A website about writing, ageing, learning and well-being

Let’s talk about writing, ageing, and well-being, and how they interact. Please join me: I learn so much from other bloggers.

  •  I’m fascinated by the ways we use writing to solve problems and improve our health and happiness. Blogging is a case in point.
  • I think about my own advancing age, fear it, relish it, and brace myself for the years ahead. You may be doing this too.

My web profile: trying to focus here

Writer. Teacher. Older. The last one sprang on me very suddenly. I just didn’t see it coming. That seems crazy… but it’s only human.

Class of 5S Christchurch Girls' High School 1954
At this stage I was already a writer. Christchurch Girls High School, 1954. (That face was torn off by accident, not on purpose.)

In the early days on the web, every new project or group or role demanded that I set up another website, write another book, open another social media account, until my brain was a hundred open tabs flapping in the wind.

muehlenbeckia_astonii-1

Divarication as a professional strategy

Do you know about New Zealand’s marvellous divaricating shrubs? Instead of growing as a trunk and branches and sub-branches and twigs, they grow by a process of endless splitting. There’s no hierarchy, just a mass of twiglets crocheting themselves together into a dense anarchic ball. The evolutionary justification was that this growth pattern prevented bushes from being eaten by moa and other ground-dwelling birds.

heavy-footed-moa-te-papa-by-paul-martinson
Heavy-footed moa (pachyornus elephantopus). Image 2006-0010-1/20 from the series ‘Extinct birds of New Zealand’ Masterton. nzbirdsonline.org.nz

That’s the way I have lived my professional life. There are benefits: I’ve had fun, achieved a lot, and never been pecked by a moa. For years this online proliferation has been an automatic response, a persistent habit. But lately, the ramifications were doing my head in.

Stop cluttering up cyberspace!

In 2016 I was on the verge of creating yet another website just to promote and talk about the short video courses that I intended to make. Epiphany! A little voice said, “Stop! Surely your WordPress site can accommodate this. Just make it work.”

The dilettante muehlenbeckia bush close up appears to be in a dither of indecision… but stand back and you’ll see it holistically as a strong structure with a striking, colourful texture.  Fortunately at this stage of life I’m finding connections, connections, connections everywhere I look. I’ll never become a Norfolk pine, but as a mature muehlenbeckia astonii I can prune myself ruthlessly.

Hence this website, which yearns (in vain) to be my only website.