Monday, July 20, 2009

One Month Down…

If you follow my blog, you have noticed that there has been a sharp upswing in the number of entries lately. Most people do not follow it. I’m ok with that. I hate people in real life making snarky comments about what I’ve written and so for a long time I’ve avoided writing much of anything. It always seems, when I publish like this, someone has to say, “Well, I see that you’ve been writing…” almost like they expect me to deny it. As if I should be ashamed of myself. I don’t know. I don’t quite know what to say to those folks.

But I decided recently that I wanted to try an experiment. I wanted to see if I  could blog every day for a year. I tend to have these grandiose ideas that are larger than perhaps I have the stamina to complete. But I thought that I should be able to sit down for a few minutes each day, collect my thoughts and record them. I’ve seen others online who have done it, but this isn’t about me trying to best someone else. It’s a single person sport, much like running or bicycling. Yeah, you can do those things on a team, but you can much easier do them on your own and the achievement is yours and yours alone. It all comes down to your stamina, your dedication and your drive.

Like I said, I tend to get kind of grandiose.

Anyway, I’ve been blogging for a month now—I started on June 21 and it’s now July 20. It’s cool for me for several reasons. First, I’m happy to see that I’ve got the endurance I suspected was in me. I know the year is far from over, but I’ve got 1/12th of it under my belt.

I wanted, when I was younger, to be a writer. I felt I had a talent for it. A way with words. I don’t know if I still feel that way now—sometimes I do, but other times I curse my overuse of parenthesis and hyphens. Either way, if you don’t ever practice something, you’re pretty much guaranteed never to get any better at it. Conversely, if you practice, even if you don’t call it practice, there is definitely potential to get better. You have the opportunity to try things out, see how they work and learn from them. Daily blogging has given me this opportunity. I look forward to seeing what my style will look like in another eleven months.

Finally, it’s cool because I have already started going back occasionally and rereading things I’ve written about. I don’t know about anyone else, but my short-term memory is almost non-existent. I live something, it makes something of an impression on me, but a week later I often can’t remember what happened to save my life. Harrison will say something or Laura will look at me in a certain way and I’ll think to myself, ‘That’s so awesome—I’ll never forget it!’ Except that I do. Almost immediately. And so having this daily log of what we’re doing—the interesting, the mundane, the weird—is nice because when I read it, I remember it and I can actually go, ‘That’s so awesome!’

I fancy myself reading this drivel many years down the line, perhaps when the kids are grown and gone and being able to rejoice in the beautiful things they did. Emily in Our Town laments that people—live people—never really see life for what it is and how quickly it goes by us. In a way, I like to think that this is my way of noticing the fleeting moment. I’m no saint or poet, and I don’t capture “every, every minute,” but I think that from time to time, I do get glimpses and “realize life while [I] live it.”

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