Discovering your passion after 60

I felt hypocritical when I wrote a guest post for my Australian blogging friend Sue Loncaric whose blog is entitled: “Sizzling Toward 60.” I attended my 45th high school reunion in August and even though I am the baby of my class, if you do the math you will know I have fizzled past 60.

But does being over 60 inevitably involve a fizzling action? I’m living proof that indeed it does not.

My path to writing

I have spent the last 37 years practicing as a registered nurse. It has been an interesting and practical profession, providing me with steady employment. 

But as the years passed and I found myself with an empty nest, I discovered a passion that has become my calling.

I have loved words and reading since I explored my first ‘Fun with Dick and Jane’ book in elementary school. As a child, I cherished time in my room absorbed in a page-turner, resistant to my mother’s admonishments to get outside to experience fresh air and sunshine.

A few years ago, I started writing Facebook posts about mundane experiences interjecting a twist of humor. Some might even say ‘twisted humor’ but the more people responded positively to my posts, the more I felt compelled to give them something to laugh about in a world full of problems and tragedy.

The birth of Shallow Reflections

Friends and family urged me to start a blog but I had self-doubts. Through my apprehension, however, an inner voice insisted, “Start a blog. You can do it.”

I knew I would focus on humor but one of my biggest obstacles in getting started was choosing a name for my blog.

My husband and I have always had a running joke between us that it was our shallowness that brought us together. In the past, daughter-in-law wrote a wonderful blog called ‘Optimistic Reflections.’ Suddenly on a boring car trip, the name was born: Shallow Reflections.

I launched Shallow Reflections in January 2015 and I recently published my 100th post entitled: You need to know about these obscure conspiracies. Most of my essays are humorous with an occasional heartbreaker, e.g after our dog died last December. 

Friends and opportunities beyond my imagination

I’ve met a lot of other writers online by joining and participating in Facebook groups and attended the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop in Dayton, Ohio in 2016, where I met many of my online friends in real life. When I met one very special friend Lee Gaitan, we solidified in person what we had felt meeting online. Here is a story about our blossoming friendship she published on Sixty and Me:  How a surprise friendship showed me that life after 60 gives as much as it takes.

I discovered another Maine humor writer and fellow BDN blogger early in my blogging days, who is as adorable as she is hilarious. We have become fast friends, meeting in person on several occasions and looking forward to more. Roxanne Jones, author of Boomer Haiku, makes me laugh and I am thankful for her and her generous support.

I’ve had essays published on several online sites including Erma Bombeck Writer’s WorkshopHumor Outcasts, Better After 50, and have written guest posts for some terrific bloggers, e.g. Sizzling Toward 60Menopausal Mom, and Mostly Blogging. I submitted an essay to the Erma Bombeck writer’s Competition called: Deep cleaning, is that even a thing?  and it made the final round. I am excited about my first published essay as a guest writer for Sixty and Me.

Face the decade of your 60’s with hope and excitement

My message to you dear reader is to face the decade of your 60’s with hope and excitement. If you haven’t found your calling, don’t be discouraged. Think about what you wanted when you graduated from high school so many years ago. What did you love to do? What things did you long to try? The great thing about being in our stage of life is no one expects much from us, and if we fail, no one is paying attention anyway.

Unless of course, you happen to share exciting news with your son, and he reminds you that you told him that same story last week. And you argue with him saying you didn’t. And he begins to fill in details that he would only know if he was either a psychic or you were indeed repeating yourself. And during the pause that ensues from this sobering realization he begins to ask you silly questions like, “Do you know where you are? Do you know what year it is?” while he does a google search for ‘local nursing homes with dementia units.’

In this case, your every move is scrutinized.

Where was I?

Oh yeah, what is your calling? Are you excited about exploring new interests? What would you like to pursue that you always dreamed about doing?

©2016, Stevens. All rights reserved.
Molly Stevens

About Molly Stevens

Molly Stevens arrived late to the writing desk but is forever grateful her second act took this direction instead of adult tricycle racing or hoarding cats. She was raised on a potato farm in northern Maine, where she wore a snowsuit over both her Halloween costume and her Easter dress.