There was a time when I thought I was too old to blog. Blogging sounded like a teen or college student hobby, and not one that could ever be a job, let alone a career. But bloggers are everywhere. They come in all ages, shapes, and sizes, and live in big cities and small towns. They’re both men and women, and blog about anything and everything from lifestyle to politics, to tech, real estate, and sex. It seems that blogging has become the “it” occupation of the millennium, and it’s practically cool to blog. What’s more, blogging over 40 is becoming more common.
Since I began my New York blog in 2011, I’ve come to realize that blogging knows no age and taking this journey in my forties has its advantages. Even though hoards of twenty-somethings populate the blogosphere and “blogging” might sound like a career that is stereotypically youthful, these are the reasons why blogging is better over 40.
I know what I’m capable of more so now than when I was younger.
I didn’t know what I could or couldn’t do when I was in my twenties or even my thirties. But now, not only do I realize my shortcomings, I’m not afraid to admit to things I am NOT good at, or things I have no desire to do. I’ve learned to focus on my strengths and not my weaknesses. What I have become very good at is delegating. Thank goodness for delegating!
I’m better at changing directions on a dime when needed.
I’ve come to realize that a plan B is essential. (At times a plan C is needed too.) Shifting is crucial on any job or project, because often, what you thought would work originally, doesn’t at the end of the day. Sometimes a story angle seems clear, but after writing a few paragraphs, you suddenly realize, “This sucks!” And then it’s time to move on to a new angle or a new article altogether. I didn’t have the flexibility when I was younger. Now, I create, scrap, salvage, and create again. Every. Day.
I care less about what people think.
When I meet someone, they ask me what I do for a living and I respond, “I’m a blogger.” Well, reactions run the gamut. I get those who respond simply with, “That’s cool!” This statement leads me to believe that they have no idea what blogging is. (Not that blogging isn’t cool, but since it’s a job, it’s probably not as cool as people think.) And then there’s the affirming head shake, usually accompanied by an “Ohhh,” which I guess means, “Is that really your job?” Or, maybe even, “What the hell do you do all day?” I usually giggle to myself and change the subject.
What’s more, I’ve learned not to dwell on the internet trolls and stalkers, and move on. I don’t have the time.
I’m smarter than I was at 20 or 30.
I’ve had more time to learn, and I’m smarter than I was even five years ago. When I think about being 25 and attempting to do what I do now, I know that I didn’t have the maturity to do it, and do it well. I didn’t have the self-discipline, either. Now, however, I am super committed.
I have more experience.
Getting back to those people who ask what I do for a living and don’t know quite how to respond (not that I blame them for their reactions or lack of reactions)… What they don’t know is that all of my life experiences have led me to this point. They don’t know that I’ve worked in some facet of lifestyle and the arts for nearly 30 years. (Yes, that’s a long time!)
I have a background in the topics I blog about. I’ve worked in beauty, home goods, interior design, hospitality, and dance. I sold make-up, clothing, textiles, and furniture. I renovated and decorated old houses. I’ve cleaned and organized. I trained to be a ballet dancer. I taught design. I worked in a restaurant (I am a horrible waitress, by the way). I cooked a sit-down dinner for 35 people, and hosted a cocktail party for up to 100. I’ve loved New York City since I was 12 years old. And I have a need to explore and understand other cultures. Blogging is a culmination of my life’s work.
I appreciate the little victories more.
Even the small accomplishments matter –– a new follower; a great article idea; an email from a fan. I’ve learned to appreciate the small stuff as much as the big stuff and not take even the minuscule things for granted. When I was younger, I didn’t see the big picture, or get that those little things do add up.
I realize how lucky I am to do what I do and where I do it.
I count my lucky stars on a regular basis. I believe that a greater sense of appreciation comes with age (for most people), and I know it did for me. After the many jobs I’ve had over the years, (I come up with 19 and that’s not all of the temp jobs), in my heart I know this is one of the greatest jobs in the world. And I can’t imagine blogging getting any better than it is in New York City.