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Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Oldest Blogger – Not

By Lyn Burnstine of The Lynamber Times

Well, my self-proclaimed title of oldest blogger has been challenged. Who am I kidding? It's been lambasted, whipped, crushed, vanquished, beat out, threshed, trounced, flogged, cut down, chewed up, mopped up, bashed, beaten, buried, busted, clobbered, crushed, drubbed, licked, made mincemeat of, pommeled , put away and routed: in other words I have lost the title.

The first victor I heard about was 97, now I hear of a woman who was still blogging the day before she died at the age of 108.

My impression of being the oldest blogger began when I realized I was the oldest blogger on PNN – Personal News Network, the water cooler for women. Most of the women on that blogsite seem to be between 20 and 50 something.

When I initially went on PNN, I was afraid my age would create a separation between me and all the lovely, young women on that youth-oriented blogsite. Happily, I found that it doesn't - I have had more than one of them say, "I want you for my mentor."

One of those young women made a statement about wanting to eliminate ageism. Yes, a noble plan – ageism is insidious and hurtful in many places and ways, particularly in the job market. I can't believe that people in their fifties are being aged out of the desirable bracket for hiring. I was just coming into my own and becoming a valuable resource to the schools that hired me in my fifties!

However, I think a more helpful social change might be a return to the respect once afforded older generations and a recognition of all they still have to offer.

I usually refer to my age in my blogs. It is deliberate. I am proud to be the age I am – 76 – and all the living and learning that implies. I hope I have a bit more wisdom than I did years ago, and I am always delighted to have anybody benefit from that. It shouldn't go to waste.

One of my grandsons says, "Give me a little of that wisdom, Grandma." Another grandson lives with the Snoqualmie Indian tribe and has learned the Native American tradition of respect for one's elders.

Additionally, I am not at all insulted when young people offer me their arms or hold a door open for me. So what if it reminds me that I am growing older and more feeble? I DO need help. A recent long plane trip was made far more bearable by all the sweet young men who offered their arms to lean on, or to help carry my luggage for me. One even offered to push the airport wheelchair to my parting gate if the attendant didn't show up in time!

Would I rather be young and sexy again and have them approach me with other intentions? Probably not. That was fun, but this stage of life has its perks, too.

So, with some disappointment, I cede the title I never really had. But – I still am learning something new almost everyday. Who knows where it will lead?

[EDITORIAL NOTE: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Lyn - I envy your calm, rational approach to aging!

When I turned 70, two years ago I howled with horror, took up yoga, watercolor painting, memoir writing, and learning to speak Italian. I vowed to act and feel younger than my age until I cease to exist. - Sandy


WOW! I loved that first paragraph...
Roget would so proud of you.

I know how you feel about joining a new group like PNN or setting up a Facebook account;when it comes to my age I have to scroll down for 10 minutes to get to 1928.But, no one has ever said I can't join or open an account because of my age. In fact, like you, I have made many good friends who are much younger than I and we have a good time together comparing notes and lives.

I enjoy a lot of sites on the computer, but Ronni's Time Goes By and Elder Storytelling are the BEST!

There are several of us that read each other's blogs. We share the age of 84 and it's fun at times when we reminisce about things that happened in our youth that only we can understand, but it's also wonderful to read the blogs of women and men half our age and get a fresh perspective on things.

Friendship knows no age barrier. You have obviously found that out.

Thanks for all the responses. Sandy, Sometimes I do howl and do not go gentle into the good night of old age.
Nancy, I read that paragraph to my writing class Tuesday as an example that the "simplify, simplify, simplify," "cut, cut, cut," I always tell them to do is a rule that can be broken for interest's sake sometimes. And it was done with a thesaurus in hand, which I recommended to them!
Darlene, yay for you & your friends. I do cultivate young ones, else someday, too soon, I won't have any left!!!!!!

Another great piece, Lyn.
Since you are a decade ahead of me, I see you as an inspiration. And I agree with you about respect. One of the nice things about interacting with our peers is that we do get it -- though, you're right, it often comes from younger people, too.

Elvira Oliver (99), an Italian American whose parents migrated from Italy to the United States, is probably the oldest of the world’s 100 million bloggers. Her blog, The Oldest Blogger on Earth, is posted at http://theoldestbloggeronearth.blogspot.com/

OhmyNewsInternational has posted a story I wrote about her: http://english.ohmynews.com/articleview/article_view.asp?no=385592&rel_no=1

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