I had planned to concentrate on doing my weekly blog post first thing this morning. Not to become diverted by any other chores. However, it is now two hours later, and I have not yet started on my noble intention.

Some Diversions

Checking up on Croquet Result

Against my better judgement, I took a sneak preview of my inbox. No, I would not open any emails, but I would just check in case there is something personal requiring an urgent response. My goodness me – here are the results from the Croquet Tournament I participated in on Sunday morning. I must just check in here quickly.

This competition takes place over four months – one session happening on the last Sunday morning of the month from June to September. It is crucial for me to take a sneak preview of how the 16 competitors fared in the 90 matches which have been played thus far. Results have come in for the three sessions that have now taken place.

How am I doing? Unfortunately, not too well! There seems to be an error here, so just a quick email to Judy to check she has added all the results correctly! And, a double check I have not misinterpreted her score table. I had better make a print out of this complicated score sheet.  It will make it easier for me to study these multiple recorded scores.

What does Ellen Want

Then I must just find out what this woman Ellen is all about. Her name caught my attention when I snatched a quick review of incoming emails. Yes, she had sent me 3 free PDF’s – instructions about how to become a better blogger. She is now telling me that if I read them, let her know which is the most useful to me, I will then get a free consultation worth $97! I am so tempted to go and skim them. But no, I will restrain myself.

The Phone now Interrupts

Now there is a phone call. “Can I come and fill in at a bridge game this afternoon,” queries the caller. “Sorry,” I respond, “I have a commitment with my granddaughter this afternoon.” “Oh,” says my inviter, “I was just phoning anybody because someone dropped out of the bridge game this morning.”

Now I am really distressed. What does she mean by ‘anybody?’ I always thought I was ‘somebody’ and now I am being told I am ‘anybody’. Do I need to respond to this unconscious derogatory judgement from my caller?   Maybe I will let it pass.

Back to Blogging

I have been exploring the blogging scene for the past six months. No great results. Nothing too bad, either. I am trying to master Facebook in order to grow my following and have roped in my daughter’s young administrative assistant, to teach me how to integrate the Social Media into my repertoire of skills. Whew! It is quite a journey.

Facebook Challenges

How do people just pick up these skills and this knowledge?   Is it by trial and error? For me, it is far from intuitive. If truth were told, it is quite a slog. But then, this is all part of my aspirational lifestyle. I cannot preach the story about taking on new challenges if I personally shirk those opportunities. As a result of this blogging venture, I now have not only a personal Facebook page but A Mind of Grace page on Facebook, as well.  According to my teacher, I need to update these pages every day with enticing material. I need to like a whole bunch of new people. I have to respond to comments. I must comment on the blogs of other contributors. I need to update my profile. I must check up what people in my niche are doing. And, I thought this was going to be fun!

And Instagram as Well!

Now, my teacher wants me to become Instagram enabled, as well. Is it not enough that I use WhatsApp, and Facebook, and Blog? “No,” she says, “You need to use Instagram. That is where you need to be.” To use Instagram, you need to upload pictures from your cellphone. Now, that is a new activity for me. I can upload pictures from my computer, but for this social medium, I need to send them from my cellphone to the computer.

Skills New and Old

While I learned to touch-type 60 years ago, and can probably do about 40 words a minute on the keyboard, on the tiny cellphone, I can only input about 10 words a minute. This is excruciatingly painful. It is one thing to practice my croquet shots in order to improve my game, but do I now have to practice inputting data on my cellphone with my two thumbs? I suppose that is something for me to practice when I am in the bank waiting for my number to be called!

This is what Keeps me Going

Looking on the bright side, something exciting happened at 9pm last night. When checking my emails, I learned that the experimental blog I sent to Thrive Global has been accepted. So there I saw my piece on the prestigious site which is run by Adrianna Huffington.

