Tag: blogger

Path Not Taken

Often books focus on the path not taken such as The Little Paris Book Shop. Other times an author may provide more than one ending like the Choose Your Adventures my kids used to read. Or entirely separate plot lines like Heads You Win. In life, the fork in the road takes us down very different paths.

In my case the path not taken was not forging a career in New York City. My undergraduate degree came from a small women’s college in Connecticut. Thus, during a few very formative years, New York City beckoned to me. I still remember crossing the GWB (George Washington Bridge) for the very first time.

Trips to The City during those college years were infrequent but not rare. The vibrancy of New York is enticing. Favorite haunts included the museums near Central Park, Wall Street and the World Trade Centers (My fond memories of Windows on the World atop Building 1 defy the actions of the 9/11 terrorists.) and last but not least the Garment District.

I love the Garment District. Too short to be a runway model, I focused on the fabric. Every texture, color and design pattern can be found. Additionally, there are stores that sell nothing but notions. Ribbons, buttons, lace, zippers and threads to adorn any design.

Much has changed since my college days. I met my husband, a farm boy, at one of the land grant universities west of the Mississippi. I have only been back to New York City four times and two of those visits kept me on Long Island. But on one visit, I shopped in the Garment District and mourned at the site of the towers.

Changes from the Path Not Taken

Marriage is a major fork in the road. In my case a very major fork. Even though we lived in major cities the first three years together, the remaining years, over 30, have placed us in small towns. Towns of ten thousand or less are very small by my standards. I am a city girl at heart. Furthermore, the employment options are a bit limited.

Investment brokerage firms are not standard in rural America. Post Internet that is not a problem for investing. But employment in that career path is limited. So, I ended up teaching at a community college in the Business/Information Technology department. This actually complimented the other major path change.

Four children takes you down a very definite path. The needs of others becomes an essential part of life. Celebrities and movie stars manage large families. But my bet is they have a lot of help in the form of nannies, housekeepers (or at least a cleaning lady on a regular basis) and drivers. I had none of these, although I did carpool on occasion and even participated in a babysitting co-op in one town.

I concentrated on raising my family during these years of my life. But sacrifices occur if this is the path taken. My writing took a back seat. For several years I drove close to two hundred miles to participate in a writer’s group on a monthly basis. This gets old. As the kids grew so did the demands. The writer’s group had growing pains of its own, so I stopped making the trip. My family was happier. The writing took a hiatus.

New Forks

The kids are all adults now and busy choosing their paths. But, I still live in a small town. So some options are not feasible. New technology allows me to write. Blogging is not equivalent to important American Literature but it fills my need and I enjoy it.

However, design work is limited. The demographics of the area I live in are not conducive to earning a living through interior decorating. This is unfortunate. Somehow, I have the ability to throw together colors, textures, and patterns and the end result is amazing. Perhaps all the time spent designing quilts spilled over into other areas.

Thinking of the path not taken is fraught with what ifs. For example, if I had stayed in New York and chosen work in the Garment District instead of Wall Street, would I enjoy the process of design today? Actually, enjoy is an understatement. Creative design work whether a quilt or a back splash, defines me at this point in time. I love what I am doing. But would it be the same if I had followed another path?

That question is unanswerable. But I know the answers to others. I would never trade my time spent raising children. So, the path not taken remains a mystery. We have choices to make. Some are emotional, others are financial. Occasionally, a choice is made for us.

Each time we take a fork in the road we start down a new path. Can we backtrack? Perhaps to some degree. But we cannot erase the past. Thus the path not taken twenty years ago would not be the same now. If by chance the road loops around a second time and then you choose the other fork, the experience will differ. Thus, a path not taken remains unknown.








Learning Curve
One of the most difficult things we face today is the challenge of learning how to work, live and function within the technological revolution. Some individuals, those described as early adopters in the business world, can’t wait to try out the latest and greatest item before the rest of us even know it is out there. An example would be an individual in the mid 1980’s transitioning away from the big boom box era to a Walkman and then to an Ipod just after the turn of the century. In contrast, what marketers call a late adopter, is the individual who is the last on the block to own a car with a backup camera. That would be me. My car is fairly new, but no Backup camera or GPS. Maybe on the next car which will be sometime after 2020 unless Tesla can build a car capable of going 500 miles on one charge.

As a blogger I am pretty late to the ballgame. The newest trend is vlogging, which according to an article in the May 23, 2017 Daily Mail is the desired occupation of 75% in a survey of 1000 school-aged children. For any other late adopters, vlogging is blogging via video such as You Tube. Building this website has been a stretch for me, I am not ready for vlogging.

Regardless of how quickly an individual adopts a new technology or task, a learning curve is present. Right now I am facing a steep one. My IT background is one of osmosis. Anything I know I absorbed from sitting next to tech geeks in meetings. Fortunately, the tech world is bent on creating user-friendly approaches. It is a matter of economics. If everyday people like me can’t figure out how to work the product, no sales will be made.

Website building has reached that critical point. I have no coding in my background other than a class that introduced Pascal a very long time ago. I have heard of HTML but can’t write the language. While this site wasn’t built in a day, the time spent as a DIY project hasn’t been too unwieldy. The support platform provided by WordPress has been very good. I have experience with Q&A forums, email responses and a live chat system. I have yet to need phone help.

However, there are plenty of bugs to work out. Additionally, I will be traveling a great part of July. I believe my posts will publish on the main page, but so far I am manually connecting to other tabs. Thus the IN THE LIBRARY postings may not auto populate. In other words I haven’t learned all the posting tricks.

Restaurants use soft openings as a chance to train the staff in real world operations. ECONOGAL is under the same format. Even though it is visible to the public, I have not put any effort into marketing. I have always been a hands on learner which is why I have taken this approach. Please keep that in mind and exhibit patience while I tackle this new venture. I am finding the learning curve steep.