A-to-Z Reflection [2014]

So many thanks to the AmaZing A-Z hosts and co-hosts. It was wonderful to receive your posts, encouraging us to see it through to the end. Thank you, thank you, a million times!

 Susan Schwartz, Jungian Analyst in Phoenix Az., and I in Johannesburg, South Africa, collaborated on this. Some posts were hers, some mine (see Susan Schwartz’s Reflections below). Neither of us is computer savvy and there were a few times that posts got lost over the air or I inadvertently trashed a few while adding images or editing. HUGELY anxiety making. My son Mike from a great distance was able to rectify this as he is the host of my blog.

 There was no slot for psychological posts. We wrote on Aging & Becoming. AC? No, not really. PR? No.  We’re currently writing a book on ‘Aging & Becoming’ and we thought that we would excerpt material already written. This was not the reality. Our posts were entirely new. We tried to keep to 500 words or less, knowing that 300-400 words was the ideal. Neither of us had any idea of the reception we would receive and we are extremely grateful at the number of people who commented and found the posts to be of value. Many commented regularly, many were brand new.

We individually hopped and commented around the list daily/nightly and left the link on those posts.<a href=”“>Garden of Eden Blog</a>. I’m not sure that yielded many comments for whatever reason. We always responded to comments on the Garden of Eden blog and reciprocated by visiting those blogs. There were amazing blogs. If I were to highlight only one, I would say Rosie Amber’s blog for her generosity of spirit in leaving 5 blog links for people to look at, daily, as well as her review of books – and this is a public thank you for her nod to my blog.

 Two posts I would heartily recommend for writing tips and expansion of ideas: & I will return to them.

There are so many I would like to thank but that would take up time and space. Damyanti and Guillie were always so helpful prior to April when I was battling to get the link up. Vidya says that when she tried to get to my/our posts she received “Error 403 found’ and was unable to check them out. This is the only instance I know of.

SPAM was a problem .. I reckon at least 8000 during the blog hop. Luckily Akismet spammed them. To date since blogging from approx April 2011, Akismet has blocked over 370,000. I wonder if this is from leaving tags on posts?

Many on the blog list did not ‘follow through’ with any regularity.

I am now following many more than before. How wonderful to have blogger friends from New Zealand, UK, US & South America! Thank you to those who are now following me.

I want to thank all of you, the hosts and co-hosts for yet another memorable April. And to all of you who supported The Garden of Eden posts, thank you so much. Your comments were wise and thoughtful and from them we learned much.

REFLECTIONS: Dr. Susan Schwartz

As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being.

Carl Jung

For some months now Susan and Susan have been writing back and forth on the letters of the alphabet oriented on the subject of aging.

As we learned, the beginning always looks different than the end. We evolved a process whereby we easily divided the letters of the alphabet and from then the flow continued. Each of us daily sat with and thought about the next letter of the alphabet. We added an image that expressed our words and sent to the other person to review. We commented or not on what was written, cleaning it up, adding or just letting it be.

We look back now at the experience and realize its value. Like aging itself, we brought forth so many surprising perspectives finding in them a freedom and widening of the lens. Life is full and we managed the unexpected with magnanimity. Aging helps here.

Yet, the topic of aging in general was a new one for us—each in our own ways and from our personal outlooks. The A to Z Blogging Challenge helped us organize thoughts and feelings and put them down in a succinct way. It helped us learn how to work together. It pushed us to produce and to be organized and to enjoy the product and the process.



42 comments on “Reflections Post”

  1. So glad to have discovered your blog. Your topic and posts were always thought provoking and challenging. It has been an interesting journey and your collaboration was obviously an effective approach. Look forward to receiving email posts. Maria @ “”

    • Thank you Maria, I enjoyed yours too .. Will go back to check how I can automatically receive them when you post ..

  2. As a blogger, there’s no way NOT to get involved in the AtoZ Challenge, whether you’re writing for it or just reading those who do. I’m amazed t the breadth of topics selected by writers for this. Aging is one of the more unique. Kudos for finishing!

  3. Thanks to all the thoughtful comments and also those throughout the A to Z. There are so many of us that take the time to reflect and expand our selves. It is a process uniting us in concern for each other and our world.
    Again, heartfelt thanks for this opportunity, and thank you to Susan for asking me to join. It has been my fortunate pleasure.

  4. Your posts were a pleasure to read–and I’m thankful for blog history, because I missed several and I’m looking forward to reading (and rereading others). The perspective you brought to the concept of aging, the *becoming*, is one that’s sorely missing from the society we (most of us) live in, and it’s a crying shame. Thank you for your insights, for your honesty–it shone through in every post–and for your commitment to the challenge. It was a fantastic ride, April, and I’m proud to have shared it with you.
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

    • Guilie thank you so much. I am blessed and pleased to have met you over the airwaves. Your posts were one of the ones that caused my blood corpuscles to expand on reading them ..what a wonderful and very real experience that was. Thank you!

  5. Super reflections post…I’m thrilled to have found your blog and will continue to follow you…wise word spoken here, and very kind souls, we’ve had a great A to Z, haven’t we? 🙂
    Take care, good luck with the book, let me know when you finish it and I’ll help share it. 🙂

    • Hi Maggie thank you so much for coming by! So great to have met via A-Z and here’s to continued friendships. Thank you for saying about the book. .. too kind!

    • Thanks Misha!.did you ‘do’ the A-Z? Please let me have the link? I’m in your neck of the woods right now ie Wellington recovering after the wine walk!

  6. Hi,
    I only want to say that I really enjoyed reading your articles. Many were very enlightening and confirmed my own opinions of how I see life.

