“If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”
― E.B. White
I’ve never been a big one for resolutions¹, but this year I find myself full of resolve. I have a number of goals: personal, professional and political. Among my personal goals are revamping this space, and getting back to posting regularly every month. I don’t think I can swing daily posting, but I should be able to manage once or twice a week. I would also like to get back to writing, for fun and personal growth. To that end, I have signed on to a rather daunting project: I will be writing and sharing a new essay every week for the year. I’ve nearly run out of week this week, but I plan to post my first essay tomorrow.
The damaged “2017” of an ice sculpture in Boston, from New Year’s Day. A number of artists produce and display ice sculptures around Boston on New Year’s Eve. This year, the next day was quite warm, and the ice sculptures were a little worse for wear. But still cool. (No pun intended.) In any case, I thought it fitting to post this damaged, day-late view of the new year, since I am so often running late and a little bit rough around the edges.
This was a tough month. I started off with high hopes and lofty goals, but my motivation and my optimism have suffered a major hit. I did manage to post to my blog every day this month, as planned, but my idea to share a daily bit of gratitude was less successful.
Even though I posted *something* every day this month, I mostly haven’t written the posts I’ve wanted to. The unexpected election results and their aftermath have continued to have a big impact on my thoughts and to some extent on my actions. I would still like to write more about this. I hope to keep posting here regularly. I think in order to keep the momentum, I will continue to post assorted photos and lightweight things as I work to unpack my weightier thoughts.
These two photos were among some I took back in 2010, when I was doing the daily photography project. I remembered the one of the “hope” train derailed, and went hunting for it. Funny as it was, it wasn’t actually a great photo, so I mucked with it a bit in a clumsy way.
For the record, I considered calling this post “hope derailed,” but my decision not to perhaps reflects that my hope has not entirely derailed. I am planning to get it back on track (as it were) in the coming months.
Remarkably, I started this blog 10 years ago today. 10 years of blogging. Over a thousand posts (this one is 1333), over a million views (1,156,038 at the time I’m writing this), over 3000 photos shared. It has been a wonderful creative outlet for me. Additionally, through this blog and by connecting with others on their own blogs, I have made strong friendships (haven’t really counted how many). In the process, I have grown in my worldview (which I also can’t quantify).
Tonight, I am grateful for blogging. Both for this blog, and for connecting with others. I am so grateful to the friendships I have made through blogging. I am very glad that I have returned to blogging after largely neglecting it the last few years. I appreciate having the creative outlet once more, and the place to share my thoughts. As current affairs have been stirring me to take action, I hope to use this blog as a sounding board, and a way to hold myself accountable.
In case you are wondering, I didn’t light candles for the blog. Conveniently, I have a daughter who is just a few months older than this blog, and so had easy access to photos of 10 birthday candles. In case you were wondering what happens when you put 10 birthday candles into a mini cupcake and light them, you get a tower of flame that threatens to light your daughter’s hair on fire, and melts the candles down to stubs in seconds. Happily, this blog is mostly flame retardant.
A festive holiday ball that someone dropped in an icy parking lot a couple of years ago. (I’m happy to say that this year, we haven’t yet had more than a few stray flakes of snow. I know it’s coming, but I’m not ready for it yet. I’m still recovering from last winter.)
So much for trying to blog daily for the month of November like I’d done the past 7 years. Not only did I drop the ball early in the month, but I dropped it again at the end. I got caught up with a deadline, and totally forgot to post one day. And then once I’d broken the pattern again, I didn’t find it in me to rush back. (Or, if you will, I couldn’t be bothered to pick up he ball again. I figured that the ball had rolled off somewhere, maybe into the bushes, or under the couch, and I didn’t want to have to hunt for it.) I did, happily, meet the deadline, and submitted a paper to a conference. In all, 25 posts does not make a bad tally for the month, especially after 5 solid months without a single post.
However, it’s starting to feel like roughly 60% of the content of this blog is about how I’m not blogging as much as I’d like. Another 30% seems to be about balls. Nah, that can’t be right. I also had the significant and weighty topics of: leaves, poultry, potatoes, pants. In any case, I am more-or-less back to blogging. And I plan to continue to blog more-or-less regularly.
There are times when I feel like I will never get caught up with my massive backlog of projects. Thousands of photos to sort through. Stories to tell. News to share. Here I’ve been back blogging for almost 2 weeks, and I haven’t really said much yet. Ah, well. It’s at least a start.
Having dropped the ball and forgotten to post a couple of days ago, I have since attempted to be more on the ball. Then I find myself wondering that if I don’t want to drop the ball, shouldn’t I really hold the ball? Or should I throw the ball and try to keep it up in the air? But no, I’ll instead just attempt to be on the ball, since that seems to be the idiom that fits.
Having chosen the post title “on the ball,” and noticing that it’s a Thursday, I briefly mused that I should put together a ball-themed list along the lines of my Themed Things Thursday ists of old. A sort of Throwback Themed Things Thursday. And then I had a vague memory of having once posted a ball-themed list. So, no new themed list. But I can at least take the ball and run with it. Or at least take the ball and post with it. Or maybe have a ball posting. Nah, not so much having a ball, really.
So, remember how I started posting again? Saying I was planning to post every day for the month of November, as is my long-standing tradition. Well, I dropped that ball. It took a remarkable 3 days. And I didn’t just forget until late at night. I forgot until today. But, I won’t let that keep me from trying to get back into my blogging groove. I may even try to make up for it. Just not tonight. It’s been a long full day of dashing from task to task. I’m beat.
A ball in the cheetah enclosure at the zoo. It is not clear to me whether this ball belongs to the cheetah, or whether some visitor dropped the ball. It is clear to me that while I dropped the ball, it was not in this case not the literal ball that I dropped. I would have remembered that. It would have made a much more colorful story to say I dropped a ball into a cheetah enclosure than to say that I totally forgot to post because I was tired.