Is There Really Nothing Golden About Getting Old?
Lia's Story at The Elder Storytelling Place

Time Goes By Shuts Down

category_bug_journal2.gif As of this post, Time Goes By is over.

The decision to do so has been building for the reasons below and other related ones, but response to today’s post – and it’s only 11AM here - tipped me over the edge. Isn’t it odd how often decisions are made on small events.

I can’t tell you which of half a dozen emails telling me that 60 isn’t old or you’re only as old as you feel or age is relative or whatever other excuse did it. It’s all bullshit. Old is old. The Crabby Old Lady in me is finished arguing that, along with all her versions of old-is-as-worthy-as-every-other-age.

Too many people want to slice and dice the language and proclaim their youthfulness in other ways unto the grave and if that is your position, this or any blog is unlikely to change your mind.

But all this age denial (the negative ones never publish publicly; they just rant in emails to me) before noon has made the decision for me. I’m out of energy to move forward with this.

In addition, I’m tired of asking for story submissions for The Elder Storytelling Place. In the past when the backlog ran short, I posted an editorial comment begging for stories. I don’t want to do that anymore either. The stories that come in as a result of today’s post at that blog will be set up to post automatically over the next few days and then that blog will drift away too.

It doesn’t make much sense to me, but it is so nevertheless - another one of those small incidents that pushed me over the edge is that as of a couple of days ago, Blogger blogs (owned by Google) no longer allow people without Blogger or Google accounts to leave their blog address on comments, instead supplying a link to sign up.

I’ve lost the heart to argue against that too, but I will not allow myself to be forced to join the Google Army bludgeoning its way toward world domination.

Please keep up your work on S.1959. I will continue also, privately now. It may become the most important thing we will ever have done.

Over four-plus years of this blog, I’ve made many good friends and I love knowing each and every one of you. I’ll be in touch. Now, however, I’m shutting down and intend to find other ways to explore and proudly live out my OLD AGE.


Sigh. As a caregiver for my husband who has severe Alzheimer's, I found that reading your blog was a nice "escape" for me. Didn't always have time to respond. I wish you'd stay "on the air," but if not, then I wish you well in your next endeavors.

Going to miss your blog immensely Ronni, but I understand your reasons for quitting TGB. You deserve to do things that bring you pleasure and satisfaction, and if TGB no longer does that, it's time to move on. Thank you so very much for all the magnificent work you have done and you certainly improved my life along with many many others.

Just a thought ... if you feel like blogging again someday, maybe give WordPress a try. I've set up blogs at both Blogger and WordPress, and much prefer WordPress. No Google worries there.

My computer was down yesterday so I didn't get this sad news until just a few minutes ago. I hope you can reconsider after taking a break and perhaps a new emphasis will reveal itself to you.

Are you sure the winter and all the snow that fell recently in Portland has not contributed to your sense of malaise.

If you do not come back I will miss you.

I scrolled quickly down through the many comments to leave my own... and by the time I got to the bottom, I was thinking "ditto." Peggy said "shit." Me too. And I'm feeling guilty for skipping the opportunity to tell elder stories and guest post. I have my excuses and it's ironic that the light at the end of my tunnel approaches just as Time Goes By goes dark.

The good news is that we count each other as friends and I don't expect to lose you just because I might lose the pleasure of reading what Crabby has to say.

I hope this is more in the nature of a recess than an ending. I hope you come back to us refreshed and more in tune with hitting the delete key in your email program.

I hope you blog again soon.


[hug] No matter what you want to do, Ronni, I'm with you. Your blog provided me a way to keep touch with your mind and energy that wouldn't have been possible any other way. I wouldn't have gotten to know you if we weren't both bloggers, and I couldn't have continued to get to know you without your blog.

I hope (for me, selfishly!) that there is some other way for me to check in on what you're doing and thinking. Facebook, anyone?

I don't know if anyone has broached this before in this blog, but I want to say that blogging helped me randomize my friendships. Before blogging, all my friends were basically like me -- same age, same socioeconomic class, mostly in a narrow band of professions, and physically nearby. Meeting people through blogs meant that for the first time I had friends who were not my age -- people in their 20s, and people in their 70's. It made me realize how segregated by age our society is. My life has been made so much better by the addition of older friends, particularly older women who have gone out before me and experienced a lot of the life stages I'm going through now.

