April 2019 marks 3 years since I began blogging – first at CultureWeave, and now at YourGlobalFamily. Here are 3 "big picture" lessons I've learned.
This article is Part 1 of a three-part series. Part 1 focuses on larger issues, particularly for someone who has taken up something new in her fifties. Part 2 looks more into the craft. And Part 3 gets more technical.
I’ve been doing this blogging thing, attempting to grow something, for almost three years now. What have I learned?
First, for me, a borderline Baby Boomer / Gen-X-er, it’s not a walk in the park. Something few tell you (but I realized would be true from the start) is overnight success really only happens to the .000001 percent. Most people who appear to have an overnight success have already put in years, maybe decades, of work. The solution: Be patient. Learn. Apply yourself. And that leads into #2.
Second, my age doesn’t need to deter me. I am relatively techie for someone in their mid-fifties – much more so than some, much less than others – but I’m always learning. As in, what I don’t know is probably something I can intuit myself applying logic and clear thinking, or learn from others. “Google it” has become my mantra. YouTube videos literally can show me just about anything I need. And, of course, there are always people out there online who’d like to teach me how to do things -– often for a price.
I also have an 18 year-old. Who’s helpful, even from a distance at college. That does make a difference.
Third, I am clever, creative and full of so much I can share with others. I bring real-life experience to the game. It would be a shame to not let that light shine, cover that bushel, and, even, let it go down to the grave.
I’ve come to see it’s quite common for men and women to crest the venerable age of 50 – one half century! – and suddenly face themselves in ways they never have before. I feel this is different than the stereotypical “midlife crisis” men often seem to have around 40, when they begin to buy sports cars with lots of zoom, look at women half their age, and proceed to divorce their faithful wife. That’s sad and pathetic. (And it happens, though perhaps not as common as the stereotype would have you think.)
No, fifty – the big FIVE-O – is way different. A maturity has set in. A knowingness. And yet, also some big question marks, especially for women, and especially if they have been in the primary childcare role. And even if this is not the case, it still is a remarkable punctuation mark in one’s lifetime.
For me, personally, at 50 I still had three children at home, but the oldest would soon be off to college. That actually proved a wake-up call to me; my work had me traveling a lot at the time, and not quite as plugged into my three teenaged-kids’ lives. When the oldest graduated, God jerked me. You need to be more around; you still have two at home, and these years are fleeting.
Still, I began to question whether the work I had been doing for ~20 years was what I would continue on for the last part of my life. I kept on wondering, does God have something more for me?
That questioning brings me to today. A little more than three years ago, I decided to become more proactive on this front. My husband Dale and I started to write. A lot. We wanted to capture many of our unique life experiences, particularly as they related to 20+ years of interacting with internationals. Stories. So many stories. And principles for us to glean through those interactions and the people we’ve grown to know.
Over time, however, this has morphed into something more practical – a website and effort to help parents raise globally minded kids. We’re still figuring it all out. What we offer may – and probably will – change over time. But we’ve definitely sharpened our game. And it’s showing on a number of fronts. For example, in the midst of all this, I even managed to write a book, with Book #2 on the way!
We’re moving forward. And I cannot wait to see what lies ahead!
Working to grow something isn't easy. If you've done it, how has it been for you?