It's only appropriate that I dedicate this blog to my daughter, Emily Nielsen. It's the 400th blog that I've published on this website, and it wouldn't have happened without her loving guidance and encouragement.
"Get off your butt, Mom, and write something," were her tender words of motivation. They echo as a gentle melody that meanders through my memories. She truly cared about me.
I was 56 and going through a second divorce. I felt like a total loser. All my career and parenting successes were negated by my monumental failures in marriage, and I plunged into the pathetic abyss of abandoning all hope. I moped. I chewed my fingernails to bloody stumps. I glumly took 15 items in the 10 items checkout lane. I ate chocolate and drank wine. Before noon.
It was 2008, and the domain name of www.elaineambrose.com was still available. My energetic and confident 30-year-old daughter showed me how to obtain the name and set up a website. Then she showed me the elementary instructions for writing a blog. With a background in journalism, I loved to write short feature articles between 500-1,000 words. The challenge was exciting.
I decided to call the blog "Midlife Cabernet," and I wrote simple but humorous stories about life as a middle-aged clown. I included recommendations for wine and where to obtain the best bottles. The new activity gave me a purpose, and I boldly jumped into the blogosphere.
Today, I'm in Nashville, Tennessee as a speaker at the premiere conference for BAM -- Bloggers at Midlife. I belong to a growing sisterhood of women over age 45 who write and publish stories online. The blogs are varied and important.
Several women write about the highs and lows of the "empty nest." Some write about having children with special needs who always will live at home, so there won't be an empty nest. Other write about food and share wonderful and creative recipes. We blog about grandchildren, marriage, divorce, fitness, travel, psychology, sex and do-it-yourself projects. Of top importance, we blog because we're not done yet. In a world of youth and changing technology, we refuse to become irrelevant. So, we blog.
So much has happened over the past seven years. I met a delightful man I call Studley, we married on the Greek island of Paros and moved into our forever home. Both of my children had children of their own, and his children embarked on collegiate and military careers. My mother passed away after an extended illness. Through all these adventures and experiences, I blogged. My topics ranged from the joys of eldercare to wondering why my body was morphing into a pile of dough. People read my blogs, and thanked me for the laughs and tears. I read theirs, and returned the thanks.
So, it's with delicious appreciation that I finish the 400th blog and tie it with a virtual ribbon to say "Thank you" to Emily. Without her inspiration, I'd be wallowing down by the river sucking cheap wine from a paper bag. She helped save my life. I think I'll blog about it.