Ever Onward

They say “time flies,” and that’s the truth.  And maybe it’s just me, but it seems that not only is time speeding by at an alarming rate, but it has brought more change with it than I ever thought possible.  It’s been almost eight years since I started this blog, and the changes that have occurred in those eight years alone amaze me. And I’m not just talking about the changes I see when I look at my stat page.

On the family front, both my son and daughter got married and became parents, which means we’ve added three precious grandchildren to our family.  Realizing I was old enough to be a grandmother was a bit of a shock, but the first time I laid eyes on my newborn grandson, I happily accepted my new role.  (Even though my requests to have my grandchildren refer to me as “Wise One” or “Goddess of Youth and Beauty” were ignored.  I’ve learned to make do with “Gramma.”)  My husband was diagnosed with colon cancer, went through the treatments and now enjoys remission.  We lost our great-nephew, a wonderful and much-loved young man, suddenly and unexpectedly.  My mother moved into a retirement home, which required considerable downsizing of a lifetime’s accumulation.  We said goodbye to our beloved Lucy, the smartest dog I have ever known, and welcomed Finn into our home.  Anyway you look at it, that’s a lot of change in a short time.

The changes in my blogging world aren’t nearly so personal, but they are plentiful.  My blog grew in unexpected ways, as I branched out from writing just about middle age and connected with people all over the world.  Some blogging friends and regular readers have faded away, but new ones have taken their place.  I’ve learned, mostly, to keep up with the constant changes that Word Press makes, although I’m still managing to avoid using the “block editor.”  (I’ve taken many writing courses, and not one of them mentioned “blocks.”) And sometimes I let my dog, Finn, write a guest post on the subject of his choice.  So yes, my blog has changed a bit in the past eight years.

I know that the upcoming years are going to bring even more changes, probably at an even faster rate.  My husband will go into partial retirement at the end of this month, and my oldest grandchild will begin kindergarten next year.  After over twenty years of walking shelter dogs, I’m recognizing that my body is now forcing me to pick and choose which dogs I walk.  Although my mom is still in good health, she’s reached the stage of her life where her need for assistance is steadily growing.  I also know that the time is coming, sooner than I’d like to admit, when I’ll be the one in the retirement home…..

`So I’m responding to all this in the only way that makes sense:  I’m accepting it.  In some ways, I also embrace and welcome the changes that life has brought.  (Did I mention my adorable grandchildren?)  Other changes, like the growing arthritis in my thumbs, I’d gladly do without.  But I know that the future will bring plenty of joy to offset the challenges, and that the key to aging well is to simply live as well as you can, each and every day.  And that’s exactly what I intend to do.

103 thoughts on “Ever Onward

  1. Good thoughtful post as always Ann. While we recognize the passage of time, we need to be fine with understanding there are just some things we can not do as well anymore. I am having trouble with that one, but will have to take it easier or at least slower in how I attack projects. I just passed 8 years since retirement date and am now on my 70th revolution around the sun. How did that happen? Stay well and enjoy the march of time when and where you can. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Allan! Yes, I do struggle with not being able to do the things I used to….but it’s just a natural part of aging. I’m very grateful for my overall good health, so I know better than to complain. And it is hard to realize how old we are now, isn’t it?

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  2. Just the other day, I mentioned to my dad how fast time has been passing by. He said, “wait til you get older” as in it really increases the rate. He’s about to turn 77. I believe him. This jump forward in the hands racing around the clock and pages flying off the calendar is perplexing- ha. When did my premie baby get old enough to study for a driver’s permit??? I love your post. People always say that change is a constant, I think they’re right.

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  3. Wonderful words Ann, and all so very true. I do think life tries to help us along in many respects- hopefully not creating too many changes all at once (although that’s not true for everyone) but giving us time to process each little nudge and step toward the slower and quieter days we all face.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, that is the best kind of change. And if I’m honest with myself, I think sometimes the change doesn’t actually happen too quickly, it’s just that I’m not always paying attention. If I pay more attention, I can see the changes coming and that gives me more time to prepare, you know?

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    • They really do! I get frustrated with the physical aspects of aging, and a little scared about the fact that many more years are behind me than ahead of me, but then I look at the grandkids and think, “It’s worth it!”

      Liked by 1 person

    • You’re so right. I’ve always resisted change more than I should (don’t ask me why). But realistically, it’s often a good thing. And whether we like it or not, change happens, so the only sensible thing to do is accept it!

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    • Ha! Didn’t mean to make you nervous, Janis! Bus yes, there have been some very big changes in our lives, and some of them were very hard. But others were good, and I think that’s just the way life is: a series of ups and downs, and all we can do is hang on for the ride. And thanks for the compliment on my grandkids, and your support for my choices of a “grandma name.” I mean, as long as we’re supposed to pick, why not come up with something a lot more fun that “Nana?” But when all is said and done, I’m okay with “Gramma!”

