About Gracelessness

brokenBarrier

I promised to use my second post to explain my use of the word “gracelessly” in my blog name. I do my best to keep my promises.

At first, I thought explaining “gracelessly” would be simple. I write “quirky inspirational fiction.” So why not have a blog that simply sounds, uh, quirky? After all, most people probably expect to see the word “gracefully” after “on aging.” I would, anyhow. But I thought “gracelessly” might really grab people’s attention.

There’s more to it than that, though.

Let me clear up one thing before I go any further. I’m not using grace in the Christian sense of “Amazing Grace,” which refers to “God’s undeserved favor—getting good things we don’t deserve from a loving God.” As opposed to God’s mercy, “Not getting the punishment we deserve from a righteous God.”

Instead, I’m using the word in the sense of “clumsily.”

I think that fits nicely. None of us has ever aged beyond where we are in life right now. So moving ahead necessarily leads us to a humongous amount of the unknown. Even when we pay close attention to people who’re even older than we are, our paths will not be identical to theirs. We have no guarantee that everything will work out the same way for us. Or anything, for that matter.

The process of aging involves a number of mishaps. There’s no way to avoid them.

I rely on God’s strength and guidance each step of the way. Uh, except for those too-many times I try doing things on my own. That’s when I’m most apt to fall down or bring other problems on myself–while trying to scoot around a barrier, for example. God doesn’t seem to believe in providing a solution until I encounter a problem. If I’m not paying attention to Him, the results may be more disastrous than they need to be.

My wife and I have a year-old miniature dachshund, Happy. We trust her in the living room, the kitchen, the master bedroom, and the bathroom. We do NOT trust her to go down the hallway towards the other two bedrooms. Especially the one I use as my music room, with dozens of cables going this way and that. If she pulled one out, I might never figure out where it came from.

So I placed a thin piece of wood across the open doorway leading to that part of the house. Happy doesn’t like it, especially when she knows one of us is somewhere on the other side of the barrier. But we’re thankful it does what it’s supposed to do: keep her out of mischief.

We know the barrier is there, and it’s almost short enough to step over safely every time. Sliding it to the side to step through and then sliding it back into place is a nuisance.

But I’m a graceless fellow, and when I’m not careful—sometimes even when I am—I end up kicking the barrier when I climb over it. Last night I unwittingly broke it into the two pieces you see in the picture at this top of this post.

As a member of the human race, I’ll keep aging until I die. Even though I can anticipate certain barriers between now and eternity, I’m not necessarily prepared to deal with them in the best possible way—the “graceful” way.

So, many of my blog posts will speak of things related to aging that make me feel graceless because of my inability to deal with them as easily as I might have done when I was younger. Or if I was paying adequate attention to God’s loving lead.

I’ll try to make you smile in the process. Nobody wants to listen to an older adult gripe. I sure don’t.

If you like this blog, please subscribe to receive my two weekly posts by email. I hope you’ll leave comments. I’d love to have a good discussion here rather than feel like a teacher standing in front of a classroom of students who are bored to tears.

Best regards,
Roger

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Why This Blog

wrinkles One of the hardest parts of starting a new blog—maybe the hardest—is deciding what to blog about.

As the author of two published Young Adult novels—I’m also awaiting the publication of a quirky mid-life romance and a satirical speculative novel—I might be tempted to write about writing. Isn’t that what dozens (hundreds? thousands?) of other writers do?

Many writers blog about how to write better; some of them actually have helpful blogs (check Michael Hyatt’s if you want a good example of a blog that covers help for writers, but so much more). Others help published writers market their books by posting interviews on their blogs. A few writers actually have the courage to blog about non-writing subjects that interest them.

Maybe I’m being modest, but I’m not sure I can tell other writers how to write better–not week after week after week, anyhow. And conducting those blog interviews takes way too much time and effort. Besides that, I don’t want only fellow authors to read my blog.

Hmm. So what non-writing subject could I blog about? I love photography and web design, but I doubt I know enough about those subjects to blog about them without my ignorance becoming all too apparent—all too soon.

As a committed Christian, I should find devotionals or something related to faith and the Christian walk to be natural blog subjects. But I’ve read far better blogs on Christianity than I could ever hope to write. Look at Joel Sutton’s as an example I could never match.

I’ve been playing guitar for over fifty years. Uh, no. Why spoil a fun hobby by writing about it?

“So,” I ask as I look into the mirror, “what’s left?”

Hmm. My hair used to be brown. At least that’s the color I always stated on my driver’s license. Seems to be mostly gray now, though. And there’s much less of it now. Are those wrinkles? I thought only women got those. People used to be amazed when I told them my age. “You can’t be that old. You don’t look any older than—” And they’d give a number maybe ten years younger.

Funny thing. They don’t react that way as often now. Could it be I’m aging—and looking like it? Gee. Maybe that’s why I don’t feel as peppy as I used to.

Okay. Aging sounds like a good blog topic. I mean, everyone does it—unless they die prematurely. And even then, they don’t stop aging until they die. Because we start aging the moment we’re born–actually, the moment we’re conceived–the topic ought to be relevant to people of all ages. Uh, even to younger readers, whether they recognize it or not.

But why “gracelessly”? For that, you’ll need to come back for my next post.

Please feel free to leave comments or questions. And thanks for sticking with me this far. I hope it hasn’t aged you too much. I plan to start out with two blog posts a week—Sundays and Wednesdays. If this blog appeals to you, I hope you’ll sign up to receive posts by email.

Best regards,
Roger