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FiveIt’s been five years since I wrote the first blog post on Playing a New Game; it was three years after my life had turned upside down and sideways. Having never been a stay-on-the-ground kind of person when I’ve fallen flat on my face, I decided that I was playing a new game in life and somehow, the thought that putting my crazy stream of consciousness out into the blogisphere would be a good thing. Maybe not for you, but I was hoping it would be a really good thing for me. Truthfully, I didn’t really even think about you. I was in survival mode, looking for a way back to “thrival” mode, and getting the insane, weird, screwed-up words out of my head seemed like a good idea.

Here’s that first post: CLICK HERE to read On the Road Again!

Not much, is it? Kinda short. No pictures. Even had a typo or two (that I fixed right this minute!). But perhaps it’s more a look into what was going on in my head after three years of being house-less, with no stable income, and now no longer certified in my chosen field of expertise (which meant I could not be hired by anyone and I could not participate in disaster mitigation as the representative of a jurisdiction). I was fifty-eight years old and looking at being obsolete – in my career, my family, my life. My mother had divorced me, my siblings wanted nothing to do with me, my son had his own life which mostly didn’t include me.

I felt like I was free-floating. I knew I was gonna be playing a new game. Truly, playing a new game.

These days, my posts usually include photos, sometimes a recipe or two, maybe a travelogue report on where I am, and most often, a rambling stream of words that fall out of my head, into my fingers, onto the blog page. I still write for me, but I hear from people all the time who like what I write, so maybe there’s some common place in all of us that thinks we can play this game called “life” and actually thrive and succeed at it, no matter what our physical age is or what we thought our daily lives were going to be like when we got to wherever we are right now.

Me with a hat - photo by Nick
Me with a hat… tad bit blurry around the edges, just like me!

My life today is nothing at all like what I had envisioned it would be when I was younger and would think about what being an almost 63-year-old “senior citizen” would look like. Granted, I probably didn’t think a whole lot about it but when I did, it didn’t look like this. Throughout my adult years, the one big constant for me was always my son, Mark – ever since I was 17 and pregnant, I’ve continuously thought my days, especially my “old days,” would include my son, in some way or other. I’ve even been known to tell him (and more than once) that I would never be able to afford long-term care in a senior residential home, so wherever he lived, he needed to make sure there was room enough in the back yard to build a little tiny apartment for me to live in. Maybe he thought I was joking, but in all seriousness, I was serious. Now, with his life as it is, that’s not an option he’s willing to consider. Or maybe he has considered it and has decided it’s not an option. Whatever. Doesn’t really matter. It’s clear to me that it’s not something that’s going to be a part of my “old age” plan anymore. Once again, I’m re-thinking what this life-game is all about. Heck. I have no idea. At my age, I have no idea. None.

So, dear readers, what that means is I’m still playing a new game, each and every day, and you’re still along for the ride. I appreciate all of you, I love you, and I cherish each and every one of you… always and every day (and yes, this definitely includes my son, who is also a subscriber to this blog).

Happy Blogiversary to us!

That would be me, you, and the little mouse in my pocket. We rock!

see you on the road

Happy Five-Year Blogiversary to Us!
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16 thoughts on “Happy Five-Year Blogiversary to Us!

  • June 8, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Congratulations! This is a great accomplishment.

    Thank you for sharing your life with us.

    • June 8, 2015 at 9:52 am

      Thanks, Blaize! I’ve done other blogs before this one and none of them lasted this long (for various reasons, including the server they were located on “going away”). It’s been a good cathartic for me!

  • June 8, 2015 at 8:58 am

    Hi Lois:

    Happy Anniversary. Let me say that I think you’ve made a gallant effort at this Playing a New Game challenge. You certainly have inspired me. I have been reading your posts since the day my sister and I met you at Gold Beach, OR…..or we met your beautiful old dog……..Dinah!!! Don’t let your sights get too far ahead. But keep an eye on the success behind you and let it put the wind in your sails as you head confidently toward shore. I know you’re going to land with dignity.


    • June 8, 2015 at 9:56 am

      Marilyn, you inspire me! Thank you! I’m grateful to Dinah for having connected me with you and your sister; that dog is still here with all she did during her time on Planet Earth! I appreciate your words so much – it’s been easy to set my sights way ahead since none of it has any reference to anything that came before. I’m going to set my sail for the unknown! Thank you!

  • June 8, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    LOIS im proud of you. if you were in one place you would not be happy. your blogs inspire me. i too am facing the unknown. will not be able to keep up the pmts on a home after retiring. rick and i will not be able to… trying to pare down.alot of baby boomers are facing the same. too bad there wasnt some sort of place for us to have small apts or tiny houses parked some place safe . i dont have the answers. till then i guess we will experience thrival which i love. IT IS WHAT IT IS make do. it will be hard on me , im not lying. im spoiled. what do i get rid of. its insane. but i refuse to let it eat me. give lessons in thrival.. love you your not alone


    • June 8, 2015 at 4:51 pm

      Darlene, I know that I would have been scared if I had had to anticipate what ended up happening to me. As it was, my brain was fried from the work I’d been doing (and to be very clear, it wasn’t the work itself – it was the people I had to work with and work for) and adding two and two together in my head was not making four; it was probably only adding up to 2-1/2 or so. Looking back, I had no way to even deal with what was happening. I was in survival mode – trying to make it from one minute to the next and trying to make sure my three cats and my dog were taken care of as well. It was a very dark time to go through, especially by myself. I’m glad it’s over.

