing myself to others.
I'm enjoying my new business, the stimulation it brings, the networking with other investors, the partnerships, the deals we get under contract. It's almost like a game. I devote time and focus and energy and money to it. But I don't take it all so damn seriously like I did my previous careers and businesses. I'm not chasing after Success with a capital "S." Been there, done that. And I predict I'll make more money with this attitude than I've ever made.
I don't have great ambitions to make a huge splash in the blogosphere, or anywhere for that matter. I'm grateful and happy for all those who do make a big splash in positive ways so that many can benefit.
Okay, I'll admit there's a part of me that says I'm "supposed to" care about that stuff and play "bigger." But it feels rather hackneyed. While I've been involved in personal development all my adult life, the buzz words don't motivate me anymore. Now, from the perspective of middle age, it's the time I have with the people that matter - people like family, daughters, friends that take paramount importance in my life.
I don't crave more information from outside, tempting as that is for me. Instead, I strive to hear my own voice, and connect to others from that place. As Alexys says in her post The Right to Fly, "Blogging is a clearinghouse of thoughts. Thoughts that may go unheard if they don't have an outlet." No matter my age, I still need to know that when I put something out there in a post that it lands somewhere.
The 50-something years gift us with wisdom, perspective, and a quiet confidence and assurance that we can tap into. I've always been a late bloomer. I still have lots more blooming to do. The difference - I need to honor my own tempo now and slow down to take in the scenery. Along the way I'll do my best to remember to trust myself. That's all I really need to do. The rest of life will get handled in due time. And that's all for now from this baby boomer.