Whipping up juicy morsels of brainy soul food

Reboot #??

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What began as a sandbox to learn about social media for my job became a jumble of blogs, sites in every app known to the world, and total confusion over what title went with which password. Trying to be clever got me into all kinds of numbingly long series of words, letters, numbers, and symbols.

I loved my job. I loved most of the folks I worked with, especially my cohorts in information and Web design. And I got to use a skill that I’m particularly comfortable with and suited for: writing and editing. What I didn’t love, nay hated and suffered from, were the administration and politics of the place I worked for, a first tier research educational institution. That’s it’s own kettle of wormy fish, that I’m not interested in any more.

What I AM interested in is aging, how to make it vibrant, politics, family, good writing and communications, and seeing and learning new things. Truth, justice, climate change, world peace–always at the top of the list. I love to travel, I think everyone benefits from examining life a little more deeply, widely, and fully.

I’ve written all my life. My mom was a writer, journalist, editor, reviewer, educator, and mentor to other such folks, of all colors and backgrounds, and a civil rights activist. She was fearless in speaking to truth to authority, racial and gender injustice, and life in general. Wealth and position had no more value than the poorest undergraduate moving mountains to get an education.

Now that I’m retired from higher ed, and in my 70’s, I question if I have anything left to say that’s worth saying, at least on a regular basis. Several new aspects have changed how I look at my life. Physically, arthritis and cataracts are becoming problematic. Psychologically, I found I have ADHD, which explains a LOT. I also learned that my ex, whom I lived with for 20 years, suffered from undiagnosed (as far as I knew) bi-polar disorder, which explains TONS. Thinking back, I can only say “no fucking wonder.” Cognitively, I THINK I’m OK; my forgetfulness is confined to non-critical facts, like phone numbers, author’s names, where I left my iPod–stuff that’s not going to cause me or anyone else physical or mental harm.

I’m better off than most retirees who don’t have rich parents. The minimum Social Security and teacher retirement checks just do cover the bills, as long as there are no surprises. I pay for continued health benefits from my former employer, which along with Medicare covers most of my health/dental/vision needs. Until major illnesses, broken bones, periodontal issues, and cataracts come along–then I’m in potential doo doo. Ditto for non-maintenance auto issues, rising utility rates, hotter summers.

So–what am I good for? Understanding. Listening. Sweetening anything you write. Standing up for the downtrodden. Compassion. Empathy. Smarts. Helping hand. Back-up. Anything to do with music. Kind observations. Wondering. Seeking the best in people. Sharing life experiences. Telling stories.

Done with regimented thinking, crack-pot politicians, dishonest capitalists, the fucking NRA, rape culture, child/partner abuse, gender shaming, testosterone poisoning, racism, demagoguery, anything that posits one human being as less-than another.

So here’s what needs to happen. I need to figure out how to lessen the impact of arthritis on my ability to keyboard, and I need to slow down my racing mind long enough to stick with one idea long enough to get it on paper before zooming on to the next million thoughts. I do have access to Dragon Dictation if I can get myself to another location to use it. I can’t even read my own handwriting now, so I have to remember to have a stylus in hand to use mobile devices. Devices, apps, programs are only as helpful as you can access them.

I need to reconnect to old writing/reading buddies and be held accountable to do SOMETHING, anything. Even if it’s only rummaging around old blogs and commenting elsewhere. Facebook does this to a certain extent, but I absolutely hate FB algorithms. You know what I mean.

Laser eye surgery is just around the corner. I need to research exactly how much it’s going to cost me out-of-pocket, and get saving. In the meantime, I’m limited to driving in the daylight pretty exclusively, and staying away from traffic where I need to be able to read street signs to get where I’m going. Yeah, Google maps, but you have to be able to SEE your device to enter your destination!

And of course, the usual. Eat better, exercise more regularly, keep a sunny disposition…oops, too late for that last one!

In the meantime, I wonder–why write? For myself, of course. If I’m telling stories, though, what would people be interested in hearing about? Growing up a PK (preacher’s kid)? Coming of age in the 60’s? Scrapes with authority? Sexual escapades? Travels? A life in music? Aging? Writing? Editing? Recovery from co-dependency? Life in general?

One thing I know for sure: there’s a dance in the old dame yet.




Written by kokopelliwoman

October 4, 2016 at 5:49 pm

Posted in Elderblogger

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