Monday, October 12, 2009

A Year of Blank Pages to Fill

My first blog post was one year ago today, October 12, 2008. It doesn't seem like that much time could possibly have gone by, but it has.

I started this blog as an experiment just to see how it would go. I never intended that this would be a blog mostly about what I was reading but ... that was where things went.

At the beginning I assumed I would blog about things that I liked to think about and that interested me. But I found that a lot of what I spent time thinking about fell into categories that I had prohibited myself from blogging about: law and politics. I still think a lot about law but these days I spend much, much less time thinking about politics and I find myself resenting the time that I do spend thinking about it. So at least that part isn't a temptation anymore. The law part remains a problem.

I also limited myself to doing one post a day and that, somehow, seemed to limit me from blogging about the myriad little things that come up every day that I find myself interested in. Those thoughts lend themselves better to the types of blogs where there are multiple daily entries of one of two lines. I don't have time to do that and, by the end of the day, the spontaneity is gone and I regularly second guess myself. Or forget about whatever it was.

I realized a few months into the experiment that I was also prohibiting myself from blogging very much about things I do in my personal life because I almost always am doing those things with someone else and I didn't want to invade their privacy in any way.

That prohibition is partly because that's just the way I am, partly because that's the way the other people in my life are ("you aren't going to BLOG about this are you?") and partly because I think it was just the right decision in most cases. And of course partly because I spend most of my day at work and I think blogging about work is a recipe for disaster. Since I have a lot of people in my life and I spend a lot of non-work time doing things with them, I really found myself limited to blogging about spectator activities, like plays. Or baseball (but let's not go there right now). And Truman (dogs don't care if people read about what they are doing).

I have no real interest in blogging about my feelings. In fact I realized last week that the only time I blog about anything personal is when something sad happens. And that's no fun.

So I mostly blog about what I do when I'm alone. Read. Then I got sick and it affected my ability (or desire) to read at the same rate I usually do and it became harder to think of things to blog about that I COULD blog about. It started to look more and more like a chore rather than something fun I was doing for myself.

I was recently thinking I would call it quits on the one year anniversary. After all, I'm doing this only for me. If I don't feel like doing it then why should I? On the other hand I've always had an aversion to GBCW statements mostly because I know that there is always a good chance that, with changed circumstances, I could change my mind. So, I always ask myself, why take a position that I might have to retract later? Some might call (some HAVE called) that an aversion to commitment on my part.

In the end (as of five minutes ago) I decided not to call it quits but I'm not sure where I'm going with this. I assume I'll be blogging less, although maybe not less than the last few weeks. I assume I'll still be blogging about what I read. Maybe I'll take up a new interest that doesn't involve ANY people and I can blog about it. Who knows? That's the nature of experiments.

Anyway, thanks to all the people who have stopped by to read over the last year: those of you who have left comments, those of you who e-mail me or send me facebook messages, those of you who lurk and those of you who stopped by only once because whatever I wrote matched some odd google search. I appreciate all of you.

By the way ... one reason I decided to give blogging a try was because one of my work colleagues had started her own blog with her husband. They each took a year off from work and, over the last year, they have blogged about their travels to South America, New Zealand and Southeast Asia. Now their year is up and they are heading home.

I and my other work colleagues can't wait to talk to them about their travels. But, because we have traveled along with them by blog, our conversations will probably be more focused than the usual "welcome back; tell us ALL about it" conversations. We already know some of the questions we want to ask; we know which adventures we want more details about.

I'll miss reading about their travels. But I'm pleased that the daughter of some very good friends of mine has just started her own blog, which I've added to my blog roll. She just finished her first year of law school, but now she is heading to Africa to study for a year. As she wrote in her first post:

By an astounding stroke of luck, I am a 2009 Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar, sponsored by District 6040. I will leave October 5 for 10 months in Cotonou, Benin.

So now I have a NEW travel blog to read. She is a really good writer so you should check out her blog (but if you don't like spiders you might want to wait a few days until one particular picture scrolls down the page.)