When I logged on last night, WordPress informed me that on that very date four years ago I started writing these reflections every week-ish. This is the kind of fact I wouldn’t have believed if a computer didn’t say it because four years is a long time.
Or it used to be. College was four years, and college lasted a long time, as I recall. As previously noted, this whole age thing alters either the space-time continuum or our perception of it. I know the latter is more likely, but I’m not ruling out the former.
Another reason it doesn’t feel as if it’s been a long time is you. Every time I wanted to spend the evening streaming an entire season of Arrested Development or scrolling through Facebook, I remembered that, miraculously, there are people on the other end of the ether who find this blog helpful.
Knowing that is humbling, in the truest sense of the word, that is, it reminds me that what happens here doesn’t so much come from me as through me but that I need to keep showing up. It keeps me honest, which means you keep me honest. You move me to look inside, beyond complaint, beyond self criticism (OK, usually) to say something I hope is useful. I have to give up my perfectionist streak and hit publish even on the days when I think, this is really not my best one. Almost every time, those posts receive the most likes and comments.
I saw a quote recently that said, “No one can do it for you, and you can’t get there alone.” That is absolutely true of this blog. Thank you.
This is post 101, which means it’s time to pause for some reader appreciation. Without you, Being Finite would never have reached a milestone worthy of a Disney movie title.
A friend said we’re never so happy as when we’re accomplishing something that’s meaningful to us, even if the something is standing still and enjoying a tree whose leaves are bursting forth after a long winter.
It’s often hard for me to remember this at the beginning, though, whether I’m staring at the blank page or trying to convince myself to roll out of bed to exercise in the morning. Even if I will likely enjoy the activity—or the results of the activity—my mental inertia wins. I feel confident I could place in the top five if anyone ever held a mental inertia contest.
Most of the time, other people help with this. If I’m meeting a friend to run, my odds of actually putting on my shoes increase a hundred fold—if that’s a number odds can increase by.
And many Tuesday nights, I sit down in front of the computer, lock the cat out of the room, and ignore his destruction of the door because by some miracle, you all have been kind enough to let me know that these musings are helpful to you. You’ve given me an astonishing gift.
I know some of you but not others. Some of us are alike, and some of us couldn’t be more different; yet we share enough of being human that a few words about life’s ups and downs can connect us. Miracle indeed. Thank you for reading, for liking, for commenting, for expecting me to show up, and for sticking with me.
This particular entry was finished early Wednesday morning, and a tree full of songbirds greeted me as I opened my laptop. They were surely singing for you.
I am not an early adopter. When my sister first got a livejournal account, my enlightened reaction was something along the lines of, “Blogs are stupid. Who would do that?” A diary anyone in the world could read had all the appeal of the unidentified, molding substance in the back of my refrigerator. Today, thanks to leap year, Being Finite is exactly one year old.
I didn’t anticipate enjoying blogging. Even though most posts keep me up past my bedtime, I’m always grateful for the writing of them. They keep me honest, and they remind me to look for “things that help when life gets difficult,” to quote the About blurb. I’ve discovered, much to my surprise, that what helps is telling stories about my limitations, quirks, amazing friends and family, lousy days, and moments of gratitude.
It’s remarkably humbling to hear about my posts striking a chord with others or making them laugh. My original plan, quickly abandoned due to complete lack of research, consisted of finding other people and groups doing impressively helpful things. I didn’t expect my life to make interesting material. Readers’ reactions bring home what many have said, that all we really have to offer is our unique existence in this world, and that is enough.
What’s made the last year both enjoyable and humbling is you who read and comment and like, who share and smile about a post on the van, who reference the blog in a conversation, whether spoken or digital. Thank you for sticking with me, for encouraging me, for giving me a reason to write as clearly and thoughtfully as I can at 11 p.m.
Here’s hoping we’re still sharing pixels this time next year.