This middle space

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life38 Comments
When does Fall officially end anyway?

I know. It’s just a Google-search away, but I want to go old school with my intel.

(Have you ever seen that clip with Louis CK, lamenting how people don’t have to work for information the way they used to thanks to Google, talking about how he yearns for the days when if you really wanted to know something about Tom Petty, you had to wait until you saw someone wearing a concert tee and then ask them?)

Consider yourselves my Fall concert tee.


I haven’t been posting with my usual zeal for the last few months. My goal is to get three posts up a week. It’s kind of been that since the start. But lately it feels like more of a challenge to do this.

Part of it’s just ebb and flow. There are times when I have a lot more to say. There are times when things are easier to say.

Part of it’s work. Work takes a certain amount of creative energy and sometimes there isn’t much left over for blogging.

Part of it’s the nature of blogs in this current era. I’ve heard it’s waning across the boards. I know for myself that my own blog consumption has dropped, so for me, that would seem to be true.

Part of it is this place I’m at in my life.

One of my children is a college student, out there forging her own way and one where I don’t know her every move. (A positive thing, to be sure.)

One of my children is 16. (A loaded statement, to be sure.)

Then there’s me.

Then there’s Dan.

And that whole thing.


I love it when I sit down to write and something great comes out. I love it when I sit down to write with precisely zero idea of what I want to say but something emerges anyway.

I don’t love it as much when I feel as though I have nothing to say.

Know what I’m saying?


I’m coming up on my 50th year on this planet. There are days when I am overwhelmed with gratitude that I get to be here, alive in this seriously wonderful and alternately terrifying world. There are days where I think to myself, “Cathy, don’t f#$*ing WASTE this time you’ve been given.”

So I’m doing things right now to that end. Taking better care of my physical self. Working to improve my internal self. Neither of which always feels good but I can find tremendous satisfaction when I do what is needed on both levels.

I think there is something here. Something in this middle space of life. Something that is as exciting and scary as adolescence; or those years when you’re first out on you’re own. It’s just different.

That’s what’s on my mind today. It’s a start.


It’s funny but when I sat down to write this it was going to be about how annoyed I am at the way Facebook doesn’t let people see what I’m sharing there anymore unless I pay to play. And then this came out.

I’m okay with that.


Cathy ZielskeThis middle space

38 Comments on “This middle space”

  1. #1

    I’m in my 54th year on this planet so I understand where you’re coming from. Good to hear from you though. I enjoy your posts.

  2. #2

    I’m right there with you Cathy – a few years down the road – but still in the “middle” years and trying to figure it all out. Thanks for sharing, it’s lovely to have someone articulate what you feel, way better than you can articulate yourself 🙂

  3. #3

    Yea…there as well. Daughter studying abroad….son 16, rethinking lots of things, changes in body, soul, mind (ha), reading less blogs – but loyal to those that speak to me – like yours. More introspective right now. Sometimes feels good – sometimes not.

  4. #4

    Well, I’m so glad you said this. It kind of expresses where I am today (as I approach 55). We keep on keeping on. But that aside, thanks for putting your thoughts/feelings out here. I so look forward to reading your blog. I can relate to so much of what you have to say. It’s kind of like having a cup of coffee with a good friend with whom you can say anything.

  5. #5

    Interesting on FB – hadn’t heard. To heck w/ them. I have plenty of my own rants about FB but only so much to be done there.

    GLAD you’re here! GLAD you write and wrote! GLAD you go stream-of-consciousness in writing – I’m often surprised by my own as well. And that’s a good thing.

    Fall is ok. No words of advice as I’m only approaching your zone. 50 will be coming in 2016 buy my kids are a bit younger than yours – but I see it coming – fast. Only so much prep I can do for it and you’re a prep type as well. Quiet can be good and definitely hard. We’re USED to noise and busy – quiet and in between feels very odd and uncomfortable. It’s simply transition. Keep listening, talking, and watching – it’ll all come together.


  6. #6

    Blogs might be waning; I read far fewer of them than I used to, similar to your experience. But what replaces this written flow of thought? 140 characters on Twitter? A Snapchat, a Vine? There’s something about the long(er) form of the written word that is valuable, and less and less of the populace seems to “get” that. Thank you for persevering. I giggle at some of the posts, I reflect on some of the posts, but most of all, I appreciate the effort that you keep taking to “connect” with your readers.

      1. #6.1.1

        I’m wondering what is replacing blogs as well. I’m not a Twitter fan or snapchat. I do like IG but visually. Not for my meat and potatoes. I’m 50. I work with teens and college aged at my church and I’m really not one to jump on the “the trouble with today’s youth” bandwagon. All youth had “trouble” to prior generations. I do wonder about the overall long term effects on the written word in a world defined in 140 characters at a time. I suppose different but not doomed.

