Home > Wonder, Work > So where have you been?

So where have you been?

To Bangkok, Houston, Albuquerque, Lincoln, Denver and back again!

And while I have had article ideas rolling around in my head, I have also been struggling with the focus of this blog, asking one of the best questions anyone can ask when making a decision: “What’s the point?”

Trying to Focus

Actually, focus is a pre-blog struggle, and one that my first blogging mentor, Seth Waite, emphasized in his very helpful but now inactive blog, The Blogging Agenda. At the time, I thought I knew what the focus would be – helping other Baby Boomers take their aging in stride, stay physically healthy and not become jaded because of our or others’ perceptions of what we should be in our 50’s and beyond.

As I progressed, however, I had a hard time gaining an audience – in part, because I wasn’t hanging out with those whom my blog might benefit. I found myself hanging out, instead, with blogging and writing experts who, though challenging and educating me, also made me realize how far behind I am in those realms.

In addition, I’m not considered any kind of expert in the field of aging well. Yes, I am comparatively healthy, take no medication (yet) and continually pursue and think about ways to keep myself from growing feeble as I age. But that doesn’t make me any kind of expert.

It makes me one more voice in this worldwide cacophony of advice and opinion they call the blogosphere.

When writing for the blog, I mentally vacillated between wanting to make it a personal journey and a research project. Response to the blogs seemed to vacillate as well. Probably because of the title, the article on Surfing Snails – written a year ago – remains the most popular blog. It’s significant that it’s one of the ones I most enjoyed writing.

But the unpaid time and effort it has taken to write the articles – popular or not – have not produced a good return. Small return for large effort produces burnout – particularly when the same amount of effort brings financial reward when expended for paying clients.

So where are you going now?

My intent now is to develop a website and blog that are more in tune with what I do for gainful employment.

For at least twelve years I have been doing what is now known as Virtual Office Assistance.

Since moving from the Chicago area in 1998, I have worked as a virtual administrative assistant for a Chicago-based General Contractor, while also working full time – first in the Career Resource Center of a university in western Tennessee, then as an office manager/copywriter/bookkeeper/project manager for a small advertising agency in the Mississippi Delta. I have now become their remote editor, proofreader and copywriter. Recently, I have also expanded into the insurance world, laying out ads and doing some research and web marketing for a small agency in Houston.

Though I still find the learning curve in the web writing/blogging sphere steep, I do not find it so in the area of administrative assistance. The organizational and software skills come naturally. MS Word, QuickBooks and Excel are daily tools, and I have used both Access and PowerPoint. My equipment is new; I regularly take phone dictation and use internet faxing services. It’s all in place. I’m good at what I do and eager to expand my capabilities.

However, I’m still not ready to give up on this blog. I still believe that as long as we have breath we can approach the world in wonder; we can recognize that we live in a wonder-filled world. This blog helps me express that passion and may give others an avenue to do the same. So until time and energy constraints make it impossible, I’m keeping this avenue open — if only to talk about the reasons for all that traveling!

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  1. July 22nd, 2010 at 14:16 | #1

    I may be your biggest fan, other than Bill. I love this post, as you re-evaluate your goals and in particular the goal of this blog. I think I’ll advertise you on FaceBook, and not mention that you’re my sister. Not because I want to be deceitful, but so that people will give you a fair shake and not just think I like your blog ‘cuz you’re my sister.

    The other two blogs I read regularly are by people I know. One is Cindy Brick, who as a quilt historian, has taught several classes I’ve been in; the other is Susan Wittig Albert, who I’ve never met but writes books I love (and her blog is on herbs).

    I’ve arranged my “morning coffee” tabs to come up with your blog once a week. If you’ve not written anything new, I simply click on the “x;” if you have, I’m happy!

  2. August 1st, 2010 at 20:39 | #2

    Thanks, Yvonne. You keep me encouraged and accountable — as does Neale, since I solicited his help with a new website. He’s agreed to be my tech guy on the project, but of course I need to give him some substance!

    I have enough work to keep me as busy as I want to be right now, so I’ve been asking the “what’s the point?” question. Then I realized that if I get too much to do, I can spread the work around — train and give someone else a chance to do what I do. If you don’t start down the road, you can never know where things might lead!

  3. Phyllis null Broadus
    January 13th, 2011 at 11:53 | #3

    Okay, so I’m a little behind on comments, reading, etc.
    I too have enjoyed reading and catching up on this blog. I can’t seem to “remember” to read it…it doesn’t POP up to me when I get on the computer. I’ll have to find out how Yvonne does that.

    Having one day finally I actually don’t “go to work” (till 5:00 anyway) has given me some much needed catching up on my reading Bible schedule as well as my computer reading time (other than FB, of course!)

    So, like Yvonne, if it’s there, I’ll certainly read it as I see it.

    Thanks to you both!

    Love ya,

  4. January 17th, 2011 at 12:09 | #4

    Thanks for the encouragement, Phyllis.

    I go back and forth about whether or not to even continue this blog, with the other responsibilities I’ve take on lately. And — if I do continue it — whether or not it should be researched articles or just casual musings I have or comments about discoveries I make along the way. Casual musings and incidental discoveries would certainly be easier!

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