Ten Years On

Too many words, not enough meat. That’s my primary critique of my writing. I recognize my propensity for thinking—and writing—in long, convoluted strings. So I’ll make this post brief. Relatively speaking.

Wordy, yes, but at least consistently wordy. Or should that be persistently wordy? Or both? I use words as though I’m afraid I will one day run out of them—I want to have used as many as I possibly could before that time comes. But not necessarily words from my mouth—those are relatively rare, compared to the ones that spring from the tips of my fingers. I have much greater confidence in my fingers than confidence in my lips. I think my fingers are wired more directly to my brain, whereas the circuitry between my brain and my lips is long, convoluted, and laced with broken connections and shorts. Regardless, though, I usually enjoy writing. Even when I do not enjoy it, I feel compelled to write because writing is sometimes the only way I know to relieve stress that has been compressed almost to the point of explosive release. Not to the point at which I would be a danger to others; only to my own sanity. And so, to avoid madness to the extent I can, I write. All of which is to introduce the milestone.

Two days from now—Wednesday, August 10—will be this blog’s tenth birthday. I’m of a mind to celebrate that milestone now, a few days early. I doubt I will remember to do it on Wednesday because—unlike marriages, college graduations, and citizenship ceremonies— linguistic stamina does not merit much in the way of festivities.

When I go back and re-read the very first thing I posted on this blog, I realize how little progress I’ve made in ten years. Ten years ago, when writing about the reasons I decided to create the blog, I wrote this:

…I have a history of being a hard-nosed guy on the job, someone who frequently confused work performance for success, both personally and with respect to the people around me.  I’ve been very hard on myself for what I perceived as failures and I’ve been even harder on the people around me.  That’s true of my work life and my personal life.

Those are personality flaws…I’ve allowed to grow and have in fact nurtured along.  Those are flaws I’m finally striving to overcome and, to the extent possible, correct.

I could just as well have written that yesterday. But it occurs to me now that I was not sufficiently explicit about what “correct” meant. Did I mean “eliminate” or did I mean “conceal?” I think I meant “eliminate.” Yet I think I’ve gone about the process in a way that doesn’t remove those flaws; it only attempts to hide them behind an obscuring façade. Better than ripping off the disguise and showing the demon behind the mask, I suppose.

This post—today’s, I mean, Monday, August 8—is published post number 4,064. Another 537 unfinished drafts await either completion or erasure or, more likely, eternal limbo.

Well, I said I would make this relatively short. So, I’ll close for now and go for my morning walk, my physical effort to regain my physical and mental stamina.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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2 Responses to Ten Years On

  1. Thanks, Patty.

  2. Patty Dacus says:

    Ten years! Wow! Congratulations, John.

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