At the bottom of my last post (Exchanging Liberties), I made mention that the Living in the Pacific blog might be reaching the end of its useful life. I’m not sure whether it is due to the Covid-19 pandemic or maybe my “blog focus” has waned over time but nonetheless, this blog’s traffic continues to show a steady decline in visitors. It may very well be that I have not been posting regular content lately, but I believe that over time more people are choosing to watch videos, and the blogging industry in general, is suffering. For me, it’s becoming harder to justify the expense of publishing this blog when the income generated income barely covers the costs of maintaining and publishing the blog.
I have received donations in the past that helped inspire me to keep publishing. But those donations are far and few between. The reality is that it costs way more to keep the blog running than it does to go golfing on occasion. Teri thinks I need to keep writing as it is an exercise for my mind. I cannot argue with that fact – Studies have shown that writing is good for keeping one’s gray matter sharp and may even influence how we think, as in “more positively.” I’m not sure if I can agree with that last part though and here is why: Older adults have a tendency to be more prejudiced than their younger counterparts. Psychologists used to believe that greater prejudice among older adults was due to the fact that older people grew up in less egalitarian times. In contrast to this view, there is evidence that normal changes to the brain in late adulthood can lead to greater prejudice among older adults.
I recently read that our bain’s frontal lobes are the last part of the brain to develop as we progress through childhood and adolescence, and the first part of the brain to atrophy as we age. Atrophy of the frontal lobes does not diminish intelligence, but it degrades brain areas responsible for inhibiting irrelevant or inappropriate thoughts. Research suggests that this is why older adults have greater difficulty finding the word they’re looking for – and why there is a greater likelihood of them voicing ideas they would have previously suppressed. I’m guilty!
When this blog was born, I expressed my outlook on early retirement in the paradise of our choosing as extremely “positive.” Our experiences in the first few years in Samar were exciting. We built our house and then we expanded. We reunited and shared new experiences with family. We traveled and discovered new places and beautiful scenery. We made many new friends. Over time though, life did become rather hum-drum and filled with increasing frustrations. “Frustration” is one topic that I have increasingly summarized in my writings over the last couple of years. You can easily find these posts by simply searching this blog using the word “frustrations.” It seems my usually positive attitude has increasingly turned to scrutiny. In reality, it’s just a new realization and a penchant for wanting to tell it like it is. Brain atrophy? Probably not… at least not yet.
It is clear that the folks who have subscribed to my blog are those who relish the thought of making their own exit from societies that are seemingly in decline – Societies that possess their own unique set of frustrations. (The current riots across the U.S. are a good example of that decline.) They look for both inspiration and motivation. This blog provided that to those who have that dream. A recent email I received from a long-time reader stated “I’ve used you as my guide, so to speak, and will be disappointed when I lose your counsel via Living in the Pacific. I know you’re going to keep the YouTube channel up, but that won’t be the same. I just want you to know there are some folks out here that do rely on your Living in the Pacific posts.” ~ I thank David D. for such an inspiring email. It’s been readers like him that keep me inspired to write.
One explanation I can offer to guys like David is with the issue I have with blog maintenance. Over the years I have composed many articles with “facts and specifics,” backed up with information and links that over time have become stale and/or outdated. It has become a very time-consuming operation to re-visit the many posts that have become inaccurate… in order to change, update, or revise that information. Also, although I pay for added website security features, hackers and spammers continue to find ways into the blog to insert their invisible meta-data and back-links into my articles, which I have to constantly hunt for and remove. I could outsource my blog maintenance but that costs even more money! I cannot be critical of others who provide inaccurate information via social media when my site might be just as guilty of providing misleading or outdated information. “I know because I read it on the Internet” has come home to haunt me it seems.
I have recently begun the process of downloading all this blogs content and may consider incorporating much of that content into an e-book someday. Once I have downloaded all that I need, my goal is to quietly shut the blog down, once hosting, security, and domain registration expires (unless someone makes a huge donation and forces me to keep writing! lol) Then I will look to concentrate on videos that focus on my perspective of “tropical living” versus just living in the Philippines. I look to be able to share the best that living in this hemisphere has to offer. I am awaiting my recently acquired drone to become airborne, which will provide me with additional and better video perspectives. So don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel Living in the Pacific if you haven’t already.
I’ll admit that there is a faint possibility of me continuing to publish something (as Teri suggests I do – I’m starting to believe she thinks it helps keep me out of her hair), and if I do, I cannot commit to providing any further information that might be considered dynamic or perishable. I refuse to let blog maintenance consume my valuable time… the time I have left to be able to enjoy my life in paradise. And if I do continue to write, I will not limit my focus on just one geographical location any longer. I might have to take a more generic approach and just write about whatever is on my mind – One Day at a Time… and as long as my wallet and frontal lobe allow.
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