    All the best for your book.


  7. I am so honored that you mentioned my blog in your reflections post Susan! Thank you so much! I just published my reflections post and am making the rounds to all my new A to Z buddies. I truly marveled at the wisdom on aging that you shared during A to Z.

    • Thank you Melissa. Will check your reflection post when there’s computer connection. I’m using cell phone – which is difficult but will get back to yours soonest.

  8. Hi Susan and Susan .. I have to admit I’d not really realised that .. but then Mike in Plett – well I’ll join him I think?! Glad he was able to help .. and so lovely is his comment here.

    I need to come back to read through your postings properly … I know I posted long posts – yours were definitely shorter … but I’d like to read your thoughts ..

    Delighted you enjoyed it .. and probably you had more spam because your site is not a WP or blogger one … I occasionally get one … but they have to make an effort to get through into Blogger …

    It’s a great meeting place, but content is king as it always is … thankfully friends are the Aces … cheers to you both .. Hilary

    • Hillary thank you so much for coming by. I love the analogy of kings and aces! Mine is WP. Do come by Plett-at the moment in Wellington among the beautiful mountains
      an hour out of Cape Town.

  9. This has been a wonderful, thoughtful and thought-provoking series, Susans. Thank you for your concentrated efforts. In a way, it sounds like fun, the two of you working together — something I enjoy doing. And, as I’ve said, I am looking forward to the book. I’m with Mike and his praise, above, of “In Praise of Lilith …”.

  10. Congratulations on a challenge well done, and for your support for my stories throughout the challenge. I’m happy AZ worked out for you and that me and my team were able to help in some small measure.

    Will be visiting you often 🙂

    • Thank you so much Damyanti, it’s all been so great! Your encouragement enthusiasm and kindness has MUCH to do with our completion. Have a great weekend 🙂

      • Susa, looks like that the AZ has exhausted you :). Hope you recover soon– missing you over at my blog, and missing your posts over here!

        • Hi Damyanti, am exhausted but for a different reason. We completed the Wellington wine walk yesterday-several days of fairly strenuous walking among the beyond beautiful scenery of the winelands. These ones are an hour out of Cape Town. The computer connection has been non existent and using my cell ph is a challenge! I’m looking forward to flying home in next day or so and things getting back to normal.

  11. Thank you for popping over and leaving a comment on my reflection post. After reading your post, I’m going to bookmark your page and come back later to read through your A to Zs for April.


    • It’s such a pleasure re mentioning your blog Debi. Thank you for your very kind comments re The Garden of Eden Reflections blog, I so appreciate this. So encouraging to hear that you looked forward to it! I too look forward to a continued friendship.
      I’m taking myself off down to Cape Town for a while inter alia to walk the Wellington Wine Walk – about an hour from Cape Town in the mountains – perhaps my next post may be on that … 🙂
      Thank you again!

  12. Your posts were so personal to me as I work in a long term care facility and see everyday aging up close and personal. You gave me a deeper perspective on what it means to be elderly and facing the inevitable changes of aging and death. Your words were timely and sent by the Lord Himself to teach me. God bless you and congratulations on finishing strong! See you next year.

    • Ronda, you will surely see aging up close and personal. Kudos to you for being and bearing witness to this, a God given gift. Thank you very much for your kind comment. God bless you. Please let me have your link. ‘Ronda’ does not give it to me. Thank you.

  13. Absolutely great series. Everyone who read them has to have known how much thought and expertise went into the finished product. Well done Susan and Susan!

  14. I appreciate both of your thoughtful reflections on what I found to be an arduous process and challenging experience. I am so glad to get to know your work through A to Z and to have found your unique voices represented on the Garden of Eden blog.

    • Thank you so much Stephanie! Yes, the A-Z was challenging, as is Life I guess. Hope you’ve got time for a breather .. and I look forward to going back to your blogs, and continuing ones.

  15. Glad to hear the good reports. You had solid content as did many other participants. I’m beginning to think that the content created is one of the most important aspects of the Challenge although it’s hard to beat community building.

    Not sure what the deal is with your spam. On all of my blogs combined I only get maybe a few spam comments each week if any at all I’m fine with that.

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

    • Thank you Arlee – you put that so succinctly re: content is important. Community is amazing! Can’t be beaten that’s for sure! You played such an enormous part in this Arlee and we are truly grateful.

  16. “Evolve” is an EXCELLENT description of what I experienced in the A to Z Challenge. It forced me to write more regularly. I looked around at various blogs, and even made new friends along the way. The A to Z Challenge definitely was inspiring.

    Plus, I enjoyed reading a variety of subjects from stories to educational subjects like yours. I definitely enjoyed your thought-provoking posts. Thank you for participating.

    • Gwynn, thank YOU. When I was drafting the reflections post, your posts were mentioned for your humour in every day life, many others were mentioned but then it got LONG. We all made friends along the way – this is one of its’ values.
      Is yours up yet? The linky link I did not manage properly .. what number are you?

  17. Well done on the month! I think you (mom and Susan Schwartz) did a sterling job and I look forward to the book. I still think ‘In Praise of Lilith…’ is one of the best books I’ve read, without being biased – excellent. The amount of time and energy you invested into these posts is phenomenal. The rewards will be returned in one way or another, hard work always (I think) seems to pay off one way or another.

    • Mike, thank you. I am extremely moved. Thank you for all your wonderful, calm and patient help during this time with the two Susans and the A-Z. You down in Plettenberg Bay, I in Johannesburg, Susan in Phoenix …

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