Where I’ve Been and Where I’m Going
I am very aware that I sort of vanished from this site. I’ve posted three times since July. Not much communication in seven months.
In fact, that is the least amount I have posted since I started this site ten years ago.
I started blogging so long ago, many of you have – god bless you – who have been with me since the very beginning used to get this sent through Gmail, until they cracked down on anyone who sent out more than three hundred emails in one send.
For those who might have forgotten, I started this blog with something called Freshman Mom. My oldest daughter was entering college, I was flipping out and many moms I knew who were going through the same thing were not doing so well either.
So, as I am known to do I started recounting my own experience of being a Freshman Mom. The daily ramblings of a mom who was saying goodbye to her firstborn and leaving her at college and then those first months when she was out of the house on a full-time basis.
That blog lasted about three months. I did get used to having her at college and it was not in fact like she had taken off for Antarctica never to return. I had also spent the three years prior making a documentary she played a big part in. Thus I realized if I wanted to keep her in my life, I had better take her out from under the microscope I had stuck her under.
And then I started blogging about my life, the things I loved, the things that pissed me off, my family, my kids, our trips. Whatever I felt like. Some days I ranted. Some days I was full of wisdom. Some days I was a wise-ass and others I just wanted to talk about makeup.
I never looked at the blog as anything other than a shared diary. Which was stupid as some really profitable bloggers started at exactly the same time I did.
I was newly fifty then and embarking on a book called Between A Rock and Hot Place – Why Fifty is Not the New Thirty. I used the blog to promote the book. Remember Face to Facebook?
I followed that book with Gratitude and Trust Six Affirmations That Will Change Your Life, the book I wrote with Paul Williams. And there was a podcast with Paul, one movie of the week I wrote off the first book, then the year I took to write and sell a spec pilot.
Gratitude and Trust took up four years. I devoted four years to writing, publishing and promoting the hell out of it with Paul. And it was grand!
And then last year around this time the pilot I sold did not go to series. And I was basically told I was too old at this point to really work at any decent level in the film or TV business.
I accepted it. I sort of knew it. Though I did want to give it one last shot. I didn’t have a new book in me at that moment. Taylor got engaged, thus the little freshman who started the whole thing was off on her own life.
And then Lucy, the nine-year-old I returned to raise after I left Taylor at college started applying to college herself. Come August we will be packing her up and leaving her somewhere that is not this apartment.
She turns eighteen this week. I turn sixty in May. Taylor will be married this time next year. And I kind of… you know… flipped out.
I didn’t flip – flip. Maybe some days I did. But I have been less than ebullient on many days for many months.
It’s been a year of digging deep.
The primary question being, “How do I want to spend the next decade of my life?”
I’ve had the high glam career. I’ve made the best seller list. I’ve hit many marks. I would have been happy with more. Despite all the gratitude I always want to accompish more.
Then one day last month, I was looking around my office I said OK, leave yourself alone, you have done a lot and you have been home most nights and made dinner for your girls for going on 28 years.
If I had my way, I would just stick all of us in a time machine and raise my girls all over again. Not that they aren’t great the way they are, but I don’t really like the idea that all of that is behind me. The mommy years.
Despite all the focus on women, I thought fifty was worthy of a book, sixty, pardon the expression trumps it by far.
I wake up in the morning thinking one of two thoughts; either Lucy will soon be away at college and WTF am I going to do with the rest of my life? Often the thoughts morph into one giant existential moan, with Norh Korea as a backdrop.
That’s been a lot of my year. But somewhere in there, I knew I was being tugged at by something I have labeled the pull of purpose. That whatever I did it had to have meaning and I had to have a real purpose.
The whole I live my life in love and service gratitude and trust thing did stick.
And one day I thought if I am feeling this way, at this age, what are other women feeling? I have had so many advantages, and I now have this thought leader label and maybe it’s my purpose to take my blogging and postings and “influencing” up a few notches and write for the women my age, the women whose needs and fears and wants and dreams have been back- burnered by society. We had our kids, we did our jobs, now it’s time to disappear and be good older women.
Not so fast – not so fast. In fact, I don’t feel like an elderly person and get really pissed off when commercials keep telling me I am.
I’m so not ready for retirement much less a retirement community, diapers or any of the meds they are pushing on me.
I feel like I did at forty and I know a lot of other women do too.
And friends asked me to do a site for them, for us, for this new breed of women who are hitting their mid-forties, fifties, sixties and on up.
Women either get up each day and are kicking butt or need a kick in the butt to get up each day and turn their lives around.
And then they need a lot of lipstick advice!
So, friends, I have spent the last seven months devising my new job, my new home on the web that will hopefully pop out of the web and into the world. It’s a company. It’s mine, I own it. No one can fire me because they find me too old.
It’s been the best learning curve. I’ve opened and closed many doors to find exactly what I want to do and how I want to do it.
And I decided to take my time, do it right. And I have also been spending an enormous amount of time with my girls; especially Lucy.
Oh, and I’ve done my fair share of crying.
But, I think I’ve got this. And if I don’t it’s going to be fun trying.
But hopefully, I will help some women, entertain others and inspire some too. And I will learn on this journey as well. I always do.
The site is called Balance and Beam. It launches in two weeks.
It’s like one of those real sites, with sections for everything from life advice to travel, beauty, books, food, finance, health, and fashion and I sell things. I have a store!!! We sell handbags!!!!!!
I even hired some people to write for me and take proper photos.
The good news is you are all still on the list.
I know some of the guys will be signing off, though there will be a lot of the things you men have said you liked in the past.
There will be no daily blog in your inbox, that is so 2010. There will be a weekly newsletter where we will have the highlights of what we have posted that week. If you want to see the daily postings you will have to meander over the to the site yourself or find us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Timing is a lot in life and I feel the bookends of starting TraceyJacksonOnline when Taylor went to college and ending with Lucy going to college is perfect.
The old site will stay up. It will be archival in the sense that nothing will go away. I won’t add to it unless it’s work related. Same goes for Gratitude and Trust.
I hope you stay with me. Those of you with female friends who you think would like it, please pass it on.
But, I really want to thank the core group and you know who you are. You are in the hundreds, but you are a real community that I could count on to open and read what I wrote and even if you didn’t comment, I would see you and you would say something. I made friends in parts of America I have never been who were devoted to the site. Some of whom I only learned of when we did the coat drive.
This site has meant a lot to me. And your loyalty to it has meant even more. Every comment, either emailed or on the page was so welcome and so appreciated. You heard me, you hung in there with me. You’ve been on every vacation with us since Lucy was eight. You were there when I left Taylor at college and when she came home. You were all really into #traceystopsshopping which she did not do for as long as she promised.
You are my friends, whether I know you or not.
So, if you feel the same way, stick with me through Balance and Beam.
I think I’ve learned a lot in these last ten years and I know I have a lot more to say!
And I have so many beauty tips.
So this will be the last time I post on this site. Next time you hear from me it will be a letter from Balance and Beam.
Open it – please……….