by Kathy Hendricks
It’s been just over a year – almost fourteen months, to be exact – since we launched “Still Blooming.” Anniversaries are good times to review what has transpired over the months of posting blogs, sharing “Picks of the Weeks”, and resolving tech issues with our web platform. For the latter, I am indebted to Barbara for navigating the ins and outs of the site and doing most of the creative work in putting together the beautiful look of our blog. It’s also gratifying to see the scope of our posts and to recognize how we continue to engage our readers in conversation. We never set out to “go viral” and so we have moved in rather easy-going fashion this past year. After decades of writing deadlines, I love how we are able to shift gears as needed. On more than one occasion, Barbara has reminded me of the need to find joy in this endeavor and that means letting go of hard and fast dates for posting new material.
Our first post contained a rather informal and yet valuable vision statement: “Through this new blog we hope to offer our own thoughts and prompt conversation around ways of shaping retirement, legacy, and a worldview after the age of 70.” To that end, we have written about life-work balance, timely virtues, the joy of singing, and “the great cookie caper.” Quite a range of topics that stemmed from the seasons of both the year and our lives. It’s also been a joy to welcome guest bloggers who shared their own experiences and perspectives. When I consider the last part of the vision statement – i.e. a post-70 worldview – I am aware of how this relaxed approach to the blog has applied to other aspects of my life. The past year brought some pretty heavy losses and those, in turn, prompt me to savor whatever time I have left. Most of all, it is lovely to affirm how we are “still blooming” after a year’s time and looking forward to doing so in the year ahead.
by Barbara Anne Radtke
Thanks, Kathy, for that look back over our first year. What stands out to me is partnership and connection in the digital world. Digital tools helped us grow as friends. We began our friendship when we were members of an advisory board of a professional organization, but it blossomed when email became available to us. Our mutual work in online continuing education became a venue to continue our digital connection and a way to cultivate conversation in a digital environment. Although we enjoyed many times of meeting in person, Zoom allowed us to meet during the pandemic. That’s when we generated the idea for this blog! Still Blooming records some of the content of our conversations in hope to encourage more conversation not only between us but among our friends and family. We hoped that our experience of digital connection could extend to those who followed us.
Anniversaries are also times to look ahead. I look forward to more of our conversations – both yours and mine, Kathy, and those generated by our entries. I am grateful for those folks who have commented on our entries on the blog site. I am truly surprised the conversation sometimes spills over on our social media pages such as Facebook and LinkedIn. I look forward to rich conversation threads in the coming year. Let us know, dear readers, what topics you would like to read and talk about and how we might encourage conversation.