Tuesday, January 25, 2011

CAN GRANDPA COME OUT AND PLAY? Staying in contact with young people.

When my eyes do not focus and I find myself staring at the computer for longer that I care to admit, I know I need to be drawn back into the human pool...you know that one with all age groups and no computer screens.  Writing a blog with "retire" in the title even has google putting me into a niche. Thankfully I remember that there is a whole world out there waiting for me to explore.  Isn't that wonderful? 

I started cleaning my park model like a demon the other day. I think I may be getting ready for company and I may be having a party soon.  Cleaning is always a good sign. 

We are signing up to go on a wagon ride next week at a ranch near the base of the Rincon Mountains here in southern Arizona and I am going to eat steak!  Yup, this almost vegetarian health nut is signing up for the steak feast.  I am very excited. 

We are golfing on Wednesday and Friday.  We are even going out of town to play on Friday to one of my favorite golf courses.  The golf course called Rio Rico is very near the Mexican border so it is a ways down there.  After the round of golf, we will eat at a restaurant called Wisdoms.  We are celebrating a friends 77th birthday.  It will be lots of fun!

Let the games begin!

I know a grandpa that has never grown up.  Kids on the block stop by to ask if he can come out and play.  He will play catch or hit the ball around.  He is one of those grandpas that fill a need in a day and time when dads and moms are very busy.  That is what I want to do...I want us all to go out and play.

But I don't throw the ball around...what I like to do is find where the young people are and go find out what they are thinking and doing. I can always find young people at the local mall.  After a quick stop at the play court to watch small children play I head over to Forever 21. I walk down the aisles and pretend to shop for my daughter and granddaughter. Young people are in the store along with their moms or friends.  It is a very happy place to be. I get to find out what the fashions trends are going to be. I know that a toned down version of everything in that store will be what everyone, young and old, will be wearing in a few years.  A day like this is like a play date at the park for me. 

Now we all know that I will be back writing...that is what I do.  So even though I may be back staring at the screen I make a conscious effort to get out of the niche google has me tucked in.  I like to find places on the web that younger people post.  Mommy blogs and Etsy store websites draws very creative young people.   One of my favorite websites, Studio Thirty Plus, is designed for people over 30 years of age...and boy do I qualify at the rate of 30+30+9!  

When I joined the owners of the blog came to me via email and asked what I was doing.  They were reassured when I answered that I was a retired educator that was always interested in what young people were thinking.  After all, all the posts I write about being a grandparent or a mother-in-law are directly connected to people in this age group. I thought they may be as interested in me and I am in them.

This morning I noticed that this website is all grown up now.  Their membership is skyrocketing and their forum has some wonderful pertinent topics.  I wish them all the success in the world.  The screen shot from above is from one of their members twitter site.  I loved the art she used and have connected with her in order to follow along on her journey.  Her blog is called Are You Serious?

I hope you get the message...leave you safe little hole and go listen to what young people are saying and doing.  I think you will be surprised at what nice people they are.  At least that is what I have found.  Good luck...and have lots of fun!

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