Someone asked me the other day how my blog got its name What Next?
I wrote the first post for What Next in July of 2011. Dave and I had just moved back to Canada from Hong Kong and had both retired from teaching
We had sold our house in Steinbach where we had lived for nearly four decades prior to moving to Hong Kong and had bought a condo in Winnipeg which our son lived in while we were overseas.
I had promised my husband Dave that for the first year of our retirement I wouldn’t look for employment and we would have a year of what he called at the time ‘living aimlessly.’
So I thought of calling this blog A Year of Living Aimlessly.
When I told my daughter-in-law about that name suggestion she wisely discouraged me. She was pretty sure I’d keep writing this blog for more than one year, and knowing me she said she doubted I could ever live without an aim.
I thought of calling the blog Living Spontaneously since I’m the kind of person who likes to plan ahead, make lists and keep to a schedule.
In my retirement I wanted to be more open to being surprised by life and what might happen if I didn’t always plot things out ahead of time.
I wanted to try lots of new things.
It was my husband Dave who suggested I call this blog What Next? and I liked it immediately.
I wasn’t sure what the next stage of my life would look like.
Would I start some new career?
Would I study new things?
How would our family change?
Would we make Winnipeg our permanent home?
Would we continue to travel extensively like we had during our six years in Hong Kong?
What would be next?
I have started a couple new careers as a novelist and art gallery tour guide.
I also worked as a faculty supervisor for education students at the University of Winnipeg for almost ten years.
I have studied new things taking courses in art and writing and history both online and in person. I’ve taught some courses too.
Winnipeg has become our permanent home and I have made lots of new friends here- at the places I volunteer, at the church we go to, with the people in my writing group and with our neighbours.
Quite a number of our Steinbach friends have moved to Winnipeg as well which is lovely.
Our families have changed with the death and illness of parents and siblings, the birth of grandchildren and the marriages of nieces and nephews.
Save for the pandemic we have continued to travel extensively and have been to a plethora of places since I started this blog in 2011.
And I think What Next is still a good name for this blog.
Things in my life continue to change and grow more interesting and challenging and adventuresome.
This blog has changed too.
When I started in 2011 I had no subscribers. Now I have 720 who get a blog post from me everyday. And usually several hundred more access it through social media.
I am not sure how long I will continue to write this blog but I hope that for many years yet to come I will still be saying about my life…….. “What next?”
4 responses to “How Did Your Blog Get Its Name?”
Absolutely love this! I was a teacher for many years, then a teacher assistant but took a fall in the gym, my family said no more. This is my first year of retirement…I guess… Great ideas!
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Wishing you all the best. I’m sure you will find lots of interesting things to do . Thanks for reading my blog. MaryLou
I hope you keep writing on this blog for many more years! It goes with my quiet time and coffee! I love reading about your extended family as we are also connected to the Schmidt clan through my husband’s grandmother (your grandfather’s sister). I would miss you if you were no longer writing!
Thank you so much Joanne. I love the way this blog has connected me with extended family members.