My mamma may not be impressed, and my dadda may not be impressed, but I was pretty excited with this news. This exhilaration was because having been featured on Thrive Global I was being offered the facility to link my post on WhatsApp to my multiple contacts. Now, that was going to be fun. While it is not so great transferring data from WhatsApp to the computer, the reverse procedure was sure worthwhile. And, all I had to do was to follow the instructions sent by Thrive Global which were detailed on my screen.

Sometimes I become Over-excited!

I think I may have overdone it as the link was sent to all and sundry. Yes, the life of a blogger is not lacking in incident. The disappointment of not growing my list as fast as I would like to. The knowledge that I have so much to learn and master to be a ‘successful’ blogger. I need to create sales funnels, free offers, and lessons, and do surveys. The list does not end.


But, I have now written my morning blog! I have my first piece up on a prestigious website. So I am off to see the physiotherapist for treatment of my upper arm. This is an injury that has kept me off the tennis court for the past month. But, I will be back playing tennis soon as long as I am up-to-date with my blogging time-table!

As a newcomer to the ritual of writing a regular blog, I am developing fresh ways of evaluating my daily experiences.   The mundane has become a possibility.   An ordinary event may just be an opportunity.   What would in the past been passed off as mundane has now become a possibility for creating a worthy piece of writing.  I am discovering that unexpected opportunities lie in many unlikely places as long as one retains an “appreciative eye”, and exercises an open mind to experiences as they happen.

Whilst it is New Year’s Eve today in Cape Town, and a hot summer day I decided to drive into the city because I had a library book which had become due, and I was in danger of having to pay a fine.   I had a serendipitous experience as I bumped into two acquaintances with whom I had been friendly during my days at the University of Cape Town some 60 or more years ago.   They suggested I join them for lunch – an invitation I gladly accepted.

Whilst I had seen both Marilyn and Rona around at various local functions during the intervening decades, and I had had numerous casual chats with both of them, this was the first time for many years that I was actually joining them for a meal which presented the opportunity to catch up with their activities.

It was with some degree of pride that I opened the discussion by reporting on my visit to the Isle of Lesbos in June a few months ago, where I attended a memoir writing course.   “Oh”, says Rona, “you are writing your memoir as well.   Everybody seems to be doing that these days.  Marilyn has already published her book of family reminiscences   “A somewhat dismissive comment.” I thought and felt, but decided to proceed unabashed with my next question.  I had been told by my writing teacher that 60,000 words are a necessary tally for an adequate memoir. “So,” I asked, “how many words did you write for your publication?”   That question threw her out a bit.  “I don’t know how many words it was,” she said, ‘but it was 200 A4 pages when it was completed.”

I changed the subject with my next question.  “What was the name of your book?”   “Many Lives,”  she answered.   Her story had started with a letter written by her grandfather, followed up by recounting information of her father’s generation, and subsequently a history of her husband’s family, as well.   To finish it off her children had each added their reflections.   I was aware during this conversation that this comparing of our personal attempts at articulating our story was a novel and somewhat challenging experience for me.

I went on to say that I am intending to set up a website and create a blog so that I can arouse some interest in the work I do facilitating small groups in which we discuss Conscious Ageing for Seniors.   “But, blogging is something anyone can do!” says Marilyn.  “True,” I retaliated, ‘but anyone can write a book, as well.”   Marilyn defended herself, “But a book needs an editor and a publisher.”   “Not so,” I responded, “today anyone can write a book.   No editor is needed and no publisher is required if you create an ebook.”

Marilyn graciously agreed with my rationale and offered her apologies.  It was no problem for me to acknowledge her ability to rectify the situation, and in turn, I had the opportunity to follow up with a story I had received on WhatsApp that morning.  “If a man apologises when he is right, that means he is “honest.”   If he apologises when he is not sure, it means he is “wise.”   And, if he apologises when he is wrong, that means he is “husband”

At the same restaurant, I met a friend who had just celebrated her 80th Birthday.   I am still getting used to the idea that I have been around for such a long time.   “Am I an old woman yet?” I am wondering.