  7. #8

    Cathy, I look for your blog every day and am disappointed when you don’t post something. Always grateful when you do. I just turned 70 years young last June, but remember my 50’s quite well. They were wonderful years, so please enjoy them. And, please keep blogging.

  8. #9

    I get you. This middle area of life is tough. Kind of an “is that all there is?” thing. With one in college and two teens, they don’t need me as much, which is at it should be. I want them to grow up and out and have amazing lives of their own. But sometimes I can’t help but think “what the heck do I do now?” Lately, I have been trying harder to be open to new experiences, no matter how small (a friend and I went museum-hopping the other day), which has helped my happiness meter quite a bit. I think all we can do is keep on keeping on and eventually we’ll move into the next stage, whatever that may be. Having kids in our lives in the beginning is a huge adjustment, so it only makes sense that having them move on will be a huge adjustment, as well. And, as far as the blog…please continue doing what you do. I only read a handful of blogs, but they are a nice way to connect and feel like we are not alone. Thanks for sharing. You are greatly appreciated.

  9. #10

    I totally get. This is a strange time of life. And a strange time to be alive. I do believe, however, there will always be a place for longer stories. Those of us with a little under our belts and an attention span longer than a knat’s ass sometimes need more than a snippet on Insta-Twitter. I think Cathy that you navigate this middle place with much grace and style. I love that you don’t take yourself so seriously. I love knowing that I’m not the only one who has trouble navigating it.

    Thanks for sharing yourself so generously.

  10. #12
    Kimberly O.

    I’m jazzed that I got another cortisone shot in my knee!! 🙂 The last one was back in February 2013. The PA told me to not expect this shot to last that long. I told him when my knee acts up, I feel my age (47) or older.

    This time of year makes me just want to sit back and relax in a warm house with a blanket on my lap and a dog or two – typically with the cat too.

    It’s snowy, windy, and cold today in NW Minnesota. I saw two cars hit the ditch on my way into Fargo. I think one of them possibly could drive out without help. Thankfully I’m back at home after my ortho appointment and the fact that I forgot my laptop at home. So… I’ll be working at home today. Maybe tomorrow too.

    I read my blogs that I’m subscribed to through Feedly. I just love seeing that you have a new post out there. It reminds of the days back when people sent emails instead of texts.. so you had at least a paragraph or two of info. I’m not a texter. I mean, I do have to send some texts, but I’d rather email or call someone. (Email is preferred if I have to actually remember something.) LOL

  11. #13

    As someone who could qualify more as stalker as much as blog-reader (in the nicest and least dangerous ways, I assure you) … since… oh crimeny, I don’t know… 2004? Is that possible? 2005? I share your sense of middle space and, after losing my dad last year, different pieces of life are coming in to my view finder as it were.

    I always look forward to and enjoy checking in here to see what’s going on with my “friend” 🙂 Much love and peace being sent your way – new paths will start to open up and maybe it will all feel a little less topsy-turvy. I only hope it involves keeping us all posted with you and your fam. Hang in –

  12. #14

    Cathy there is something so simple and satisfying reading your posts. You are so real and so sincere and just so … you. Sounds corny, sorry. But heartfelt nonetheless. I have been on this earth 56 years and have been struggling with this “middle space” for a couple of years now so I know it’s a real and true thing. We are in transition … from being moms and life-organizers to rather sitting on the sidelines hoping all is well and waiting for the phone to ring (or beep with a text) from an offspring. I have a 15-year old left at home and he and his dad do everything together. Me? I do stuff around the house, take care of my elderly mother and do some paper crafting. I envy you your business. I would love to have my own business … but on the other hand I leave my office at the end of the day and I don’t bring any stress home, as I’m sure you do… there is always a fine line when you own your own business.
    But to make a long story short, please don’t stop blogging. However seldom. We are all here and we will all wait. We think you are simply awesome. 🙂

    1. #14.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Thank you, Mary. I appreciate that. And you know what? You remind me how grateful I am to make my living the way I do. I don’t know if it’s sustainable for years to come. That remains to be seen. But it’s all about adapting and changing, right? I appreciate you as a reader. As I do all of my readers. 🙂

  13. #15

    I love coming here. I know that I have cut out lots of blogs I used to read mainly because I felt bad after I read how perfect their lives are. I don’t feel that way when I read your blog, I know you don’t share everything but I feel like what you do share is authentic and part of real life. Yeah, it is hard to let them go have their own lives. Yeah, it is hard when they don’t want their picture taken or even want to talk with you. Yeah, this marriage thing takes soooo much work sometimes. And you let the world know that we all work through this. Thank you for what you do. As long as you keep posting I will keep showing up to read what you got.

