I first got the idea to write a blog after reading a particularly vexing article on MSN.com.
I read MSN in the morning to get my news. I start with MSN than move on to Military.com as I am retired Navy and, as I served this country for 20 years, am still very interested in its’ defense.
After Military.com I check my personal email accounts (two) and the email account for the small classic motorcycle repair and restoration shop my father and I operate.
I then peruse my personal Facebook page to follow my friends. some which I’ve known since junior high, some former Navy shipmates who are scattered to the four points of the compass and others I have been fortunate enough to acquire as life goes on. I also check the shops’ Facebook page at Collins Classic Cycles.
However I am of Irish, German, Welsh and (supposedly) Scottish descent and, though I try to resist, I occasionally see an item in one of my news sources listed above which will suck me in and provoke me to passionately(?) state my case. It could be the last presidential election, social engineering and women in combat positions, the lack of civility in today”s society, gun control and the Second Amendment, the bullshit that is “political correctness” (see “social engineering” previously), the scandal that is the watering down of Maker’s Mark Bourbon or the inane fascination that the American public has for the antics of Kim Kardashian, Taylor Swift or anyone from the cast of Jersey Shore while the pack of jackals that is the current Congress/Government (all 3 branches!) runs our country into the ground.
I don’t even recall the article that made me lose my mind and say to myself “That”s it! I’m throwing my somewhat inconsiderable and uninteresting opinion into the journalistic fray that is the blogsphere!!” I don’t even recall what I hoped to accomplish with this futile action. Stress relief? Venting?? “I might get a readership and make a difference???” Mental masturbation????
All I know is that I suddenly thought that my insight was worth touting. I had a lot to say and would comment on a wide variety of topics. I would freely say what I was thinking while being bold, brash and outrageous doing so. I would be thought provoking! Shocking! Entertaining!
However wanting to do a thing and actually doing it are two different affairs. What you were once so eager to begin, which seemed so simple and straightforward in theory, suddenly becomes near impossible in practice and instantly all kinds of roadblocks rear their ugly head.
As I get older I have found time is the most important asset anybody has in life. When you’re a kid time seems to go on forever. You can’t wait till Christmas. It’s gonna take forever till your birthday. Why is Math class sooooo long? It seems as if you have forever when you first start out in life.
You look forward to your 16th birthday so you can drive. If your civic minded, you can’t wait till your 18 so you can vote and change the world. “I’m gonna party like it’s 1999 when I turn 21!”
However nobody knows how much time one has on this Earth. You could live to be 110 or die in a car accident or of disease at the age of 7. Should you be one of the lucky ones who lives till “middle age” that misleading perception of time as forever becomes clearer when you get older in life.
Your next big event is at 50 when you’re eligible for your AARP card. At 55 you begin to become eligible for Senior Citizens discounts. And finally at 70 when you reach full benefit age for Social Security and can become a greeter at Wal-Mart to supplement your income. Our future generations may not even have that to look forward to.
Time speeds up after 40 and it streaks by in particular when you decide you want to work on a specific project or towards a specific goal. All of the sudden days seem like hours, an hour seems like 30 minutes and 10 minutes go by in the blink of an eye. (Unless you’re on an exercise bike…. THEN time crawls…)
In addition you find that, once you’ve set a goal, ALL these other demands on your (non – existent) SPARE time suddenly come out of the woodwork. Cub Scouts has two races in two successive weekends. Not only do you have the actual races but the extensive preparation involved prior to. There’s a school spirit night at the local pizzeria. Your child can’t understand his homework then proceeds to argue with you on how YOU’RE doing it wrong and something that should take 10 minutes winds up taking an hour and a half and now its time for the twice weekly (at least) karate class. Throw in the bi-monthly Cub Scout den meetings and the monthly pack meeting and your months are full. And this is the winter schedule! It doesn’t even count the upcoming yard work and property repair that will begin in spring.
This coming weekend I’m hosting a birthday party at karate in the middle of the day on Saturday and it’s CCD, Scout Sunday Mass then the Blue and Gold Cub Scout banquet on Sunday so this weekend is shot.
Even your days go fast. I get up in the morning at 5:30. I work out, have breakfast, get my child up, fed and ready for school, get showered and dressed, read the news and emails then head off to work. After work I drive home, do the aforementioned homework debacle with my son then off to karate or Cub Scouts and by the time the day is done it’s 10:00pm. You hit the ground running in the morning and don’t stop til bedtime.
So when do you have time to work on your goal(s)?
It is a shame that one cannot write while one is showering, shaving or driving. When performing one of the aforementioned tasks my mind is incredibly active. I can hypothesize the secret to time travel in correlation with the speed of light while driving, clearly divine the solutions to world hunger and the path to world peace while trimming my ear hair and easily comprehend the Grand Unification Theory while scrubbing my armpits and groin.
You have all this subject matter available to you. Current events, politics, the economy, social issues, gun control vs Second Amendment, gay marriage, gay Boy Scouts, religion, entertainment, food, music, the arts, travel. There is a wealth of things that you read about and contemplate as you go about your daily life.
But when you sit down in front of the computer to specifically write a blog? Duuuuuhhhhh…..nobody’s home. You can’t think of damn thing…..
Then there is the practice of self – censoring….
You think about the wealth of personal opinion and stories that you could postulate but then think “No matter how funny the story is, Uncle Roscoe will be camped out on his front porch with a loaded shotgun next Christmas awaiting my arrival if I write about the time he got drunk on Thunderbird and got pulled over in a Chevette with those 5 dwarf Panamanian cross dressing prostitutes.” or “John’s wife will kill him if she finds out that we really had a bachelor party for him at the local strip club rather than go to the local Mormon bible study the night before his wedding, 22 years ago.”
As to commenting on politics or current events in today’s society you become concerned that, though you are a decent and principled person, your opinion, though you have a right to it, may be viewed in a dim light by those who have very prejudicial and narrow opposing viewpoints and may affect your social or professional standing. You don’t so much care about how people perceive you as they perceive the organizations or businesses you belong to. And that they may decide to have a little “get together” to show their disapproval at those organizations for tolerating your membership…
Finally, there is your own perception that the piece you just wrote and agonized over for the last week and a half absolutely sucks……as I am doing now.
So, based on the above I have come to the conclusion that writing sucks.
Despite that I still have the urge to put pen to paper (or fat fingers to keyboard) and contribute my small and inconsiderate dribble to the general discussion. After all, someone once said it doesn’t matter if you make mistakes or make a mess, it’s better than doing nothing. Who knows…maybe with practice I’ll get better at this.