For me, at least, will have a lasting impact. TGB might not be updating, but the friends I have and the people I read and the ideas I have because of TGB are still going strong. So TGB has a legacy with me. I think it has a legacy with a lot of the rest of you who are here reading today, as well.

Well, I don't know too many people that have such an impact, daily, of over a hundred souls...reading the comments of these folks I would say that your impact is much larger then you may have realized this morning. Hope you change your mind. Many of us read you, but don't comment or participate on the page here, but instead, we take your wisdom with us daily, fighting the fight without any recognition. Too bad some of our ammunition is going away.

It is devastating to hear this news. You have been such a leader and a mentor. Yours was one of the first blogs I read and you have connected met to so many of my friends in this blog world.

I hope that you will take a rest and return. I send my best wishes and love across the miles. Thank you Ronni for everything. Namaste.

I've put up a temporary TGB Community blog. Many of us will stay in touch through each others' blogs. But there's going to be some grieving going on. And I think that, in addition to Ronni's strong voice, we'll miss the community.

Wanna give it a try? Maybe Ronni will chime in eventually. I don't imagine she'll be able to stay silent for long.

Goodness, what a shock! I hadn't been by for a day or two and did a double take on reading your decision, Ronnie. I will certainly miss reading you. It's not hard to understand that 4 years of pouring yourself into such an almost daily project, as a one-woman band in most aspects, could feel like enough. I will be delighted, and hope to hear, if you reincarnate in some form after a break. In any case, like many of your other commenters, I feel quite sure that you will continue to put your talent and energy into worthwhile and creative campaigning and communicating. My warmest best wishes and hugs, and hoping to hear from or about you in some form before too long. xxxx

I almost didn't add my comment because there are so many others, but I have to say: I too only discovered TGB a few months ago and read it every day. Words cannot express the sheer inspiration I received from it. I'm so sad to see it end, but of course you must do what is best for you. You are a writer and I suspect your public voice has not been stilled for good. I just hope whenever you decide to speak again, I will be fortunate enough to make my way to wherever it sounds.

This is my first post. Maybe you will reconsider the 'all or nothing' aspect of your decision. You do not have to blog everyday. The story telling blog does not need to exist. You have alot to say about the aging process, maybe you want to write a book. Your decision feels a little punitive and a great disappointment to those of us who read you and learned alot from your thought provoking prose. Good luck, nonetheless.

Goodbye, Ronnie.

It's been good knowing you.

To say how terrifically sad it is to be losing your voice in the battle on the perception of age and aging would be an understatement. Your writing has been inspiring, thoughtful and thought provoking. Take care. (And tell Crabby I'll miss her.)

Say it isn't so! You and your posts have meant so much to me..I really feel I am much changed for the better for having read your material...You have opend new doors for me and new ways of thinking.......maybe you just pay to much attention to the "know it alls"......Please take a rest and then return with all your good thoughts and writing.....I felt like I had been hit in the stomach when I read your blog this morning..........

Thank you for saying it like it is. I wrote a column entitled "sixty is the new sixty." Duh. I too am sick of trying to botox boomers into a shell shocked version of their prior youth. Let's play where we are, as fit and mindful as biology, habits, and the luck of the draw allow. I pasted the column at the and this comment in case anyone wants to read it. Let us know if you "surface" in another digital zone...

One of the new mantras of aging in the twenty-first century is the refrain "sixty is the new forty." Maybe. Good health and an impressive array of lifestyle options certainly make many of today's sixty year olds look different compared to their parent's generation. But appearances can be misleading. In their rush to celebrate biological vibrancy, sixty year olds could miss a crucial piece of information about what occurs developmentally on the journey to seventy. Biology is not psychology, and failure to appreciate the difference could leave elders uninformed and ill prepared for their final mission.

Sixty year olds represent an "in between generation," meaning not quite middle age and not quite old. Developmentally, "in between" is an appropriate characterization of a transition period marked by "agenda crossover." What do I mean?

Middle age and old age have markedly different developmental agendas. The transition between these age groups is not sudden. It is a crossover process where one agenda ramps off while the other ramps on. From a psychological perspective, knowing where you are coming from is interesting; knowing where you are going is essential. Here is where elders are coming from.

