On The Road Again…

On the road again
I just can’t wait to get on the road again
The life I love is makin’ music with my friends
And I can’t wait to get on the road again
On the road again
Goin’ places that I’ve never been
Seein’ things that I may never see again
And I can’t wait to get on the road again
Here we go, on the road again
Like a band of Gypsies we go down the highway
We’re the best of friends
Insisting that the world keep turnin’ our way
And our way is on the road again
I just can’t wait to get on the road again
I’ve always loved this song by Willie Nelson. It has accompanied me on many a road trip, with the windows down, music turned up, singing at the top of my lungs as I take off on another adventure. I was in my twenties when I first heard this song. Adventure was my middle name! I was soooooo brave and spontaneous back in those days. I know for a fact that my parents were flumoxed at my decision to leave Michigan after graduating from college, driving across the country with my girlfriend to California and spending three months traveling around Mexico. Then, what must they have thought when I decided to stay in California — the Santa Cruz Mountains no less! — buying a horse, getting a waitress job (which I did in college for extra cash), and declaring this was where I wanted to live. Talk about adventurous! I didn’t know anyone. My girlfriend had gone home to Michigan, leaving me alone with my horse. Guess what? I was in heaven…
I was looking for extraordinary. I was living by the seat of my pants. I had no plan (well, I was going to apply to graduate school at U of Arizona and become an archeologist). I was finally living the life of my dreams riding my horse into the redwood forest and all the way to the Pacific Ocean, without a thought about my future. Just living in the moment.

That’s me, above, teaching a young girl to ride my horse, probably 1976.

Eventually, my California life intersected with the burgeoning personal computer industry in Santa Clara (silicon valley). I was living with my boyfriend, Richard, and so over my horrible waitress job where the restaurant owner required the waitresses to work in the kitchen a couple days a week chopping onions and working the hot, greasy fryer. My face was broken out in hives from the grease splatter, I had cut myself several times with the knife (I finally learned the proper way to slice onions), and I wasn’t making any tips! So I quit. I remember telling my boyfriend, “This is the LAST time I will ever waitress.” And that was true.

The next day, my downstairs neighbor told me about a job opening at a company, Commodore Business Machines, in Santa Clara, as an administrative assistant. Do you remember the Commodore game computer, Commodore-64? Very successful! They were venturing into the personal computer business, following Apple’s path. Of course I had no idea what it meant to be an administrative assistant, but I was determined to get the job. And I did get the job. Hell…I was a good typist, I had a college degree, I was organized, and it turned out the VP of Engineering who hired me had designs on me that I was unaware of at the time. Those were the days of the “wild west” in the computer industry. No HR department, no anti-sexual harassment rules, only your self-esteem and self-preservation instincts to protect you from predators. It was a 100% male dominated environment. I was one of the fortunate ones — I had an amazing older woman (probably in her thirties) who took me under her wing and helped me move into the Marketing department after the Engineering VP creep tried to proposition me at a Las Vegas C.E.S. Show. I have tremendous gratitude for all the pioneering women who forged a place for young women now to thrive in the computer industry (I became one of those pioneers). I’m sure you have your own sexual harassment stories…we should talk!

Bringing it forward to my life today. I enjoyed 25+ years in the computer industry, as I shared in the excitement, magic, and energy of a new frontier that was changing peoples’ lives (for better or worse). There were no guarantees in the early days of the computer industry, as several of the early startup companies I worked for went bankrupt and I didn’t get a paycheck for months at a time. I learned early how to survive anything, and after my first marriage that ended in divorce, actually began to thrive as a single working mother.

Yes, I took risks. Some risks payed off and some did not. But looking back, I’ve always been willing to take a risk. It’s a bit scarier now that I am 66 years old, but inside I’m still the same pioneer woman who yearns for adventure.

Hence, here is the story of how I am leaving my California home of 40 years and heading to Santa Fe, New Mexico with my artist husband and my dog…

I’m starting over. This is ground zero. We are officially homeless as we sold our California home and we’re renting month to month in Santa Fe. We hope we find the right property that has a house with “good bones,” a barn that my husband can finish into his artist studio, and a casita we can rent on AirB&B. All for the right price that we can easily afford. That’s our vision. As our friend, Patrick, says, “I hope you get lucky, and you get everything you dream of.”

I am looking forward to Change. Growth. Mystery. Walking Into The Unknown. Making New Friends. Keeping My Old Friends and Seeing Them When They Visit.

Speaking of change…I’ve started doing a monthly series in The Style Club For Women Over Fifty, called “How I Transformed My Life Over 50.” And I’ll be creating a website called The Transformation Channel to showcase all the speakers and experts who are sharing their life stories about transformation. My friend, Leslie, and I were having dinner the other night and she said, “Linda, you have your OWN stories about transformation! You need to tell your story, too.” So, that’s what I’m doing in this blog series.

Come with me as I share my own story of transformation…

2019-04-14T11:15:15+00:00 April 14th, 2019|20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Linda Waldon May 1, 2019 at 6:38 am

    Thank you Marilyn! Knowing you’re enjoying reading about my adventure really makes me happy and motivated to keep writing.