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  4. Great post. We just put my mother in a home. So far, no serious health problems. Well, see I’m in denial, cause I was diagnosed with A-fib. Kind of a slap in the face. So I take lots of pills and feel like a drug commercial. I’m so glad your husband is better, and he will certainly enjoy retirement, even if it’s partial. The grand kids certainly perk up our lives, but they’re also exhausting!!! But life is good!

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    • Thanks, Mimi! And I’m hope that your mom is happy in her home. I know that’s a hard decision to make and a hard thing to get used to. I’m also sorry to hear you have A-fib. If it helps to know, one of my good friends has lived with it for years. She had some treatments for it (electrical) but they didn’t help, so now she just takes blood thinners and mostly lives her life just as before. I hope that is true for you too!

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    • Yes, I’d rather have time flying too. And really, what is the story with the block editor? It was said to “level up our writing” whatever that means. When I was asking for help with some blogging issues a few months ago, one of the “happiness engineers” swore to me that switching to block editor would solve all my problems. (Which wasn’t true, my issues were with cross-tracking prevention being turned off on my browser.) I resisted. I write essays on my blog, and you don’t need “blocks” to write essays!

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  5. This cracked me up, Ann: (Even though my requests to have my grandchildren refer to me as “Wise One” or “Goddess of Youth and Beauty” were ignored. I’ve learned to make do with “Gramma.”) Lol. I love your sense of humor. And the acceptance. There’s no cure for aging, so fretting over things we can’t control only wastes time. There’s so much still to enjoy. (Like grandchildren). ❤

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  6. Those grandchildren are charming — can that be Minnie Mouse ready to trick-or-treat? If it is, that tickles me — apparently some things don’t change! I smiled at this: “Some blogging friends and regular readers have faded away…” In the years I’ve been blogging, I’ve seen at least three almost-complete turnovers in readership. There are a few who were with me in the beginning, but not many. No matter — it’s the engagement that counts, and engaging with new people always is a delight.

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    • Yes, my granddaughter was Minnie Mouse for Halloween, and that photo was taken when we were doing a “trunk or treat” at a local church. At the moment, she is very into Minnie Mouse! (It’s fun, and much easier than my nephew, who once informed my sister that he wanted to be a preposition for Halloween. She never did figure out how to pull that one off….)
      And yes, I’ve had the same kind of turn over since I started blogging. A very few are still with me from eight years ago, others have come and gone. Even some personal friends who used to read it regularly no longer do so, and I try not to take that one personally! But it’s all good…I never want anyone to read it because they feel an obligation. I only want people to read my blog who truly enjoy it. The joy is in the writing, and knowing that there is even just one person who connects to it, you know?

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      • I sure do know. When I started my blog, I decided from the beginning that I would write about what interested me, and if someone wanted to come along for the ride, that would be just great. I still feel that way — just as I think having fun with this little endeavor is part (most?) of what makes it worthwhile.

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  7. Hi Ann – I know just what you mean, time is moving so fast and like you, my life has changed a great deal, from being a busy mom with 4 boys, to losing my parents and my brother, to becoming parents of nearly an empty nest. We’re not ready to retire yet, but it’s on the horizon. Still there are guaranteed to be many joyous years ahead. Great post.

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    • It is amazing how quickly life changes, isn’t it? And sometimes not it a good way….I’m so sorry about your brother and your parents. That’s a lot of loss to cope with! I do hope the next few years bring you some well-deserved joy and happiness. Take care, Barb!!

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  8. Ann I think that accepting the changes instead of struggling against them is the key to happiness. Changes happen whether we want them or not and the only way to handle some of the biggest ones is to just lean into them!

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    • I think you are so right! I don’t know why, but there is something in me that almost always initially resists change. And yet, often I ended up liking the change. But whether I do or not, there’s not point in struggling, because change happens…all the time. Thanks for the reminder to “lean into it!”

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  9. Beautiful post Ann! When I started blogging I never would have guessed the all in changes in my life either. Like my son and daughter-in-law having a blog friend of mine as a neighbor. 😊 Life continues to contain a richness of deep connections as we travel along.
    Those grandkids are sure cute.

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  10. Beautiful, heartwarming sentiments Ann. And I can so relate as I’ve seen a world of change in my life over the past eight years. I feel so grateful that I connected with you, way back when your blog began, and just know we’d be real friends if we ever met. Your writing is real, from the heart and I always relate, even though we’re worlds apart and I haven’t yer got grandkids. Wishing you and your family lots of love and happiness in this great big world of change.

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    • Oh, thank you Miriam!! You are one of my long-term (if not the longest term at this point) blogging friends, and yes, if we lived near each other we would absolutely be great friends in person too. How wonderful it is to have connected with someone halfway around the world! Everything you said about my blog is true about yours: your posts are inspiring, heart-felt and touching, with the added benefit of gorgeous photos and descriptions of your travels. I am SO glad I stumbled across your blog. Take care, my friend!!!

