I’ve missed my blog. It’s been nearly two years since I’ve posted, for various reasons (which I will address in due course), and it’s almost as if my best friend moved away and lost touch. Yes, I still write in my journal every day, and I still keep track of happy moments in my Joy Book (even though my entries sometimes consist of the simple declaration, “No joy today”). But there’s a real void where my blog should be.
I started writing my blog in 2015 as an attempt to get my words out into the ether, to publicly post what I’d been hiding in my personal notebooks for decades. I purposely committed to writing FOR MYSELF, and only for myself, so that I wouldn’t be disappointed if I wasn’t widely read or didn’t get a response. Needless to say, I wasn’t and I didn’t, but that didn’t stop me. For more than two years, I cranked out a blog entry weekly, re-reading and editing it until it was the best I could produce in a week’s time. I was proud of many of my blog entries, and occasionally even posted a link to particularly good ones on Facebook to access an even wider audience. I was content. I was writing, which is all I’ve ever really wanted to do and the only modest “talent” I felt I possessed.
But then the 2016 election happened, and slowly, over time, I lost the will to write. All I could think about was how we had gotten it so wrong. How was an unabashed conman and rude caricature like Donald Trump allowed to become the president of ostensibly the greatest country on earth? How had enough Americans been so bamboozled to allow the only qualified candidate (by far) to lose the election? It was as if a dark fog kept creeping into my brain unbidden, coloring everything in there. If you look at the last few of my blog posts (monthly rather than weekly by then, in early 2018), you can see it clearly.
There was other darkness, too – my job, my lack of funds, my feelings of life passing me by. And somehow the writing dried up and I stopped posting.
Oh, I thought about re-starting hundreds of times. I wrote lots of solid first sentences, and even a full paragraph now and again. But I couldn’t sustain the effort. Frankly, I still wonder if I can, but it’s a new year now, a new hope of finally getting rid of the stain that’s been clouding the country, the world and my own mind for the past three years. I agree with a post by a friend on Facebook, who said optimistically that she welcomes 2020 because she wants to be happy again, to stop wishing the years away, yearning for a time when maybe we can use Facebook just to swap recipes or post photos of our pets rather than lamenting the destruction of our country and, ultimately, humanity itself.
So I’m giving my little experiment in thoughtful positivity another try, but I can’t promise to be a hundred percent positive a hundred percent of the time. Please bear with me. Perhaps it will be like a typical pro hockey season: the rust of a summer of inactivity takes a few weeks to be buffed away, with daily practice and game-day regimens. And by the time I reach the halfway point, I’ll either be in playoff contention or I’ll be selling off parts for a re-set.
I turned 60 last year. I really thought I would have accomplished something in my life by now, and being a writer is all I’ve ever wanted to do. The time is now. I’ve really got nothing to lose. Wish me luck.