Today is The Joy of Aging Gratefully’s tenth anniversary!
Ten years ago, when I began this blog, I felt positive and upbeat about wringing out all the endearing, enlightening, encouraging, and educational things to carry us through the last years of our lives. As it was when I began JOAG, I’m retired with no responsibility to anyone other than myself. I have friends, family, books, and all the comfort creatures of home (plus Kali) to live out my life in a rewarding and contented manner.
Well, fellow elders, as you all know, lots happened beyond our control that has challenged the ease and comfort of the past years. Like arthritis and death of loved ones isn’t enough!!
Then came the weird times of bad politics, COVID, the threats to our democracy and unbelievable fires, floods, wind events, and “super” storms of all kinds affecting every corner of our planet. It’s been a challenging time, a time I certainly never anticipated dealing with during my retirement. In a way, this blog has kept my head above the fray, for the most part, staying positive and moving forward with cautious enthusiasm.
One of the main reasons I’ve kept producing The Joy of Aging Gratefully is because it ensures I continue to seek out that which will keep me, as an elder living in today’s society, happy and healthy for as long as possible. I’m constantly reminded by all that I share this content with that we need to put in the effort to help these times become and remain some of the best of our lives. It’s easy to be negative, to gripe, to give up. Writing JOAG, I push myself to stay in that positive place that fills me, that keeps me uplifted (most of the time!) and reassures me of just how little it takes to keep a smile on my face.
I’m very pleased to know, after all these years, the concept on which this blog was founded remains true today: We all have right now, in our possession, everything we need to enjoy peace and joy in our remaining time here. I know sometimes it doesn’t feel like it, but in the long run, life is good, and we are fortunate to have all that we have for ourselves and to share with others. When we avoid overthinking, it’s easy to see our happiness and joy is found in our friends and family, our pets, books, nature, shared meals, continued learning, and other simple aspects of life.
People who know me know that lots of the issues, advice, admonishments, and lessons I share here are just as much to educate and inform me as they are for you readers. I’m the one who needs to be reminded about the purpose of transformation and making uncomfortable changes, and of not being afraid, and always being open, and not judgmental. I need to be strong yet soft and quietly compassionate. When you read these words know that I’m reminding myself of the valuable lessons to never forget.
Producing this blog helped me find my community. That community includes (but isn’t limited to) Rod, Kris, Fran, Jeff, Christine, Tina, Sara, Melanie, Angie, Sharon, Shirley, Art, Laurie, Gretchen, Gloria, Yen, Adam, Marcia, Derick, Keith, and many more. A special thank you to Edward Viljoen and Barbara Stafford who helped this blog come into being more than ten years ago.
Thank you and here’s to ten more years!