Archive | May 2012

Getting a Tad Older

This past weekend (May 25) I celebrated my birthday. I turned 8. Yes you read this correctly.

When I was in my 30s (just a couple of years ago – well seems like) I got tired of listening to my friends whine about turning 30. Like this was a big crisis or something. Gimme a break! I came up with “birthday math” and you have to be at least 30 before you can start this process.

You take the digits of your age, using 30, and add together. So 3 + 0 = 3

Since I’m really not embarrassed over my age (although this picture of me when I really was 8 is a whole nother story*), when you take 5 + 3 you get 8. I do look slightly different now at this current version of 8!

Now people keep thinking it’s important to remind me that as one gets older strange things happen. For example one isn’t as graceful as they once were.

Umm, no one ever accused me of being graceful! Definitely not a word used to describe me – at any age and no matter how many times I’ve been 8. So, when I fell this weekend – tripped over stuff in the shed (love how things are put in there) – and landed mostly straight down on my left knee, somehow got a bruise on my right thigh and hit my head, (OUCH by the way. OK, so something worse than ouch was said) I was told that at my age I should be careful.

WHAT?????????????? The age of 53 isn’t all that old. And, as I said, I’ve not been known for grace and agility. I don’t feel sorry for myself – I should have been paying closer attention to my surroundings. The biggest issue is the fact that we live in a tri-level and to get anywhere in the house requires STAIRS.

So, like that “other” challenge I have (that epilepsy thing), I’m limping through. Yes, OK pun intended.

Hmm, it’s a shame I didn’t get my husband to do the laundry yesterday…

*I hated this hair cut. Shortly after this class picture was taken I decided to make a modification. I cut what I thought was an unruly chunk of hair around the bangs. Mom and Grandma were not happy!

When you write, is your message clear?

Do people understand what you’re saying? Do they understand the words you use? Are you too descriptive and lose your reader immediately?

Well, something to keep in mind – who is your audience?

I was writing a couple of articles for a newsletter not long ago and learned later that some of the readers didn’t know a word I used. Is this good or bad? Is it good that they had to go to a dictionary to look up the word? Or, is it bad? Because not knowing a word used could cause confusion in the message you’re trying to get across. That totally defeats the purpose.

It’s a fine line to walk when writing. Do you presume that everyone will understand and/or take the time or interest to look up a word? Do you change your style because you’re just not sure? Or, do you just not worry – and be yourself?

Personally, I vote for the “be yourself” part. If you second guess everything you do, your message will get muddied and lost. Your readers will wonder just what it is you’re trying to say and why are you taking so many words to say something that could be conveyed in fewer words.

You see, I tend to “babble” enough as it is, if I were to think of a sentence to cover one word…well people would really give up on me.

Oh for the articles? It’s mixed. Some looked up the word (and were thrilled to learn the meaning), some had no idea and felt I didn’t make sense, others thought I was insulting them, and others were happy that I explained the word to them (they didn’t look it up) and were happy to learn something new.

Quite the mixed bag of reactions, don’t you think?