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    • They really are the best options, aren’t they? I’m not saying I always manage to feel that way, but I’m working on it. Because there really isn’t any point in fighting change, and when I really pay attention, I also realize that I have so very much to be grateful for.

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  11. Thank you for this thought-provoking and relatable post, Ann. I find the passage of time varies a lot for me. Sometimes, I look back and wonder where all the years have gone; at other times, it seems to drag by. I try to accept my age and feel very fortunate to be relatively healthy despite my disability, pain, and some mental health issues, which I find harder to bear than any poor physical health. I also began my blog in 2014; I don’t think we met that long ago. My longest-known reader is Mick, who’s been reading my blog (and vice versa) since 2015 – quite some time. I think you and I met quite sometime after that.

    I’m so glad your mother has settled well into her retirement home. My Mum passed away in hospital following her stroke plus four months of rehabilitation, which sadly wasn’t successful. I can’t believe it’s been six years this Christmas. Had she survived the stroke and subsequent pneumonia, she would have had to go into a retirement home, but I know she would have hated it, however nice it was. She was such an independent and strong-willed lady.

    I’m glad your husband will be able to enjoy his retirement, even if it’s only part-time. And I’m so glad I’ve got to know Finn through your brilliant blogs from him. My grandchildren, like yours, bring me endless amounts of joy (with a fair bit of exhaustion thrown into the mix). Your grandchildren are adorable. X

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    • That’s a good point, Ellie. When we’re enduring something hard, time does slow way down, just at a time when we’d actually prefer to fly by. I didn’t know you’d been blogging since 2014 too! I don’t remember when I found your blog, but I do think it’s only been a few years ago. Do you mean Mick Canning? If so, his blog (which I enjoy) is probably where we connected. Mick’s a very good writer!
      I’m sorry about your mother…that had to have been so hard. My mother-in-law was in a skilled nursing facility for three years before she passed away. I don’t know how she put up with it, because she was also a very independent person. But she never complained, and I try to remember that when I’m whining about something insignificant. Sometimes, all we can do is accept our situation. (Sometimes, but not always…sometimes we have to fight to heal.)
      And thanks for your comments on my grandkids! I do enjoy them. I hope you get to see yours often too, because it is so very nice. Take care, Ellie! Thanks for being such a faithful blogging friend!

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  12. Such a beautiful post, Ann! I love your sentiments – even though I haven’t experienced grandchildren yet, I know I have a lot still to look forward to. I am so happy for you and love reading about your grandma joy!
    Whenever I feel like complaining about age-related issues, I remember that growing old is a privilege and many people didn’t get the chance.
    And I avoid the “block format,” too. I hope they don’t eliminate the classic format, because I would be lost without it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I swear, if they eliminate the classic format, I’m probably going to have to stop blogging, or find another platform. Here’s hoping it never comes to that!
      I also remember that aging is a privilege that many people in our world don’t get to enjoy, and that helps put everything in perspective. (Where did we get the idea that we were going to stay young forever???) And I sincerely hope you do get to have grandchildren one day. Trust me, you will love it!! Thanks for your sweet comment, Judy!

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  13. Reading in your post about the time that flies (in Latin: tempus fugit), I was reminded of what my mothers used to say in her old age. She felt that time seems to accelerate as we are getting older. Now at 80, I can confirm that she was right.

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  14. Congratulations on your blogging longevity. Things change around, and within us, but it takes a certain kind of tenacity to keep on blogging for as long as you have. Even when bloggy friends fade away, the desire to connect in blogland remains. Carry on!

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  15. I have found ageing the hardest change to accept. My joints and bones ache and my face is sinking into a gravity hole! Some things are wonderful. I can go to bed early and it’s ‘normal’. Even my blogging has changed… You have a super blog – congrats!

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  16. Ann, I love your statement: “the key to aging well is to simply live as well as you can, each and every day.” That rings so true! I used to think it was a sign of aging that the world around me seemed to be changing so fast, but even my son thinks that (and he’s just a young’un!) I suppose we simply have to accept the changes as they come while embracing this miracle called Life.

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    • I read once that “life is for living,” and I try very hard to remember that. We can get so caught up in worrying about the little things, mooring was is lost and worrying about what is to be that we forget to simply live. And that’s a shame. Living each day to the fullest is the only way to go, especially as we age!

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  17. Congratulations on eight years of faithful blogging! That certainly is a feat. I very much enjoy your posts and can relate to what you write most of the time. They are always encouraging and/or motivating with humor mixed in. It’s good to stop and remember. You certainly have seen many life changes in the last years; some very difficult with moments of joy sprinkled in. I remember from your blog when your first grandchild was born. I am amazed he is so big. I, too, think they should have accepted your request to be called Goddess of Youth and Beauty. 🙂 You certainly do have adorable grandchildren. I’ve heard they can help keep you young at heart. What a blessing! Thanks as always for sharing, Ann!

