I’m still not sure exactly what I expected when I started this blog. I know I wanted to write about how it feels to realize that I am middle aged (something I still tend to forget until I pass a mirror and think, “Who IS that old broad?” and then immediately begin to wonder if I can afford a really good plastic surgeon), and to share that with others who were also wondering how middle age had managed to sneak up on them. I wanted to write about the challenges of middle age, but also look for the positive so that the blog was more than just a boring series of complaints about my lost youth.
My intended audience was my friends and family, and maybe their friends and family who happened to be middle aged. I’d read far too many online attacks to be interested in trying to build a huge readership, since they would mostly be strangers who might not be nice. I figured that people who knew me, or knew someone who knew me, would be content to just think, “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve read in a long time” after reading a post they didn’t like, rather than feel the need to actually write that in the comment section. But WordPress is designed to connect bloggers who are writing on similar topics, so I’ve gotten comfortable with the idea of other bloggers reading my blog as well, and I follow some of theirs. Still, mine will never be a blog with a large following, and that’s okay.
What I have discovered while writing this blog is how very glad I am that I am writing it. For one thing, I really enjoy writing, and I especially enjoy writing when I don’t have to worry about an English professor grading my work or an editor rejecting it. It feels good to finish an essay and hit that “Publish” link, even if there is no check coming in the mail afterwards. I’ve also found that working on a blog post forces me to think about all the positive aspects of being middle aged: becoming more comfortable in my own skin, obsessing less about my physical imperfections, discovering what is most important in my life and becoming intentional about living life as fully as I can.
But the best thing about writing this blog has been the responses of people who are reading it. I’ve gotten terrific encouragement from good friends, received thought-provoking and funny comments from people I haven’t talked to in ages, and had many people tell me that I am writing exactly what they are thinking and feeling. I love being connected to people who are sharing the same struggles and are also finding creative ways to cope with middle age. We may not number in the thousands, or even the hundreds, but who cares? Sometimes good things really do come in small packages.