My Midlife Project

Remodeling a Middle-Aged Mom

Opening Day of a New Season

“I see right through your work. You have a reputation for vigor and zest, but you’re dead, stone-dead. Up on your feet! Take a deep breath! Maybe there’s life in you yet. But I wouldn’t know it by looking at your busywork; nothing of God’s work has been completed. Your condition is desperate. Think of the gift you once had in your hands, the Message you heard with your ears — grasp it again and turn back to God.” (Revelation 3:1-2, The Message)

Ever since I started “My Midlife Project”, I’ve had a hard time figuring out which direction to go.

Directions

It isn’t because I don’t have something to say or write about. I have plenty of that… Too much, it has seemed. So much that I couldn’t make up my mind. I felt unfocused. No doubt my blog felt that way, too.

In Search of My Tribe

A few months ago, I signed up for an on-line course for writers [affiliate link]. I started, then dropped out. The class is set up as an eight-week course, but it is pretty intense. With holidays and travel and my son visiting from out-of-state (twice), I didn’t make the time to work on the assignments in the prescribed time frame… so I quit. Completely. I could have slowed the pace and kept moving forward, but I didn’t.

A new session of the same course has begun, so I started again along with it last week. And — once again —I found myself stuck. Stuck by procrastination. Stuck by overwhelm. Stuck by too much striving for perfection. Stuck at a crossroads. Stuck because I couldn’t decide which way to go.

One of the very first assignments in the course is to describe our “tribe”. Who do we write for? In my college technical writing courses, I learned to know my audience and write for that audience.

When I worked in the information technology field, I knew my audience. When I worked in nonprofit, I knew my audience. When I write grants, I know my audience.

But with a blog…. I have struggled.

WHO is my audience? Who is in my tribe? Is my reader a middle-aged woman, much like me? Or is she younger?  Is she interested in fitness? Is she interested in being/staying/getting healthier? Is she interested in getting closer to God? Does she even KNOW God? Or His will? Or is she interested in my messy, chaotic life because it helps her know she isn’t alone?

And what if a man reads my blog? Would there be anything here for HIM? Better yet, should there be?

Ask and You Shall Receive

I prayed for clarity and the messages starting appearing…

“Wake up! Strengthen what you have left before it dies completely. I have found that what you are doing is less than what my God wants.” (Revelation 3:2)

“You have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.” (Revelation 3:1b)

Those were part of the Sunday sermon at my church… and the stream of divine guidance continued this morning…

“Try to learn what pleases the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:10)

“The troubles of the past will be forgotten. I will make those troubles go away.” (Isaiah 65:16)

“Jesus always seems to have something greater waiting up around the bend… I believe I can say with all confidence that He has greater things just ahead for you.” (Beth Moore, Breaking Free Day by Day, 3/31)

“Have you too quickly decided that what you have done or what you are doing is all you’ll ever do?” (Beth Moore, Praying God’s Word Day by Day, 3/31)

“God is the one who began this good work in you, and I am certain that he won’t stop before it is complete on the day that Christ Jesus returns.” (Philippians 1:6)

“Keep your mind on things above, not on worldly things.” (Colossians 3:2)

“When a dream comes from God, it has more than 9 lives. It’s a faith that believes it’s not over until God says it’s over.” (From a friend’s post on Facebook, possibly taken from Mark Batterson’s “The Circle Maker”)

Then, after my morning run, I checked email and found one from Craig Ballantyne that included the following passage:  “You have a great gift. You have the knowledge to help others, and you’re a person who cares… Share your message, abundantly, and without fear.” (The emphasis is mine.)

So there you have it. Somewhere in all that mess is the direction I should go to find my tribe.

Sage, Sherpa or Struggler?

Here  is an  a blog post excerpt from Michael Hyatt I  found yesterday, about our writing voice:

And here are the three categories:

  1. The Sage. This is the person who is a recognized expert in her field. She has something external to credential herself: a proven track record, an advanced degree, a bestselling book, a successful career or business, etc. She speaks with the voice of authority.
  2. The Sherpa. This is the person who is the trusted guide. He has been to the mountain (however that is defined) and comes back to show the way. He’s made mistakes but learned from them. He can help you avoid the most common ones. He speaks with the voice of confidence and empathy.
  3. The Struggler. This is the person who is the fellow traveler. She hasn’t arrived; she is in process. She reports on her adventures—and misadventures. She takes you along on her journey. She speaks with the voice of transparency. [Michael Hyatt, “5 Reasons You’re Not Getting Traction With Your Platform”]

So…. Am I a Sherpa or a Struggler? I have tried coming across as a Sage, but that isn’t really me. (For some reason, I have visions of Yoda in Star Wars with that one… Yikes!) I’m a Sherpa in some areas and a Struggler in others. It probably all gets down to my comfort level and my voice. Do I speak with confidence and empathy or transparency?

I guess I’ll figure that part out as I go.

So now…. It’s up to me to begin. 🙂

photo by: andyarthur

About Brenda

Morning person. Introvert. Longtime runner. Erratic sleeper. Fitness junkie. Lifelong learner. Coffee addict. Volunteer. Health/Wellness advocate. Coach. Blogger.

4 Replies

  1. I “hear ya” Brenda. I’m also a fellow sojourner at Tribe Writers. Love what you have written!

    1. Thanks, Maria! I’m so glad we are on this journey together.

  2. Hi Brenda, it seems like a lot of us get stuck trying to answer these same questions. I think the problem is that we want the answer(s) to be certain things, but the reality is, our answers are something different. I’m still trying to finish up module 1 myself, last lesson. It’s a doozy. It’s not designed to be done in a day or a week, so far I’ve been working on it for 4 months. Good luck and keep writing!

    1. Thanks, D’Anne… I appreciate you for taking the time to read my post and provide some insight. It’s always good to know I’m not alone! I keep thinking at my age, I should know who I am or what I want to be when I grow up. Apparently I’m still a work in progress. I hope to move forward — and into Module 2 — very soon.

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