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    • Thank you, Brenda! I’ve enjoyed getting to know you in the blogging world! The past eight years have been a whirlwind for sure, with some profound losses. But there have also been profound joys, and that is truly what life is all about. The good and the bad, and everything in between…all we can do is embrace it and move forward with hope and love.

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  18. First of all, beautiful grandchildren you have there!! I’m getting ready to join the Grandparent Club next month so that part did stick out to me. 🙂 Your words hit home with me as I see more signs of aging in myself as time goes by. It truly is a bit shocking to stop and consider all the changes in our lives in a few short years. I’m so thankful that God never changes, though, and that I can always count on Him to be there for me. Thank you for another great blog, Ann, and may God give you and your family a very blessed Thanksgiving.

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    • Thanks so much, Patty! And I’m so happy you’re going to be a grandparent too…congratulations! And you’re right, remembering that God doesn’t change really does help us cope with all the change in our lives. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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  19. Thanks for the great post Ann and for the great reflections that resonate with me. As a creature of habit I too have learned that change can be a good thing. The harder part, but most important part, is to remember during down times all the good times. Life is a delicate balance and hopefully we end up at least a net +1 at the end. I too have experienced similar changes in the 8 years since I started my Golden Kali blog. Marriages, new lives, ended lives, a major life change with a move to the mountains, change in career and more. Being of similar age I guess it is not surprising that many of your posts hit so close to home for me. It’s reassuring to read and know others are having similar experiences. I guess I am normal after all. :). Cheers!

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    • I’m so glad this post spoke to you Michael! As a regular reader of your blog, I know you’ve gone through some huge changes in the past eight years too, not the least of which was losing sweet Kali. All of that takes a lot of getting used to, even considering the good changes. But we’ve “got this.” Trust me!

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  20. You are so right that the best way to age is to live as best we can. When we look back at our lives and to our younger selves, we see that youth did not mean that everything was perfect. Each age has its own set of challenges. When we look at it that way, growing older is just the same natural progression. As long as we keep learning new things, and bringing our best self to each situation, we keep enjoying life fully. And, there is certainly something to be said about the wisdom we earn with age. That ‘wisdom’ is a great gift and we can use it to our advantage. (I love your blog!!!)

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    • Thank you, Linda! You know, whenever I get too depressed about my declining physical abilities, it does help me to remember that when I was young and strong, I also had a lot more self-doubt and anxiety. Young people are still trying to figure out so much, including who we really are and what we want to do with our lives. There really is a wisdom and acceptance that comes with age, and I am really very grateful for that. You hit the nail on the head with this comment!

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  21. I’m reading this on Thanksgiving. I do not usually post comments on your site because you already have so many! However, when I read all the life changes you have been through while maintaining this blog, I just had to add my comment because I recognize myself – past, present and future in a lot of them! I think we would both say we are thankful for where we are and what/who we have in our lives at this point.

    I’ve always liked of your blog, which is probably what drew me to it in the first place! Maybe we could say I’m muddling through my old age? Maybe I’m somewhere between middle and old? Is there even a term for that?

    Anyway, when it comes to commonality and catchy titles, I’d like to direct you to my two blogs. Of course, you’re under no obligation to check out or follow either one, and I will probably go back to my SOP on yours! Happy Thanksgiving!

    https://hbsuefred.com/
    https://hbsuefred.wordpress.com/

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    • Thanks for sharing that! When I started this blog, one of my biggest hopes was that others who are going through the same thing would relate to it, so it makes me very happy to hear that you can relate to my posts. And thanks for providing the links…I enjoy your blog very much. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  22. Oh, yes, Ann. A walk through time and a taking stock of all the things that have changed. It is necessary to do, yet not always so easy. Sometimes I think people are afraid to see what has changed. The one true constant…yes? Time marches forward no matter how much we might like it to even just slow down a little bit. Looking in the mirror shows huge changes and though not always comfortable to accept, it is a necessary biproduct of time.
    Here’s to embracing the changes…allowing everything to happen exactly the way it is meant to happen…and loving the big, beautiful life we have.
    On this weekend of Thanksgiving, I send all good, beautiful energy to you and yours. Thanks for reminding me that the more we allow…the more we receive!!

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    • Thanks so much, Lorrie! You’re exactly right, change is always going to be a fact of life, and the best thing is to simply accept it, if not embrace it. And some of those changes are very, very good!! I also believe that we tend to get out of life exactly what we put in to it, which is yet another reason to live our lives as fully and generous as we can! Happy belated Thanksgiving!

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