Tuesday, February 09, 2010

My Theme

I started blogging out of frustration, irritation and some anger from consuming the news media. Initially I created an anonymous blog with the generic identifier of NOAZ for northern Arizona. That didn't last long. I've never respected anonymity. It smells too much like cowardice. I added my name and a photo.

Writing was always unpleasant, too much like work, more painful than physical labor. I forced myself to write a few things and fell in with a group. Over time most of the group has stopped blogging but I continue for reasons explained below.

Some time back I thought perhaps I should select a theme. That didn't seem wise since I didn't want to limit myself. There are too many interesting things and events. Then I realized I have a theme though a description is vague in my mind. "Celebrating my life"? "Celebrating" sounds too pompous as in "grand, solemn or self-important". Rejoicing? That word doesn't sound rough enough for me given my redneck heritage but it conveys the essence of what I feel. Rejoice means "to be very happy, be delighted, exult; to feel joy."

I did my 25 years in hell and over the last 15 years my life has been better than I ever imagined possible. Some of it has been good fortune but some of it has been due to effort over time. I've read books and research about happiness, marriage skills and personal health. One of the things I adopted was the concept of visualization, mental training, controlling my thoughts. For example, a gymnast may visualize a perfect vault. In her mind the sees herself leaving the floor, her body beginning to follow the perfect path in the perfect form. I applied this concept to my life visualizing myself as I want to be, by focusing on the positive and avoiding the negative in entertainment, news and all areas of life.

I have a friend on campus who is a psychologist. I'm indebted to him for several items of knowledge including the concept of three concentric circles which represent things I can control, things over which I can exert some control and things over which I have no control. The inner most circle, the circle of control, includes what I read, how I spend money, what I eat and how I invest my time. The next circle of limited control includes gardening. I can control water and fertilizer but not the weather or hatches of insects. Also in this category are group meetings at work where I can voice my opinion but not make the final decision. The outer circle of no control is the largest. I can't control or affect national politics, global warming, health care legislation and a multitude of other things. I'll give most of my time to the inner circle, devote some effort to the next circle and no thought to the largest circle.

Over time my blog has joined efforts such as healthy nutrition and planned physical exercise as a means of enriching my life. I write not because my life is good but to exert some small effort to make my life good.

Here are the principles which evolved that I try to follow with my blog.

  • I will write for myself. I am my audience.
  • I will write about the inner circle and, occasionally, the middle circle.
  • I will write with honesty and never make up facts or memories other than those my aging brains creates without my knowledge.
  • I will write about good things that I want to relive in five years when I read my blog.
  • I will write about news events only if they are positive and uplifting. (Sorry, Jean. No comment on Sara P. or Pat R.)
  • I will try to be positive to counter balance some of the ranting that is threatening to propel the earth out of it's orbit.
  • I will enjoy the typos and less than perfect grammar in my posts rather than feel frustration when I discover them.
  • I will write with the knowledge that my family (sisters, brothers-in-law, son, daughter and others) read my blog and I want to leave them feeling positive.
  • I will write from the perspective of a father with hope of some possible benefit to my children. I regret that I didn't have my father for more years to impart his experiences and knowlege in his 35 years ahead of me in life's journey.
  • I will write with respect for diversity knowing that people from approximately 75 foreign countries read my blog at one time or another.

I didn't consciously select the theme of rejoicing or celebrating for my blog but I like the theme. I think it's a good one.

5 Comments:

Blogger Buffalo said...

Most thought provoking; at least for me.

Why do I blog? More accurately why do I blog now?

Am I being a coward because I continually censor myself?

2/09/2010 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger THE Michael said...

You're not the only one censoring himself, my friend. I think Paul has the right idea, which only he seems capable of taking advantage of. Perhaps one day we will ALL see the light and do it right like he does.

2/09/2010 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger Kathryn Grace said...

It's a good list. You've given me much to ponder. Thank you for sharing your process and objectives.

2/09/2010 11:30:00 PM  
Blogger Malcolm said...

thanks for sharing your blog objectives and also the (psychologist suggested) concentric circles idea. Much food for thought here!

2/15/2010 02:22:00 AM  
Blogger MojoMan said...

It's a good thing to ponder why we blog. I think it's vital to keep things in perspective. For example, I love comments and knowing someone has read my stuff, but my tiny readership in no way justifies the amount of effort that goes into a typical post. So, I try to write - as you do - for myself. These days, I try not to force anything and only write when I truly feel moved. I also like to imagine my posts will be around far into the future and be available should someone want to look back and learn a little about who I was. Accordingly, I try - like you - to be honest.

I also like your concentric-circle image. Sounds a little like a 12-step thing. Only thing I wonder about: If we pay no attention to the outermost circle, do we get the kind of government we have now?

2/20/2010 07:07:00 AM  

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