I’ve chewed on the idea of starting a blog for years, but a good blog needs a theme, a topic, something to focus on that makes the blog more than a public diary.
And recently, Josh and I had the opportunity to go to Mexico on relatively short notice (thank you Groupon, and more on that next). Friends with toddlers listened to me blather excitedly about sunshine and underwater caves (cenotes), and they whimpered a little. Most of my agemates* are in their early to mid-thirties and have children under 5 years old. The kids are not yet at an age where travel is fun for anyone, and their parents, my once travel-loving, adventure-making friends, remember wistfully the times they took impromptu trips, and wonder when their lives will allow them to be mobile again.
And the answer is, for most of them, not for a long time. You can travel with your kids of course, and I believe it can be a different kind of awesome (you could make a valid argument for better, since it’s fun to see new things through the eyes of kids**), but it’s not the same as traveling alone. Unless you’ve got the good fortune to have grandparents nearby as ready babysitters, those adventurous on-the-fly experiences are unlikely to happen until the kids are out of the house. This desire for flexibility and travel is one of the many reasons we are child-free, and why I have more in common with my 50 and 60-year old empty nester friends than my own agemates. (Since this blog will explore my life’s inspirations, you’ll hear a lot more on them later, too.)
But I didn’t intend for this post to jump right into the child-free subject. I just wanted to illustrate that this is how I found the theme for this blog. Josh and I are lucky enough to be able to travel because our time is our own, and with the exception of our dogs (who have a fantastic sitter) our home life can take care of itself without us for a few weeks. Because of that, I get to do a lot of really cool stuff, and I’m grateful for it.
I’m feeling pressure about this first blog post. I spent days setting up my blog site, choosing a theme, creating menus, learning the ins and outs of WordPress, all to avoid the very reason for the blog: I need to write something. That first blog post is important. You’re setting the tone for the whole thing, and I feel like I should choose just the right voice, one that is witty and profound and well-spoken all at once. But rather than spending WEEKS crafting and revising a first blog entry, I’m throwing this jumble up here to quiet the angry stare of the blank page. In future posts, maybe elegance will follow, but more likely it won’t.
*A note on the word “agemate”: a writing workshop once told me it’s weird, and no one (American) uses it. But’s a common word in Kenya (and probably most British-English-speaking places), and it’s more accurate and less wordy than “people of my generation,” so you’re going to see it a lot here and pretty soon you’re going to start using it. Agemate. Agemate agemate agemate. Now if I could come up with an equally savvy term for “friend with kids”…I guess they’re just called parents?
**I’m already trying to anticipate and diffuse the arguments of readers I don’t have. This is a compulsion I have, especially when I’m afraid of offending someone. I apologize, future reader.