Jane Gassner on Aging Out of Midlife

Jane Gassner created MidLifeBloggers in 2008 when there were very few midlife women blogging. When she first started blogging she “passed” as a woman 10 years younger. She came to the realization that lying about her age meant “denying the foundation of her formative years.” So she started to fess up. Now there are many mid-age women blogging and Jane has come to the point where she questions her place among them. Jane reads her post and reveals her truth about aging and the blogosphere.

Here is a short introductory clip, followed by the full 6-minute post.

Comments

  1. Sensitive, honest and well thought out. I say yes, you have a strong voice and a place among the bloggers you have nurtured ( I count myself in that group) and network with. Midlife is such an arbitrary term. At age 59 I suspect I’m past the midway point. I don’t want to dabble in terms or cohorts- I want to do whatever I want with grace, not because it is the ‘right’ thing for my age.
    I have never colored the gray because, for me, there is strength in owning my age. When we come clean we take away some of that negativity that wrongly shapes us as Old. And, we expand our boundaries. Thank you for leading the way, yet again, for many of us in this phase of life.

    • One of the joys of having been around this internet thing for so long is that I’ve gotten to see the arc of development of so many of you who came after me. I think I said this to you before, Walker, but I am absolutely gobsmacked (as the Brits would say) at the way you’ve developed yourself and grown as a writer. I cherish our relationship! Jane

  2. Jane, I loved your musings on midlife, when it stops and where you may/may not still fit within the blogosphere. I’m a relatively new blogger and am in awe that you have such wonderful experience. Your tagline – ‘Making the Most of Midlife Together’, is awesome and why NOT add ‘the beyond’? You were a pioneer when you first started your blog – this is yet another opportunity to explore areas that others haven’t touched yet. If it still speaks to your heart, I say do it! The decision can only be yours, and yours alone (obviously), but I’ve only just found you and while I’m sure you’ll leave behind a wonderful legacy if you choose to “go gracefully into the night”, I have no doubt that you have still more wisdom and experience to share, even if you share it as it happens. Whatever your choice, listen to your gut and your heart – they’ll never lead you astray.
    With much gratitude to both yourself and WHOA! network for sharing this with the rest of us. Namaste

    • Thank you for your kind words, Shan. This piece was originally written a year ago–and in that time, I’ve done a little ‘iterating’ this way and a little ‘iterating’ that way. In other words, I’m still actively working on/at MidLifeBloggers. I’ve started the MidLifeBloggers Writers Workshop and my next move is to increase the number of creative artists on the site. I guess it would be said by people who know me well that it’s impossible for me to go quietly anywhere!

  3. Thank you for sharing…I love the blogging community and I too do not like to admit my age but I am a grandmother so I am not a “mommy” blogger when I blog about parenting…I definitely blog from a different perspective. I have wondered where I will go from this point in my blogging life as well…and I guess I just don’t have the answer as of yet.
    I think that you should keep on blogging and beyond…there is room for everyone and as we age who is to say where it will take us in the blogoshpere…we can only watch as the mommies of today’s blogs also age and see what they do to sustain themselves in the world of blogging and social media!

    • There’s a whole community of midlife/boomer bloggers now, Lorette, and WHOA Network has featured a number of the conversations we’re having. The BlogRoll on MidLifeBloggers (in the sidebar) gives links to several hundred midlife blogs, as well as some midlife sites, such as Better After 50 and Generation Fabulous. Grandparenting is certainly a coming topic, I think, so you’re ahead of the game to get on it now.

  4. Dear Jane,

    I don’t know what you, personally, need to do.
    But I will say this.
    I meet with a group of 50something, 60something, and even one 70something women each week on Friday. We study the Bible together, sometimes. But we also read books together. And most importantly, we live life together.
    At 55, I am one of the spring chickens in that group.
    I COULD NOT value that group of women any more.
    Each week, they speak into my life.
    Some weeks, I speak into theirs.
    I need them.
    I NEED THEM.
    God made us for each other.
    Don’t listen to any nay-saying voices in your head.
    You have a piece of the puzzle, and we all DESPERATELY NEED that piece of the puzzle, or our picture is incomplete.
    Bring your piece.
    Say your peace.
    You are needed, and wanted.

    • Thanks so much for your words and thoughts, Susan. When I first read this post at a small conference last year, I was actually the oldest person there. The response was nice, polite, warm–but nothing like the response I’ve gotten now that it’s been on the WHOA Network. The difference is, I believe, that I’m speaking to my tribe, people who actually get what I’m saying, for whom it is a ‘now’ thing, not ‘someday very far away.’

  5. I loved this. And I love you, Jane! I’m right there with you, wondering what I’ll be when I grow up, or old, as you put it.

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