Life Without A Manual 2023






All of my questions have now been answered, and if whatever else comes my way, I have THE MANUAL I need to tell me exactly what I need to do and everything I need to know about life.


I wish! Wouldn’t it be nice to have that manual on one of my many bookshelves? A guide to tell me how to tackle everything on my to-do list and live my best life?

Nope. Sorry. 😉 ,

The only thing I realized today is how much I still need that elusive manual, and the reasons seem to change with every passing year. When I launched this blog, “Life Without A Manual,” several years ago, my kids were in middle school and high school. I needed a manual for parenting teenagers, and since the “What to Expect” book series ended in the toddler years, I knew I was screwed. Thankfully, blogging allowed me to share my experiences with you, and in return, you gave me all the advice and support I needed.

Now – eight years later – my kids are young adults. They are away at college and are starting their own lives. One is graduating next month. (YIKES!). The other is just starting out in his college career. They still need me but in very different ways than before. And now, I can focus on my roles as a wife, an empty nester, a dog mom, and a member of the sandwich generation. I have a full-time job, and I’m writing a book on the side. Life is just as busy as it was when the kids were living here, and while I love this stage, a manual would still be helpful.

For example, where does my time go? I’ve got a lot of priorities and not enough hours in the day to attend to all of them. There are some days when I feel incredibly productive and others where I can’t seem to get it together. And although I know it isn’t true, it feels like everyone else gets more done than me in the same amount of time each day. What is their secret?!

Another question I’d like to answer is what I want to do with this next phase of my life. There is so much I still want to see and accomplish, and now that I’m over 50, I hear the clock ticking. I’ve never been to Europe – except for Greece, where I went on my honeymoon. Even then, I don’t think we saw as much of it as we would have liked. 😉 I keep telling my husband that this is the decade to do it while we have our health and the means to do it. He agrees, so it’s just a matter of when. Time to start planning!

Finally, how can I stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible? I know there is no shortcut to good health, but I’d like to find more enjoyable ways to do it and have it become an integral part of my life and not feel like another job. I want to live long enough to see my kids succeed in their chosen fields. I’d also like to become a published author and work toward that daily. And should I be so blessed, I want to meet my grandchildren and have a relationship with them. I’m not sure if that’s possible, but I hope to figure it out.

So, until I find THE MANUAL that gives me all the answers, I’m here processing everything through my writing and sharing those experiences with you. Comments welcome. Join me, won’t you?

One last thing, if you are new here and would like to read the origin story behind my blog’s name, it’s a good one – click here.


9 comments on Life Without A Manual 2023

  1. Victoria+Juster
    April 5, 2023 at 7:41 am (6 months ago)

    You’re adding to the manual with every post. I’ve so enjoyed watching you navigate your life through your blog and can’t wait to see what being ‘free birds’ brings next!

  2. Tamara
    April 2, 2023 at 7:53 am (6 months ago)

    Hi Elisa, great to see you again!
    You are a writer – go ahead and write that darn manual yourself! Just think about what you would tell your best friend if she asked for your advice?
    BTW, just the other day I learned that the term “empty nesters” is so yesterday, you’re now “free birds”! Time to plan that trip to Europe, and if Switzerland is on your list of places to visit, let me know, I’ll be happy to shower you with recommendations.

    • Elisa
      April 2, 2023 at 10:57 am (6 months ago)

      OMG – I love that! I’m never going to say empty nester again. Switzerland is definitely on the list!

  3. Jeanine Byers
    April 1, 2023 at 11:46 pm (6 months ago)

    I am so with you on that healthy for as long as possible – but with a side of ice cream! Also, I want that manual, too – cutest April Fool’s joke ever. I think i feel freer to think I am supposing to be writing my own manual, so then I am not wrong for whatever it is I don’t yet know.

    • Elisa
      April 2, 2023 at 7:34 am (6 months ago)

      Thanks, Jeanine. Always yes to ice cream!

  4. Kebba Buckley Button
    April 1, 2023 at 8:21 pm (6 months ago)

    Elisa, I love your whole theme! A manual would be great! Have you ever read or seen Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? The Guide Itself is an encyclopedic electronic manual with very candid comments. Very funny! I have the same questions you do, and there are no firm answers. I just wake up and plug in– to the Divine Circuit– each day, and trust that I have the Grace I need for the day. So good to be reading your post/s again!

    • Elisa
      April 2, 2023 at 7:37 am (6 months ago)

      I haven’t read it but I’m adding it to my TBR list!

  5. Kandas
    April 1, 2023 at 8:01 pm (6 months ago)

    No manual required! Follow your heart and be grateful for everything!!

    • Elisa
      April 2, 2023 at 7:38 am (6 months ago)

      I know – but it would come in handy once in a while! #alwaysgrateful

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