  2. Linda Waldon May 1, 2019 at 6:30 am

    Thank you Colleen! If you’re ever in Santa Fe, please look me up. Would love to see this beautiful place through the eye of your camera lens. Hugs, Linda

  3. Linda Waldon May 1, 2019 at 6:28 am

    OMG! Deborah, what a beautiful and inspiring story of your life! I totally understand about moving away from your children. It’s hard. But, look at the life lessons you’re teaching them. Happiness is everything. Taking care of yourself is everything. Living your dreams is everything. Blessings to you and your new life.

  4. Linda Waldon May 1, 2019 at 6:26 am

    Wow!!!! Thank you for your encouragement. I have been so reticent to writing down the details of my life, for all sorts of reasons. But, I am so heartened by the positive response I’m getting from women all over the world. You’re right, we DO need to share our stories and let women know the adventure of our life never ends until the very last breath. Heck, my 96-year-old mother is still up for an adventure! I will be publishing a book some day with all the juicy details 🙂

  5. Anonymous April 25, 2019 at 5:35 am

    I loved reading your transformation story! You have a wonderful talent for writing! I hope you compile lots of transformation stories and publish a book! It’s incredibly important that other women know that life does not end at 50!!

  6. Anonymous April 17, 2019 at 8:15 pm

    Just WoW!!

    I know you will miss your grounds of home for 40 years…as it should be…I’m also very happy that you are happy with the change…NOTHING, is as rewarding as making changes during our life span….refreshes all the recesses of mind, spirit, and body.

    On the road again and Route 66 , get out of here!…how fitting is that?

    You inspire me in many ways…Lovely!!

  7. Deborah Grace April 16, 2019 at 1:01 pm

    Linda, I transformed my life at the age of 59 yr 10 months. Left a bad marriage of 40 years, than married high school sweetheart and moved 3 hours away with him (pop: 10,000) to 15 acres in the country (pop: 300-maybe). Downsized 2300 ft home to 800 sq home in a metal building – my shop-dominium. Love my life now more than ever. Only drawback, I am 3 hours away from my children and grandchildren. Lots of visits. So I love the adventurousness spirit in you. Good luck on your new journey.

  8. Marilyn April 16, 2019 at 11:41 am

    I love adventure stories & thank you for sharing yours & the journey! I’ll be waiting to read each update! God bless you all around.

  9. colleen April 16, 2019 at 11:09 am

    good job with al of this. best wishes in your journey and with sharing… it is a gift to all . hugs, colleen rosenthal

  10. Linda Waldon April 16, 2019 at 9:45 am

    Okay, I will answer those great questions in my next chapter. Thank you, Arlene, you always, always give me good ideas.

  11. Linda Waldon April 16, 2019 at 9:44 am

    Thank you, Mary! I’m having so much fun writing again.

  12. Linda Waldon April 16, 2019 at 9:44 am

    Thank you, Trish! That makes me so happy! I hope I can serve as an example that no matter what age we can transform our lives. Stay tuned…more adventurous chapters to come…

  13. Linda Waldon April 16, 2019 at 9:43 am

    I am meeting more women (mostly strangers I talk to in a store) who either have made a recent move or are planning a major move. We baby boomers are a brave and adventurous lot! It is invigorating! The answer to your question about the ocean is YES, I will miss the ocean. I was raised in Michigan around lakes and then lived in California my adult life near the ocean. I’m a Pisces so I’m drawn to water naturally. I will find my “water” in Santa Fe. I understand the blue sky is so beautiful that I will imagine when I look up that it is the ocean…and of course, will visit the Pacific in my dreams.

  14. Linda Waldon April 16, 2019 at 9:39 am

    Thank you Adele! I owe you a long phone call. One of these weekends after I get settled in Santa Fe you’re on my list.

  15. Adele Sommers April 16, 2019 at 9:36 am

    Woohoo! Linda, I’m so THRILLED for you and Robert, and will be living vicariously through your adventures! Talk about your amazing Wayback Machine. I love that you’re connecting the dots of your intrepid life in both directions, from your courageous beginnings to your fearless future. And of course I’m delighted about all of the guidance you’re receiving from your awesome angel network, and look forward to hearing more about the roadsigns they’re showing you along the way. Wishing you safe travels, dear friend, and very excited about the upcoming installments!

  16. LJ April 16, 2019 at 9:32 am

    I almost never talk to anyone who regrets being more adventurous. There’s more inertia as we get older but if we can keep moving despite our fears, it’s an exciting time. Because we’re still alive and especially if we have our health, we’re so fortunate. For those of us who are single, it can be even scarier and we really have to draw on our “network of angels.” PS Aren’t you going to miss the ocean?!

  17. Trish Collins April 16, 2019 at 7:42 am

    You are the action woman for my dreams!!. I love your spirit of adventure and how you easily adapt to a new phase in your life. Really looking forward to reading more on your incredible journey. Thank you for sharing.

  18. Mary April 16, 2019 at 6:47 am

    Looking forward to future blogs! A good story in the making.

  19. Arlene April 16, 2019 at 6:33 am

    I have been curious through all of this Linda
    why did you decide to move from California?
    What was it that you didn’t like any more?
    Why and how did you choose Santa Fe?
    Your story is exciting for the adventurous soul.

  20. Leslie Hannon April 14, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    YES !! This is exactly what I was envisioning…..share your experiences and show your blog followers that you can start over (again,) and reference how you get the courage to be present to the challenge.
    Very engaging story. Well written. Bravely embarking on your mission.
    I learned some things I never knew about your beginnings. Can’t wait for the next installment.

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