At the third retirement home, administrators insisted she use a walker when she turned 97. She would constantly leave it behind in the building and then have to retrieve it. She didn’t need it and hated it. She was known by other residents as ‘the woman who walks so fast’. Of course, this was done away from any staff eyes.
The sad truth – people falsely label us and age us. We have to be vigilant not to believe them.
I’ve spent years in the adoption field guiding adoptive parents through parenting issues that baffled them. In my late 60’s, the parents in one group encouraged, then insisted, I write a book on adoptive parenting.
I knew I didn’t know how to write a book, and, secondly, I was too old to attempt such a feat. Eventually, I decided to just try and was immediately hooked into the writing process. I found it exhilarating. “Insight Into Adoption” was first published in 2001 when I was 69. The second edition was released in 2009.
I still had things to say, so tried a novel, again something I didn’t know how to do. Once more, I was carried away with the process. I sat down at the computer each day in anticipation of what the computer would write. After several hours, I’d read what was there and was surprised. It was as if someone else had put those words into my computer. My first novel, “Randy’s Ride”, was published in 2009 when I was 77. I have another one completed, but not yet submitted for publication, and still another one in my head waiting to be printed out. And, I know there will be more. I’m eager to get going.
I’ve discovered a whole new world. After years of being a ‘hands on’ Mom, a corporate wife, a part time employee, and busy with community activities, I now am “playing on my own playground”. I’m loving it. I’ve learned so much about writing, publishing, and marketing. My enthusiasm for life is higher than it’s ever been.
Doing something new, anything new, is essential to keep, and even enhance our joie de vivre. Experts say we need to get out of our comfort zone to stay youthful. I started with much trepidation, but after making one baby step into the unknown, it was exciting to anticipate the next step. Sometimes I’d have to pause a little to get up my nerve, but plunging ahead is an exhilaration that’s very motivating. After being on this earth a few years, we know it’s okay to fail at something. The important thing is we tried, and will try again. That’s what’s worth waking up for every morning.
Oh, and one more thing, negative thinking is not allowed in our house. When one of us slips up, someone gets us back on track. Our lives and our health mirror our thinking.
Barbara Taylor Blomquist
2204 Croydon Walk
St. Louis, Missouri 63131