Middle age is dominated by two primary developmental tasks, the "mission" of being fifty-something:

1. Preserve stability in world of increasing personal volatility.

2. Reinvent purpose and direction for the second half of life.

The instability of middle age is well known. It is an involuntary passage into life changing currents that include death in the family, unsettled children, chronic illness, career upheavals, aging parents, and changing partnerships. It is a complex and sobering period that requires super-human effort just to "keep things together." Truth be told, most of us don't keep things together, but we do get better at coming to terms with the "physics" of how life operates, negotiating a fragile peace with a vast list of items that remain outside of our control.

The other task of middle age is reinvention in an environment essentially devoid of public goals. This is in sharp contrast to the clear marching orders of the first half of life, a period in which society offer young adults concrete guidelines for their life's journey. Getting an education, landing a good job, finding the right partner, starting a family, and becoming successful are themes that inundate conversations in the first half of life. As such, they are a public refrain that define and reinforce social goals. And then, almost overnight, this social broadcasting mysteriously ceases. In middle age, public goals give way to private goals, a navigational shift in which life's purpose and direction becomes like a 401K, self-directed with the increased burden of trying to sort through a long list of confusing and at times conflicting choices.

Despite the demands of the middle age, by sixty most adults have successfully adopted to the tasks. They have found their version of personal stability and made significant headway in defining what they want and where they are going in the second half of life. But beneath this success is a new set of developmental currents that are beginning to surface as middle age recedes. Their arrival over the next ten years will usher in what is arguably the most difficult and magnanimous mission in life. As Bette Davis remarked, "Old age is no place for sissies."

The world cried the day you decided to stop writing. Your insight into various areas has been a eye-widening experience.

I've learned more from your blogging than I have through the 20-something years of my life.

Your words breathed life into a lot of readers. I do hope you will reconsider. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

I've never written to you before but I have read you daily for quite awhile. I've told others about your blog and encouraged them to read it too. I respect your decision even though it makes me sad. If you change your mind I will rejoice.
Thank you for everything you've done.

Dear Ronni: like many others, I have been reading TGB for quite a while, have not commented before, and admire you greatly. I have learned a lot from TGB, and it has been helpful to me to find a voice of reason out there. I live in Portland, OR and would be glad to help in any way I can if you decide to move this way. Wishing you soft days and warm nights.

I didn't see your Monday post until Tuesday and was gobsmacked as we Brits say. Since then I have been reading the growing volume of comments and trying to find something to say that hasn't already been said - I've failed. I, too, wish you would reconsider but if if this decision is final, so be it. If you want to get away from it all come and visit us in Turkey - though right now the weather isn't so good. But we can guarantee some days of sunshine, walks in beautiful countryside, visits to ancient sites and lots of good food and drink by a roaring fire. I mean it - if you have the cost of the ticket that's all you need.

Meanwhile I will churn out some more stories.

Ronni - like everyone else, I am sorry you have given up. I have been on the point of doing the same several times,(and I get nowhere near the number of visitors). In my case what kept me going was simply the love of writing.

I suspect in your case that your self imposed daily post has become a burden that you can do without. If that is the case remember it is self-imposed - if you don't feel like posting, then don't. You can reduce the frequency to weekly or whenever you feel like it. Most of us keep up to date I suspect via RSS feeds these days anyway.

Whatever you do, please keep the domain in place. You never know when the urge might return and for the rest of us there is good stuff thrre we would hate to lose.

Adding my voice of regret to all those here, and hoping you will find it in yourself to continue at some point and in some guise in the future.
Meantime thank you for all the words of wisdom.

I was introduced to blogging by you,Ronnie.Like so, so many others I'm feeling sad to see you go.TGB was a daily habit...Maybe someday you'll visit our part of the have a home here.So keep in touch!I'll continue to remember you.And Ollie.God Bless.

Shock!! I went away for Thanksgiving and just sat down this morning to catch up with the only blog I read which I've been doing almost from the beginning when I saw a reference to it in the newspaper.

I understand the decision to stop. I hope it's not a complete stop, just a moving on to something fresh that will rekindle your passions.
I add my wish to all the others that you keep in touch in some way with all your friends and
fans. And I agree with Kate that each of us in our own way will carry what we've learned from you into the world.

