Catching up

(Originally posted 8/25/2008, 5:25 a.m.)

I’ve never been good at keeping up. It’s not that I don’t know about what everybody else has, or has been doing. It’s just that I prefer to stay where I am, confident in what I have and where I am. (Ever since high school, I’ve learned that it’s not so important to keep up with the Joneses.) So it is that I gave my husband an iPod that I had won in a raffle, and still prefer to listen to music on my Sony Walkman with cassettes (yes, those old things!). So it is that up until about two years ago, I was very insistent in not taking a cell phone with me everywhere I go. (And really, if I had to think only of myself and not my family as well, I wouldn’t even want a cell phone.) So it is that I have never owned, nor wanted, a Palm Pilot, or Clio, or Blackberry, or any such doodad, being one of the few people that I know under the age of 35 to still keep an address book made of actual paper.

So it is that only until about two months ago did I read and enjoy my first true blog. Sure, I knew they existed, but I never had much interest in them, never wanting to know about this new trend, and what was the big deal about reading someone else’s personal thoughts. (There are many times when I can hardly keep up with my own thoughts.) But this particular East Coast blogger that I happened to find in a rather roundabout way, was quite witty and interesting, waxing on about life, family, politics, and everyday observances. The blog entries were intriguing, and I have to say, rather addicting—so much so that I caught up with two years’ worth of entries in two nights.

And I began slowly thinking, Hey, I do that already. When the rest of the family is asleep, and I’m working on my various projects, all sorts of thoughts are swirling through my head. Thinking about issues that I had read in the newspaper recently; composing Letters to the Editor about various topics on which I think—no, I know—that I am an expert; replaying incidents of the day, and fuming or grinning over them; reflecting on all sort of issues related to parenting and marriage and friendships and all the things that are important to me, and which I feel I should impart with friends and strangers alike. I’m already blogging—to myself, in private. Or sometimes I’m storytelling and orating to different groups of friends, but essentially saying the same things over and over again. So I might as well put my thoughts down in writing, so that they can be archived and consulted at a moment’s notice.

The idea of blogging brought me to the days way back, before husband and kids, when I used to write in a daily journal about the minutiae of my life. I could randomly open one of my journals right now, and read about how happy I was to have met someone on a particular day, or find a log of my exact spending, in the days when I was counting pennies and surviving on meagre student savings. I could quote you the price of a half-dozen bagels in 1993, just as easily as I could describe in detail the feelings of nervousness and excitement that I felt upon boarding a plane and leaving home for university. Reading someone else’s blog reminded me of how much I love to write, and how I haven’t had a chance to do so in such a long time, what with being wife, mother of two, businesswoman, and keeper of the house. It reminded me of how often people tell me that I’m a good storyteller, and how I want to share that part of myself. So . . . in this electronic world, here I am, getting a chance to do all that private writing again, except in a more permanent, non-ink-stained, and more public, format.

I’m calling this the “Nocturnal Lecturer” because that’s who I am when most everyone else around me is in bed: I stand on my imaginary soapbox and orate to my imaginary audience all about my grandiose opinions, dreams, and schemes. Up until now, it’s been an audience of three (me, myself, and I), but hey look, now you’re here! For those of you who know me well, here’s a chance to delve further into my mind and see where the zaniness happens. And to those who have accidentally stumbled upon this blog, welcome to my weird, fantastic, exciting, drab, little world. Sometimes you’ll get a long dreary entry like this opener. Other times, you may get a single-liner, like “@!&^*! I hate my Dell!” (In fact, you may hear this one quite a lot.) In any case, hope you find me interesting enough to stick around for the long haul. Either I’ll really love this blogging, and hang on for years to come, or you’ll come by in a few months to see nothing but cobwebs and a “Back in 5 minutes” sign.*

So by finally joining the blogosphere (oh dear, I’m already using the slang), I’m calling this a “catching up” of sorts—catching up to my writer self, and catching up to the rest of the digerati. I’m not trying to keep up with the Joneses. I just want to be relatively close behind.

* If this is the case, then you’ll probably hear my Beloved Husband’s voice in the background saying, “There you go again, putting too much on your plate.” Ah, you gotta love him for trying to save me from myself.


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