It is almost impossible to fathom how I earned that little black and white NaBloPoMo badge down on the right sidebar of this blog. That widget means I posted every day for a month in November 2008. Thirty posts in 30 days. I posted seven times this November.
Does it matter? My philosophy is post as often as you have something quality to share. That is now at odds with the conventional wisdom that in order for a blog to matter it must have traffic and be findable by search engines. My blog is now in competition with other things in my life. Where it once filled a void, it’s now moved near the bottom of my to-do list.
I’ve taken on quite a bit in the last few months. I’ve committed to things that are for the greater good. Except sometimes it doesn’t feel that way. It feels like I’m being crushed under the weight of responsibility and promises and commitments. I am determined to find a way to make it all work. There are other unfathomables right now:
I heard on the radio today callers bragging how they maybe worked three hours on Cyber Monday, devoting the rest of the paid work day to Christmas shopping online or gabbing on social media sites. I had a hard time swallowing this information given the number of people out of work right now, the number of people just in the last few weeks who’ve either lost medical coverage, had one of their utilities shut off or were forced to leave family and friends for a less-than-stellar job out of the state.
In some ways, the very idea of a day set aside for the pursuit of spending money is almost beyond my grasp. This will be our second Christmas under very tight budgetary constraints. Last year we were caught off guard and I was devastated. This year, I know how it will be and almost welcome it as an opportunity to put the holidays in proper perspective. I long for a simple, meaningful holiday that reflects the true nature of the season.
On the subject of jobs and tight budgets, we had a strange spectacle in our town that barely registered on most people’s radar screens but for those in the know, it was a seismic jolt. It’s unfathomable to me how two people can blow into our town and convince another group of people, many of whom were the best and brightest in their field, to join what sounded like a fool’s errand.
Over the last few months I listened as former colleagues and friends wrestled with their decision to jump on board or walk away from this crazy scheme. Part of me — my heart, my pride — was sad and angry that I was not among those hand-picked to be a part of this wild idea. Another part — my gut — told me that to listen to these promises, to throw caution out the window was something I’d walked away from three years ago. I would not, could not go back to what I suspected would be more of the same.
In the end, those of us who stood back with our doubts and concerns watched the worst-case scenario play out. We felt for those who ultimately were duped or blinded by a crazy hope and desire to get back that which is lost. It’s one thing to hear the king is dead. It’s another to touch his rotting corpse.
While I survived the first round of the holiday season, I’m not sure I came out in one piece. The amount of anxiety that preceded this week was self-imposed for the most part in preparation for what I imagined to be a very stressful few days. I know I overindulged in food and drink in an effort to keep my mouth occupied and out of trouble and my vision blurred enough to avoid reality.
But damn you, Facebook, and your photo tagging that blasts though the fog of denial and thrusts the truth in my face.