OK, here goes.
The mere existence of this blog post is a personal triumph over my negative self-talk. I’ve been thinking about it for months – maybe even years. Time passes so fluidly, and so quickly, it’s impossible to believe that we’re halfway through the decade already.
There are days when I get very excited about the blog, thinking what a perfect fit blogging is for my style of writing – conversational, thoughtful, best done in little nuggets. But then the other voice creeps in: I have no overarching theme, no particular expertise; I can’t be totally honest about certain things and certain people; I don’t know what to call it so as to attract readers; in fact, I wonder if I really want to publicize my blog at all, because how embarrassed would I be if everyone thought t was crap; and, ultimately, why would anyone want to read it anyway? So guess what happens? NOTHING HAPPENS.
But today – today I say, “screw it”. While I debate whether I want to tell anyone, ever, about my blog, I’m writing it for myself, because I want to, because I like doing it, and because I would be writing anyway in my notebooks. I’ll just start doing it on the computer now and put it out into the universal “cloud”. That way, my blog will just continue to be what it has always been – me writing for myself, and only myself. I don’t even really care if anyone reads it, and I can talk about whatever I want.
If I’m any good at it at all, my blog will evolve. A shout-out to my cousin George Hanna, who one year ago started a podcast, the George and Tony Entertainment Show, with no broadcasting background or experience whatsoever, but armed with a lot of enthusiasm and a gift of gab. I’m so proud of, and inspired by, him.
So, for starters, I think I’ll call my blog “Life Considered”, because I’m considering my life (in the sense that I’m THINKING CAREFULLY about my life). But as I don’t deem my own life worthy of anyone else’s consideration (in the sense of THINKING CAREFULLY about it), I’ve come to the conclusion that my overarching purpose and the theme for my blog should be to promote universal consideration of others (yes, in the sense of THINKING CAREFULLY about them).
The seed of the blog idea actually grew out of my frustration with parking in Long Beach, New York, a barrier beach community off the southern coast of Long Island. In the summer especially (although it is a year-round problem), visitors come to Long Beach and park willy-nilly in front of residents’ homes without a care or concern that when THEY are parking in front of someone’s house, the person who lives in that house CAN’T. (In case it was not apparent, I don’t have a driveway.) I would mutter to myself (well, holler, actually, using copious curse words), in frustration, driving around and around trying to find somewhere to park within a five-mile radius of my house, “If people would only take a minute to THINK about how their actions will impact others . . .”
Of course, in this instance I’m only talking about parking in Long Beach, but that rhetorical question has resonance for EVERYTHING WE DO AS HUMAN BEINGS. Not enough people take the time, in this fast-paced, catch-as-catch-can life, to consider the simple question, “Would I like it if thus-and-such were done to ME?” Seems really basic, doesn’t it?
So that’s how the blog idea arose. Combine that with my writing obsession and here it is, after much waffling and doubting and second-guessing and, yes, consideration.
Finally, while I plan to write in this blog about kindness and consideration for the creatures who share our world (as well as other things that might pique my interest in a particular week), I will also occasionally write in my blog about NHL hockey, because NHL hockey is the great love of my life. I’ve been obsessed with hockey for over 47 years and it has rewarded me handsomely (although another Stanley Cup for the NY Rangers would be awfully nice). There are many reasons to love the on-ice product – the speed, the danger and brutality, the artistry – but one thing about hockey that makes me enjoy it so much is the humanity of it. Yes, hockey players can be dicks – anyone in any walk of life can be, and hockey has its share – and they tend to favor a cruel kind of humor that often isn’t appreciated away from the rink. But you frequently come across a great human interest story in the hockey world, and that’s a big reason Ross Greenburg’s all-access series on HBO and EPIX have been such can’t-miss TV.
On the same day that a letter from an 11-year-old begging a team to trade for her pro-hockey-playing dad (and they did!) made the national news, there was a great little story about Mats Zuccarello of the New York Rangers. A few days earlier, word had come from the Ranger camp that Mats – “Zucc” to his fans, which are legion; I can hear fans screaming “Zuuuuucc” in arenas all around the league, and there’s the ever-present Norwegian media contingent that follows him around and can always be relied upon to ask questions of the coach during press conferences – would be made available for a trade as contract extension negotiations had broken down. Ranger fans’ collective hearts were shattering all across the Northern Hemisphere. I wrote in my journal at the time: “But if money is more important to him than staying where the fans and his teammates love him . . . well, as they always say, hockey is a business.”
Well, here’s a quote today from Mats (in an article by Larry Brooks of the NY Post) that totally justifies our love for him: “I told [my agents] enough is enough. I’m happy with the offer and it’s important for me to stay here for a long time.” He agrees to a not-too-shabby deal and then the kid goes out and sets up two goals in an impressive win over the best team in the NHL.
Gotta love hockey players.
Talk to you next week.