Life Without A Manual: The Reboot?

When I’m asked about the name of my blog and its origin story, I immediately think back to a lousy parenting moment I had with my teenage daughter in the high school parking lot. You can read the whole story here, but in a nutshell, it was then that I truly wished I was handed over a parenting manual in the delivery room along with my baby.

And thus, a blog was born.

But now that my daughter is in college and my son is graduating high school this year, I feel like I need a new origin story or perhaps a reboot. Sure, there are still plenty of opportunities for me to embarrass my kids and feel bad about it, but maybe the focus should be more about my life than theirs.

Here’s the problem. I don’t know what that looks like or where I fit into the blogosphere. I continue to insist that I am way too young for AARP. I resent the fact that once I turned 50 last year, I automatically became a member of their target audience. I considered their invitation for a minute – complete with a membership card, magazine subscription, and all the retirement swag you can imagine. But, once I saw articles like “Putting Your Digital Assets in Your Will,” and “How Pets Influence Older Homeowners Real-Estate Choices,” I politely declined.

AARP must want me to join real bad. They won’t stop trying to win me over. For instance, the editors put Michael J. Fox on the cover of their magazine last month. Talk about a cheap shot! Sorry, but you can’t win me over with 80’s celebrities who were once pinned to my bedroom wall and are now pushing 60. Oy, the humanity!!

(Full disclosure: I still didn’t join, but I did read the article).

Back to my original thought, I hope this blog challenge will help me cultivate two things – a daily writing habit and, potentially, a new focus for my blog that allows me the space to write as my authentic self.

If any fellow writers have been through this kind of transition before, I’d love to hear from you and any advice you may have for me. And if you are just reading this now, what topics would you like to see me write about in the future? I look forward to your comments. I read and respond to them all. ๐Ÿ™‚

16 comments on Life Without A Manual: The Reboot?

  1. Glenda Cates
    January 5, 2022 at 5:44 pm (5 months ago)

    I also have this problem as I started my blog when my son was first born, and he is now 14 and TheMommiesReviews.com just doesn’t seem to fit as much as it used to. So, I need to figure out what I want to do now as my son is tired of blogging just when I feel like I’ve figured things out. Oh, well that is life and keeps us on our feet. Have a good day.

    • Elisa
      January 6, 2022 at 9:17 am (5 months ago)

      As soon as my kids started to read my posts and the stories I told about them, they were annoyed at first, and I respected that. So I pivoted to writing about my life as a mom instead of talking about the incident that triggered the story. Does that make sense? But, good news – now my kids ask me to write about them which is so nice. Maybe something like “the Mommie Diaries” works for you bc we are moms forever! Just a thought.

  2. Cherry-Ann
    January 3, 2022 at 10:32 pm (5 months ago)

    Happy New Year, Elisa.

    Ha! Read the origin of your blog – hilarious. I can give you some stories about my experience with my 2 kids, now adults. As for AARP, they must have Xray vision or drones circling, as like you, I somehow got on their radar and I’m a Brit living in the US, but they found me, lol.

    Anyhoo, I echo other readers, re retaining your blog name, it has a curious ring to it and that’s a mega bonus for online visibility. Also, your style of writing is entertaining, and genuine which readers will appreciate.

    • Elisa
      January 6, 2022 at 9:25 am (5 months ago)

      Thanks Cherry-Ann and happy new year to you as well. AARP is like Big Brother isn’t it. Thanks for the input on keeping my name and the high praise on my writing. Much appreciated. Can’t wait to read more from you as well.

  3. Tamara
    January 3, 2022 at 11:54 am (5 months ago)

    Hi Elisa, nice to meet you! You’re definitely not ready to join AARP, even though I think highly of MJF. I read your original post about the parking lot, and boy am I glad to be a boy’s Mom. If he ever scolded me for “embarrassing” him just by being there, he’d have to take the bus home. Good luck with your hockey equipment, kiddo ;-)))
    Now about your transition: maybe focus on your new freedom now that you’re moving towards being an empty nester. What are your plans? What stuff do you like to do? Is any of it “blogable”?

    • Elisa
      January 3, 2022 at 6:33 pm (5 months ago)

      Nice to meet you too, Tamara! I agree that there will be plenty to focus on and write about in the future – and, it’s all blog fodder. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Lynn
    January 2, 2022 at 10:28 pm (5 months ago)

    In reading this post I think you have already discovered your new blog voice. Where’s the manual for after the kids are gone (empty next), life transitions, getting older health changes, etc
    You have a fun writing style. There are a lot of us (including Michael J Fox) who are entering our more seasoned years of life and not knowing what to do…where’s THAT manual? Best wishes in your reboot.

    • Elisa
      January 3, 2022 at 6:34 pm (5 months ago)

      Thanks, Lynn. Here is hoping this new stage of my life will bring me more adventure and blog material! Thanks for the support.

  5. Julie JordanScott
    January 2, 2022 at 9:49 pm (5 months ago)

    I am in a similar space. My kids are all adults – youngest turned 20 and I had him later in life so you would think I would be used to this aging thing. I am actually proud of my age but I just keep on keeping on. I think you are DEFINITELY in a space of living a life without a manual, it’s just a different manual. ๐Ÿ™‚ Way to go with your daily writing practice!

    • Elisa
      January 2, 2022 at 9:53 pm (5 months ago)

      Thanks, Julie! Iโ€™m proud of my age too and staying young at heart. We got this!

  6. Kebba Buckley Button
    January 2, 2022 at 9:46 pm (5 months ago)

    Elisa, keep the blog name! It’s universal and always relevant! You’re simply in a different stage of life. Btw, I think AARP is only around $16/year, and the discounts are awesome. Ignore the articles if you want. Whatever our ages, we all need to get our digital assets into our wills. You can never know when you will be Going– my husband died August 1 after a short illness. Thank God we had great end-of-life papers. Anyway, just keep writing about whatever is challenging and how the questions come up, and whether you find answers for a time. And keep the brand. That’s my 2 cents. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Elisa
      January 2, 2022 at 9:54 pm (5 months ago)

      Kebba – first, Iโ€™m so sorry for your loss. I think I will keep the blog name bc you are right that it is universal. And maybe I will join AARP this year. I looked at their FB page and some of the articles were actually pretty good.

  7. Marcie Hardy
    January 2, 2022 at 9:24 pm (5 months ago)

    I love your personality. It’s definitely a lot like mine. I think people need to change the age of oldness to like 70. I know about 30 years ago, I thought this age was old, but now that I’m here, i’m not old. 70 or 80 is old. Ugh. Denial is tough.

    • Elisa
      January 2, 2022 at 9:56 pm (5 months ago)

      Thanks, Marcie! As long as we stay young at heart, we donโ€™t get old, right?! Canโ€™t wait to read your blog too. Iโ€™m a dog-lover as well.

  8. Angel Lewis
    January 2, 2022 at 9:02 pm (5 months ago)

    I think I started getting mail from AARP at 48 LOL. I’ve not joined either. I just don’t feel like I’m a “senior” even though I just turned 60. Having an empty nest is going to be a big change. Time to get acquainted with yourself and what you like/want in life. It has been a major growth period for me. Enjoy and welcome to the “wonder years”.

    • Elisa
      January 2, 2022 at 9:57 pm (5 months ago)

      Thanks, Angel. An empty nest will definitely be so different but Iโ€™m trying to stay positive. Now I can do some of the things I didnโ€™t have time to do before bc I was always driving carpool. ๐Ÿ™‚

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