It’s been great talking to you!

My people 2

I remember the very first blog I ever wrote for the Bangor Daily, it was exactly four years ago. I was so excited to write it. Over the years it has been an incredibly rewarding and enjoyable experience. I have grown, personally, and professionally. I have grown as a writer. I’ve made some wonderful contacts and some truly great friends. However, recently something has shifted. You know how it is, when you are having a wonderful conversation with someone at a party, but at a certain point, you just run out of things to say. So you say sincerely, “well it’s been great talking to you” and you move onto the next conversation. I have decided it is time for me to move onto the next conversation. The excitement I feel about this makes me certain that it is absolutely the right choice.

When I started this blog I was working through a heartbreaking and unexpected divorce. I was negotiating dating in mid-life. I was launching my children into the world. I was learning to be on my own. I’ve met those challenges and I’ve shared them all with you along the way. Now, I want to move onto new challenges. I want to write about new things. I want to try out new audiences. I want to contribute to publications that specialize in the things I’m passionate about. I want to free up this space for someone with new ideas and fresh perspective. And honestly, I want out of this before the next political season, because I know it’s going to get ugly, and I don’t have room in my life for ugly anymore.

This decision comes at the perfect time. In just a month I’ll be turning fifty. I am looking forward to an entire new decade. My forties have been a busy time. In the beginning of my forties I watched all of my children graduate from high school, I proudly watched my son graduate from boot camp for the United States Air Force and before my forties end next month, I will have watched all three of my daughters graduate from college. I watched my oldest daughter marry a truly wonderful young man who had already been a part of our family for many years! Now I get to sit back and enjoy a job well done! There was sadness in my forties, but there was also new love and new friendships and so, so many precious moments.

I don’t know what my fifties will hold yet, but I’m ready. I do know I’ll be starting a new job and I’m beyond excited for the unexpected opportunities I’ve encountered. My fifties may be the decade I lose my mom in, so I’m savoring every moment with her now. I also anticipate this decade will be the one I become a grandparent in so I’ve taken up knitting again! I am sure it will be a decade of love, maybe of some loss, but also the possibly of wonderful surprises!

Oh, I’ll still have something to say every now and again about middle age, or womanhood, or parents or children. You can still find me with all the other kick ass ladies at Not Your Mother’s Menopause. And I know if I have something pressing to say to local readers, Jim LaPierre will always let me jump on in and comment in his blog, Recovery Rocks! I’ve uploaded some of my favorites from this blog to Highlights from a Work in Progress. If you’ve got an old favorite and can’t find it there let me know and I’ll post it for you.

One of the greatest lessons of my forties has been that there is no final destination. There is no secure point you reach when you claim all is exactly the way you want it and then nothing changes ever again. Despite our best efforts to fight it, life is nothing but change. Some of it is expected and planned but a good portion of it hits you out of the blue.

You get married and plan on it being forever and then boom, find yourself lying on the floor with the rug pulled out from under you staring at the ceiling wondering how you ended up there. You make a home you plan to grow old in, planning every detail, loving every inch of the space, only to find out that life has some place else for you. You raise children, planning for their futures with hope and optimism, only to find out those kids have their own plans, good or bad. They have their own experiences and you can’t stop them or help them with most adult things. People leave your life unexpectedly and people enter it unexpectedly as well. Its constant change, constant gain and loss, and whether we look at these events as tragedies or opportunities is what ultimately defines who we are. No we don’t have to like every bit of it, but here it is and we need to learn to make a life out of both the good and the bad. I’ve learned to be vigilant, to be flexible, and most importantly to be so very grateful for all of it.

It’s been great talking to all you, enjoy the rest of the party and I hope to see you all again soon!

Photo Credit: Jeff Kirlin 2014

Karen Foley

About Karen Foley

Karen Foley, has successfully been writing her blog for the BDN since May 2011. By successful, she means a few people read it, and she has not been sued, stalked or fired since starting it.