Kate from Katherine’s Corner is shining the light on bloggers age 50 plus and I am excited to be part of her blog series, “Between The Lines.” There are over 80 midlife bloggers who have shared posts in this series. Stop by and visit when you can.
At midlife, many women (and men!) I know, including myself, take a good long look at themselves, and ask, “What motivates us to embark on new adventures?” For many, blogging can be the adventure of a lifetime!
Why did I wait until midlife to start a blog?
After divorcing at age 35 and raising two daughters alone, with no monetary help, and often with a side hustle thrown on top of a demanding career, it took 12 years for everything to fall into place in my 47th year.
Welcome to My Side Hustles
Other than some multi-level marketing scams and some seasonal retail, my best side hustle was my freelance proofreading and copy-editing business “In Other Words Editorial Services.” I worked this part-time for several years and enjoyed the old school method of marking up paper copy. I also got referrals for other proofreading and copy-editing gigs during that time.
However, all good things must come to an end. The editor sold her business and technology advanced with something called spell-check (although I’m here to tell you I am better than ANY spell checker out there). The need for proofreaders drastically diminished and it still shows to this day!
Tired of working random side hustles, I needed a part-time gig that paid well but took less time.
In my career field of Parks and Recreation (yes, Leslie Knope and I are kindred spirits), I knew several colleagues that lectured part-time at a nearby university. The Recreation, Parks and Tourism department always needed lecturers to teach night classes. Intrigued, I began researching what it would take to go for a master’s degree. Two hurdles stared me in the face: time and money, so I did not pursue this right away.
In late 2006, the light bulb went on. By this time, my oldest daughter was out of college and my youngest was nearing the end of high school. I had been successfully training my recreation and lifeguard staff for several years and enjoyed teaching high school and college-aged young people.
Pursuing a Master’s Degree
My work provided tuition reimbursement. That’s all I needed to know. With my boss’ blessing, I went back to school in January 2007.
I told the professors that I was there so I could eventually teach part-time. They supported the idea and encouraged me stating that having long-time practitioners teaching the craft and best practices were needed in this profession. Taking two classes per semester was painless, but challenging. The master’s program at the state university wasn’t expensive (yet) and I funded school with that tuition reimbursement, a new credit card and two scholarships.
I chose to write a master’s thesis instead of taking the easy route with a project. I finished my coursework in 2009 and published my thesis in December 2010. At age 51, walking at the graduation ceremony (with honors) in front of my grown daughters and boyfriend (now my hubby), was truly an incredible experience.
I had opportunities with several national organizations and businesses to present training on the subject of the Four Generations. I became somewhat of an expert and still present to this day, also teaching elements of this subject in my university classes.
Starting a Blog
One day, while concluding a presentation, someone asked me if I wrote a blog about this subject. Intrigued, I took stock of my extensive arsenal of research, gathered it up and signed up with WordPress in October, 2011 and started blogging about the Four Generations. Click here for a post about Baby Boomers.
I gradually changed the blog to cover general, professional development subjects, including temperament assessments and some re-blogged articles about women in leadership.
Bored again, and too busy at work, I wrote my last post in May 2014. In September of that year, for some unknown reason, I logged into WordPress and saw an opportunity to join Blogging University 101.
A New Blog is Born
That’s when I changed the blog to Perspectives On…Life, Work and Leisure. To this day, after connecting with bloggers from that September 2014 blogging course, I am still following several who started at the same time. What is notable about the start of my blog, is that it coincided with my decision to retire shortly after.
With the decision to self-host and one more blog title change to Second Wind Leisure Perspectives, I am happily blogging.
Meeting and connecting with uncountable midlife women on this journey has been richly rewarding. After meeting many of my blogging heroes in Las Vegas at BAM2016 and other face-to-face meetings, I have continued my calling as a blogger and writer.
If you are a midlife blogger, I would love to know how you started blogging!