      For you, the best thing I can tell you is to start now – get rid of every single thing that you don’t need. Haven’t used that casserole dish in 5 years? Get rid of it. Haven’t worn that shirt in a couple years? Get rid of it. It’s the stuff in our lives that bogs us down. We don’t need it. Be grateful for the people around you, that help and support you – you have lots of them. You’re fortunate to have a large family. Give up being spoiled; it’ll drag you down, mentally, emotionally and physically. Start now. Get rid of the stuff. You’ll feel lighter and your space will, too. I’m behind you all the way! <3

  • June 8, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    one of the blessing of having your life blowup comes later when you look back and go YES. how lucky i am not to be stuck there anymore. worked in my life. looks like yours, also.

    serbet. raz

    • June 8, 2015 at 4:56 pm

      You are so so so right! If my life hadn’t blown up, flown apart, gone down in flames when it did, I still might be trying to make it all work. Somewhere along the years, I gave up my nomadic dreams because no one else had them, too, and I wasn’t willing to strike out on my own. Eventually, my life gave me exactly what I’d been dreaming about all along. I’m glad it did. Very glad! And now I’m adjusting what I thought was part of that dream (and maybe it still is; I don’t know for sure) and looking forward to whatever comes up next. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

  • June 8, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    Love the hat it’s you! I also love hearing about all your experiences and the people you meet on your journey. I wish I had your courage to leave everything behind and just go. Maybe if I was a better driver or had a chauffeur like driving Miss Daisy! In the meantime I’ll just live through your experiences.

    • June 8, 2015 at 5:11 pm

      Isn’t that hat the coolest? I’m not a hat person so I didn’t get it (I would have worn it for a couple hours, gotten a headache, and never worn it again!) but Nick took this pic and I love it! Even if it’s a bit blurry… just like me!

      Just to be clear, Barbara, I didn’t do any of that stuff that got me to where I am today on purpose – my job went away, my car was repossessed, my house foreclosed, I filed bankruptcy, I put my household belongings on the front lawn with a “free ad” on craigslist (I had a 3-day notice to move out of the house) and put my three cats and my dog in a car my son owned at the time, and drove away. It had nothing to do with courage. I was trying to survive one minute at a time. That’s all. It took me about 5 years to say I was “retired” – I was “just unemployed” from a career that I was never going to be able to do again because of the economic downturn resulting in mass lay-offs, and then because I was no longer qualified due to expired certifications. I wasn’t brave. I was brain-dead. If I could have done things differently, I would have sold my house before it foreclosed and sold my belongings before I gave them all away. But because I did it this way, my story has been different than anyone else I’ve talked with. Perhaps someone out there will get a little hope from hearing that someone else crashed and burned, and is still breathing. That’s my hope and prayer today.

      I think the best scenario, especially as we age, is to find a travel partner to travel with, whether it’s by RV or by backpack – after 8 years out on my own, I think having someone else around would make life much easier. It certainly would make the conversations more pleasant! Perhaps you’ll find someone to travel with!

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, Barbara. Meeting you was a highlight of my trip to New Mexico! Hope we can do it again someday!

  • June 8, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    You inspire me! Life is all about change and making each minute count – even if it’s scary and hurts. You do it with grace – other than those moments when you are cowering under the covers and begging for answers 🙂 I don’t know that I could have done the things I have these past few years if not for you……… Now if I can just get a good haircut and look cool 🙂 I love you dearly!!!!!!

    • June 8, 2015 at 9:02 pm

      I’m so with you on the haircuts! It’s been an on-going pain in my side since I left my house in Vancouver oh those so many years ago. I’ve even tried growing it out so I could just put it up in a ponytail – but that didn’t last! Thank you for your kind comments, my friend. I love following your adventures in Baja… you rock! Much love and big hugs to you!!!

  • June 9, 2015 at 5:35 am

    Happy blogiversary, Lois! You inspire me.

    • June 9, 2015 at 9:27 am

      Hi Mareena! Thank you!!

      You’ve been on my mind the last few weeks or so… glad to see you here! I hope all is well with you!

  • June 12, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    In some ways I think you were lucky to have your life (as you knew it) blow apart. It made it easier for you to redefine your life.

    I know I want change but the uncertainty of knowing exactly what I want keeps me stymied. I am waiting for my revelation to push me forward. Anyway, am enjoying your blog and think you are one resilent, resourceful, inspiring woman. You are so positive and I am sure your future wll be full of good things.

    • June 14, 2015 at 4:46 pm

      Hi Lynn!

      In some ways, I think you’re absolutely right. Not having had the opportunity to make decisions for myself, though, has been a tough one for me. I’ve always made my own decisions, deciding where to go and what to do next. For people who choose to retire, choose to sell their houses (and maybe make some money), choose to go on the road, choose what they’re doing next, I think they have a better sense of control over where and what their lives are doing. I felt like I was picking up tinker toys that had scattered all over hell and creation. Once I got a few of the pieces back together again, though, I began to see that it happened exactly as it was going to happen – looking back, I could have made other decisions that might have allowed me to do things differently. Ah, the choices we make! Isn’t that what we all go through?

      Thank you for your kind words. I look forward to connecting with you more!

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