My last birthday (tail end of 2018) was one of those with the zero at the end, which always inspires a look at those Big Life Questions: Where am I at this point in my life? Where do I want to go from here? How do I feel about my past, present and future? I’ve not been blogging lately, and part of that has been my necessary engagement with those questions. I know many of you will be in Seattle in a few days and might expect me to be there, but I won’t be. I’d like to reassure those of you who know me that I’m just fine, not dead or ill, nor totally disinterested in the issues that have interested me lo these many years (decades? Oy!).

But I’ve always been aware that I don’t want to overstay my welcome—I’ve seen it happen, and am not interested in becoming someone who can’t let go of a career that has met a natural end, lacking the excitement of new ideas and the determination to share them in papers, blog posts, or rants in various venues. There’s also the frustration of discovering that there are far too many folks who look at the age of our vocabulary services and figure that they’re too old to pay attention to. It’s hard not to take that personally on occasion. But, take a gander at the “Latest Activity” feed on that geriatric home page, and you’ll see that the services behind it are far from dead.

And much as I love the travel and connecting with friends I’ve made over the years, I just don’t have the bucks to keep attending ALA and other meetings without actual financial support. We still work, doing the things we’re good at, keeping our services up for those who have the sense to see that they still work (and are still free). We’re determined to keep that going for as long as we can (at this point it’s the ‘too cheap to fail’ strategy), but how long depends on Jon more than me. [I still enjoy doing workshops, so get in touch if that interests you or your group.]

So what will I be doing instead of following the ALA herds from city to city? I’d like to get back to writing short stories, which I did several years ago and am drawn to continue. I’d like to find a place to set up my hammered dulcimer (someplace where the cats can’t perch on it!) and continue learning how to play it. I plan to continue with yoga (coming up on 18 years with the same teacher), and riding my bike along the rural roads where I live.

And if you ever find yourself near centrally isolated Ithaca, do get in touch and I’m happy to show you around, or take some time for a drink or a meal, and a good conversation.

So for those of you still on the path, do enjoy Seattle and it’s buzz and attractions, and have a great conference.

By Diane Hillmann, January 23, 2019, 12:15 pm (UTC-5)

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