Since starting blogging in June and reaching about 2 posts/day average (during my peak enthusiasm effort) I then slacked off a lot during Oct/Nov and finally began to catch back up during December (now back to average of a post a day). But my current pattern isn’t good, mostly a couple of posts on Sunday (at Starbucks) and then none on most other days, so I’d like to get back to more “linearity” (as we used to argue about at HP over keeping shipments steady rather than end of period rush).
So with this history and the time of year, how about a couple of resolutions?
- average 1.25 posts/day (allows for the small effort ones that occasionally creep in)
- only have two weeks during whole year where I have none (more on why posting is going to be a challenge)
- average 3 days a week (for all 52 weeks) where I generate a reasonable post (no cheapo posts just to keep up averages)
Now given I have lots of leisure time (and obviously lots to write about) why should these goals be at all difficult to achieve?
Answer: I have to blog in secret. And keeping blogging secret is now going to be harder.
There are two reasons I keep blogging secret:
- someone around me would consider this a silly waste of time when much more important things (like excess gardening or house work) could be done instead
- what I actually said would be subject to ridicule
- (yes, I said two, but here’s another) there will be a huge chilling effect on what I say if it were ever known I’m doing this, by that someone
OK, sounds a little silly (why shouldn’t blogging be something I’d be allowed to do, I’m not a child) but it is the constraint I live under. So why is this going to be more of a problem?
Well, normally I have 4.5 days/week (at least most of the day) as private time (it’s 4.5 instead of 5 due to occasional holidays and days off when someone is home)). Starting with the new year I’ll have none, no private time where I can do what I want. Now it won’t just be that I have to hide the blogging that will suppress my activity. It’s that I won’t have any time (or much) where I do as I wish. In short, from now on through the end of my life I won’t have time that belongs to me (except for the out-of-sync daily schedule where at least I have late evenings as private time). No, now, seven days a week, during most of the time I’m awake, doing as I want with my spare time won’t be allowed. I’ll be drafted to do recreational things (not my recreation, nor essential tasks either) all the time. Of course, because those recreational tasks are more worthy (and naturally good for me) than what I choose to do for spare time.
So I spent most of my life where school or my job controlled the majority of my waking hours. Then I spent a couple of years of “retirement” (some was just unemployment) where I actually had free time I could spend as I wish. Now I’m actually officially in retirement but will have the bulk of my time allocated by someone else (at least as much as work did). It won’t necessarily be the number of hours per day, but blogging (or some of my other pursuits) require both concentration and a frame of mind (blogging is not something to do a few minutes here and there, multitasking with other tasks (that I won’t like and thus affect my mood)). Without the concentration and really just pure amount of dedicated (uninterrupted) time any pursuit that requires mindfulness is going to be hard.
So here’s another prediction. Starbucks is going to get a lot more business from me (and I will consume their Net bandwidth). These Sundays started as an exile from a bad situation at my house, a need for avoiding and really unpleasant interruption at home, but interestingly I’ve come to enjoy them as pure “me-time” where I can do as I wish (the noise and hubbub at Starbucks is nothing, but my routine appearances have led to some social entanglements that again reduce my freedom for me-time). So I suspect I’ll have to leave “home” in order to have any time for myself. Now I don’t think this is selfish because: a) a lifetime of work should buy me some me-time, and, b) why does my time have to be controlled by someone else, even more than a job might have done.
So it turns out meeting these blogging goals will actually be hard. Due to all the interference I won’t achieve them without trying so in the coming years (really the rest of my life) I’ll have to grab any moment that I have so amazingly rather than the usual thing of retirement being boring and too much spare time I’m going to find having time is a real luxury. Strange, not what I would have expected after a workaholic life.
Blogging will undoubtedly pass as my main goal for my me-time and get replaced by something else, but I should try to keep it up, so as another “goal” I want to do 500 posts in 2013 which should exhaust about 50% of what I would have wanted to say.
[Note: The reason I have to set a goal that allows a couple of weeks with no posts is that there will be vacations and then I'll have no alone time at all, hardly able to even do emails I do, much less this more secret blogging]