    1. #15.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Well thanks, Betsy. 🙂 I want to keep it real. And yes, there are a lot of things I don’t share. Probably because if I let my inner child out on my blog, a lot of folks are going to be scratching their heads. So I try to keep it thoughtful. But realistic. We don’t dance around and talk about magic at Chez Zielske. 😉

  14. #16

    I’m still reading! And happy every time a post from you comes up in my feed. Thank you for this post’s words about “middle space”. They were very timely and a much needed reminder that this time of my life shouldn’t be viewed as nearing the end, and that my choices to care for myself (or not) are as important as they have ever been.

  15. #17
    Jenny B.

    I agree with all of these people. I love reading your blog. I only read the good blogs. 🙂 To answer your question of when does Fall officially end, that would be December 21st. The first day of Winter is December 22nd (my grandfather’s birthday). It feels like Fall ends a lot sooner, though. I was thinking about that earlier today while listening to a local radio station that started playing Christmas music 24/7 on the first of November. Why does this season seem to fly by so much faster than the others?

  16. #18

    At one point I had a rotation of 20ish blogs I read through. Now I just read yours and Ali’s because the writing is real and authentic. And you are funny as hell. Keep going if it makes you happy and I will keep reading.

    1. #18.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Thanks, Keianna. And you know, it really does make me happy. I have always loved to write. Maybe it’s not exactly Pulitzer Prize winning stuff, but I have always loved this form of expression. So I’ll keep it up. 🙂

  17. #19
    Shelley B

    I just wanted to say: I don’t read many blogs but yours is one I check everyday! Regardless of how often you post!

  18. #20

    So, I could pretty much say ditto to Keianna’s post. You keep it real, provide inspiration and smiles all around…long as you are writing, I’ll be reading ?

  19. #21

    I’m 54. My oldest is already out in the world. My younger two will graduate college in May. My whole life is about to change with some degree of finality. I’m definitely smack into those middle years, but I’m trying my damndest to make them good years! So yeah, right there with you, just slightly ahead of you on this journey.

    And in my book… fall officially ends when all of the trees are bare – which around here should be any day now – and the weather completely stops having the occasional “nice” day. Right now I’m LOVING the days where the temp jumps into the low 60’s.

  20. #23

    I love that you write about this middle space. I’m approaching 50. I have two in college, one in middle school. Life looks very different now, compared to the days they wore coordinating outfits, and went to bed early, and couldn’t wait to jump in our bed in the next morning. Life is still oh so good, even amongst the challenges that come with these young adults.

  21. #24

    Sometimes I feel like I’m the only person who still loves reading blogs. I’m a massive introvert and homebody who probably doesn’t spend enough time with other adult humans, so blogs are such a good way for me to connect with others.*

    Also, taking better care of myself…I need to start doing that. With all that’s been happening lately in the world, I feel so lucky to be alive and live where I do, and it feels disrespectful to not live that life to the fullest.

    *well that sounded really sad and pathetic when I put it into words!

  22. #25
    Cathy Zielske

    Not sad nor pathetic at all. I too am an introvert and a homebody for the most part. I do plan to work on getting out into the world more. That’s on the list for 2016. 🙂

  23. #27
    Jeanne W

    This middle space is really hard. I’m turning 50 next week and I hope there is something exciting here! Thank for your writing and honesty.

  24. #28
    Kelli Panique

    I feel EXACTLY the same way. It’s such a weird place to be in and I haven’t quite figured out how to handle it yet. *sigh* We’re all in this together, right? It’s nice not be alone.

  25. #29

    Cathy, I only read three blogs regularly and I really depend on them. And one of them already went away this year. I don’t understand the waning blog thing at all, though I hear it everywhere. It might be true overall but I think most of your readers are like me in terms of reading habits. So please keep doing the tough work you do to share your adventures in living with us, and don’t worry about what comes out. We like hearing from you where you’re at!

  26. #30

    I, too, have my top three blogs, and you my daaaah-liinnng are one of them. Have a kick-ass Thanksgiving, and keep the posts coming.

  27. #31

    I love your blog. Have cut back on the number that I read regularly but yours is top of the list as I always feel a connection. Approaching 50 here too and having attempt #478 at a health kick to boost the energy levels as I’d like to be 50 and fit rather than 50 and flat.

    I love your scrapbooking style and classes too. Your posts always make me want to go and get stuck into some album making and story telling.

    1. #31.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Hey thanks, Sue. I appreciate that you still come back to read.

      Stay tuned because next week, I’m launching a new class in the fit realm. 🙂

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