I’ve turned 65. The next five years are a narrow window and I’m grappling for every day to count. I thoroughly enjoyed the previous half decade, partly framed by the idea of hefty daily obsessions/disciplines (check out my now-closed Big Decade blog for the outworkings of that idea), so now I’ll continue to interrogate the world and myself, but differently. In this blog, I’ll journal publicly, partly as a monologue to you, but mostly as a dialogue with myself. At my age, if you’re not questioning yourself daily, you’re giving up and dying none too slowly.
What will I fixate on? Well, if the Big Decade experience is anything to go by, I won’t get mushy and private (at least not often) but I’ll spit out my impressions and thoughts and ideas and opinions in a number of fields in which I aspire to “achieve” or “strive to do well.” You’ll read my take on how to keep fit and active and energized (we’re talking about jogging and gym’ing stretching and moving and hiking and birding), and yes, this will be geeky with loads of numbers and challenges and nitty-gritty celebrations and grizzles. I’ll push and push and push on my writing, covering both the longstanding nuclear book (check out my Nuclear Power History blog for insights) and the new environmental/climate change project that makes my heart sing (check out my 15 Cranes blog), let alone the many Gentle/Tusk stories yet to be told in the world of Melbourne crime and finance (my author website will announce any changes in this regard). I’ll chat about keeping on top of books, movies and music, in order to feed my review website, my gift to the world (it’s called Read Listen Watch). I’ll recount my struggles with energy and old age. My stuttering efforts on behalf of my grandchildren – we’re talking about Extinction Rebellion and other projects – will see me fulminating or cheering.
Oh, and let me flag another aspiration to keep chatting about, the desire to be a “good ancestor” (taken from Roman Krznaric’s brilliant book of the same name), to think and act long-term, beyond our petty concerns and on through the lives of our children and grandchildren, and beyond.
Mostly I’ll stay clear of politics, not because I’m disengaged but because a journal feels wrong for such thinking and speaking. Mostly … sometimes the dam wall will break, for sure.
This blog is predominantly words and sentences, not images. The Big Decade blog always slotted my words around a featured photograph or an image. Not this time. I’ll throw in a picture or two but only if germane.
Why call it Slow Glow? The previous half decade felt like a “Big Push,” a macho leap at physical and emotional boundaries. Now I plan to anchor myself at my desk, to “burn brightly but softly.” I aspire to apply huge energy, but not like I used to, that flame-out spasm of work followed by collapse. Steadiness and abiding, deeply felt commitments, that’s what Slow Glow addresses. And a final aspect of the name is a desire for this upcoming half decade to pass gently and slowly.
The content of this blog will inevitably tip into mundanity. How can a journal not be mundane? I don’t have the patience to dip into other people’s journals, so won’t be at all offended if you skip mine. But if you aspire to a life “well lived,” especially if you converse with me as I write, well … come along for the journey. Either find a way to get this blog into your email Inbox or go to the accompanying Facebook Page (it’s also called Slow Glow to 70) and tap on the Like button.
Relish your next five years! I certainly intend to.
PS – I’ll miss the focus on images, silly or profound, that I adopted for the previous blog, so I’m going to have another go with Instagram, posting scenes from everyday intellectual life (you’ll find me there with user name “andreskabel”).
PPS – Most people I know abhor Twitter. I love my curated flow of ideas and connections on Twitter. What I tweet about is much the same verbiage as this blog will tackle, but of course it’s shorter and different (you’ll find me there as @andreskabel2).