“You Should Write.”

IMG_1081I can’t think of how many times on my life-road that people have told me, “You should write a book.” One advantage of having a few decades of adulthood behind me is, I know I don’t have the patience to write a whole book.

So here’s to listening to men and women wiser than I, taking their advice, but doing it my way (cue Sinatra).  This isn’t a new road for me by any means. I’ve been blogging for years, as a communications professional for a global humanitarian organization.

But I’ll be taking a fork in the road, so to speak, with thoughts and stories in a new voice.

Over the edge

What pushed me over the precipice? I recently did a series of Google searches on variations of the phrase “mid-life female bloggers.” I searched both with “Christian” and without “Christian” since being a Jesus-follower is a huge part of who I am.  I just wanted to read about women like me. I mean, we’ve got Ann Lamott’s Facebook posts (which I savor every time she writes), but is there anybody else?

Google spit out a variety of posts on how to dress so you don’t show your age, how to eat so you don’t show your age, and how to do your makeup so you don’t show your age.

This is largely because bloggers have to make a living. Talking about food/fashion/makeup in the digital version of a grocery checkout line magazine leads advertisers to give you money.  I thought, But are there women out there who want to read and think about something else?

Maybe things like being the sandwich generation….watching with your heart in your throat as your kids pick a life partner…wondering if the next stock crash will smash your not-too-distant retirement plans…seeing poverty and suffering in your own neighborhood and wondering how you can make a dent.

Miles to Go…

I knew I wanted this site to have the word “road” in it, and being a former English Lit major, with a diploma from the University of Michigan where Robert Frost hung out as a fellow, “The Road Not Taken” popped into my mind.  Of course, someone else snapped up that site name within the first few minutes after blogging was created.

So after a cell phone brainstorm on my back patio with a dear writer-sister-friend (one of several I’ll introduce to you eventually), I picked The Road Undiscovered.

I’ve covered a lot of territory in five-plus decades but there’s more to come.  And I know so many women who’ve lived amazing lives, and yet have so much more to give the world. And who don’t want to spend all day obsessing about what kind of mascara to wear.  We have come a long way, but we have so much left to travel.

…and Promises to Keep

Frost’s well-loved poem includes the phrase, “But I have promises to keep.” Here are my promises to you:

  • We will have fun.  I have seen a lot of pain in 22-plus years of humanitarian work. I promise I will hire a therapist rather than give the devil more publicity, by regaling you constantly with how awful the world is. I don’t believe that anyway. Bad stuff happens but God is good. I will bang the drum loudly for peace and justice fueled by Jesus Christ, and tell you stories of what I’ve seen, but with a liberal dash of hope mixed in.
  • I will talk about God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit because they power my existence. I hope that you’ll see that faith infused in my writing. You may even see some theology perpetrated from time to time. But  I promise the right answer won’t be “Jesus” for every post. Some days I don’t have answers and don’t want you to feel like your life has to tie things up in a tidy spiritual bow every day, either.
  • I promise to write some things you’ll disagree with. I promise to be available to discuss them with you.   I promise to be an example and mentor to others on civil discourse in this world. It’s the least we owe to the generation coming up behind us.
  • I promise to post on a schedule. Weekly, at the very least. It’s hard to have a relationship with readers when you go AWOL after the first five posts. I will take vacations but I’ll let you know when that happens. My hope is to create community where people — particularly women, particularly women who’ve done some road-traveling — can read, think, evaluate, and talk.

I don’t have all this figured out. Just a moment ago, in writing the next-to-last sentence, I decided to use the Oxford comma in this blog.  We will see where the trail leads.


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