As Bob Hope sang, "Thanks for the memories...." Your daily output will truly be missed, as 125 other commentors have already told you. Go forward with the knowledge that you have provided a service to many. Enjoy yourself, however you choose to spend your hours/days/years.
[Apologies, too. I didn't know that anyone could hear me singing way up there. I am so mortified! ; ) Fat Lady Singing]

I've been following your blog for a couple years now. I've enjoyed the intelligence and quality of the ideas and writing. It has always been a pleasure.

Thank you.

You have done a wonderful job on TGB. Your blog is my model for a what a great blog should be. But if you are no longer enjoying it then you deserve to retire. May your retirement give you all the pleasure that you deserve.
Thank you!

Ronni, you were my first! Blog, that is. I found the link in the AARP Bulletin way back when. That eventually lead to a long list of favorites I read on a daily basis.

Thank you for all you've shared, and best wishes for your upcoming adventures, whatever they may be. Scratch Ollie for all of us.

Good God..not you! I'm gave me the courage to start my own blog. They say when the student is ready the teacher appears..and you were there..I've learned so much from you and your blog. We were privy to your thoughts and Crabby & Ollie. You invited us into your house and even your bedroom...we got to see where you worked and read.
Well..I for one am so sad to see you go...but I don't believe for one second that you will stop writing.
As the song says...Que sera sera...what will be..will be!
I hope you made this decision after much thought...and if not...maybe you could take a much-needed break and come back in a different forum.
I know it's selfish of us to want you to stay for our own selfish reasons...but You made us love you...we knew where to go for an intelligent've made us proud to be elders.
Teacher's just don't stop teaching...and we still have a lot to learn.
You're indispensable...nobody can replace you.
Leave if you must...but it's a sorry day for a lot of us.
Thanks for everything you have taught me.

You have been my companion in my jouney into my 60's. I have relied on your point of view, your humor and your practical information. Thanks for everything. Meredith

I am so sorry to hear you are shutting down this blog. I only recently discovered it, and I very much enjoyed reading here.

Goodbye, and best wishes.

What a surprise! I was just linked to your blog for the first time, only to discover you were leaving. Well, we simply won't have it. Stay. I'm particularly interested in your tracking of SB1959. (my own cause, for the moment, is being caught in the visegrip of not-quite-old-enough not-quite-well-enough health insurance. $$$$$) We're rooting for you, whatever you do. Please do, really, more of it.

Good heavens, Ronni! You deserve a round of applause!

You've fought valiantly during these blogging years to have your very insightful ideas heard and it's perfectly understandable if you're simply done using this particular forum because you no longer find it suitable or rewarding. But, based on the responses to this post, you've obviously succeeded in providing valuable information and tremendous inspiration to all of us who have been your readers. Thank you for your years of dedication.

I'll miss your blog, but I understand and applaud your well-deserved "retirement" from the relentless demands of daily posting and wish you the very best in whatever you choose to do next.

Holy crap! I'm in shock as many others express. These comments, though - too many to read in one sitting - are such an amazing testiment to the effects of blogging for creating a community.

How should we now keep this community going without TGB? Does anyone have any ideas? Anything that can act as a placeholder?

Ronni, I'm sorry for whatever happened, and I hope you're not too disheartened. Please do realize that these comments are just the beginning of how we feel about having this forum and these thoughts in our lives. I wish you all the best.

Oh me, Oh my, I,m full of shame.
Perhaps I'll be the one to blame.
I took Ronni for granted.

I've stumbled, dug, furled her; and added her words to blogs, lenses, facebooks and spaces. But, alas, it is Dec. 10th and I am just now seeing what she wrote on Dec. 3rd about not blogging anymore.

Fortunately, I now can see that she is not quitting. But let this be a lesson to all of us. When someone means so much to us and we come to depend on them; make sure to tell them. Let them know they are appreciated, listen to them--really hear what they are saying and do the things that they ask us to do. I for one will come up with my story and see if I can be listed within the Elder Storytelling Place.

Time does go by and I have come to live with that; but I am not ready for it to go bye-bye. We need you, Ronni.

"Blogger brought back the option to enter a URL when post unauthenticated comments."

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