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People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success.
~ Norman Vincent Peale
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Getting to know me....
20 March 2004
Thats the number of journal entries Ive written in the past four years. (No, I didnt sit here and count them all; I keep a database so I can find things again). This is entry #1448.
Yes, today is my fourth journalversary.
After nearly 1500 entries, its weird to think that Im sitting here at a loss for words, but I made the mistake of going back over the last three anniversaries and reading them. Theyve said it all--talked about how I happened to start this, where my life was at the time that I wrote the first entry, and how things have changed over the past four years.
Without being completely redundant, what more is there to say?
And yet, thats a pretty impressive number. 1448 journal entries, most of which are the length of newspaper columns, proving that I am capable of writing a regular column, on deadline, and being interesting at least part of the time.
I actually hoped that would stand me in good stead when the newspaper recently lost a regular columnist and had a hole to fill. But they want it filled with someone who will be more likely to appeal to a senior citizen readership and the editor said that she hoped I was flattered to think that she didnt put me in that category yet, my 61 years notwithstanding.
(Im pushing for my friend Joan to get the job; shes a terrific writer--and much more professional about it than I am.)
But that does bring me back to how I mark this momentous occasion--the start of my fifth year as an on-line journalist.
In my first two years as part of the journaling community, I really got into this new world whole hog. I joined everything, I read everybody, I kept notes each quarter and nominated all of my favorites for awards, I participated in the journal discussion group. I even won a couple of awards and was nominated for a few others. Lovely acknowledgement that I was part of the group.
But a couple of things happened somewhere in about the second year, I guess. Several things happened. First of all, I started working for Dr. G and started spending a lot of my spare time riding bike and didnt have as much time to read everybody any more. I had to whittle my long list of "gotta read" entries down to just those who were the cream of my crop. There may have been better writers or more interesting new members of this vastly growing group of on line journalists and bloggers (I dont think the term "blogger" had even started being used at the time I started writing this journal), but these were my guys, people in whose life I had a vested interest, and so I continued to read those, letting the others go by the wayside.
But the big thing, I guess, was when I decided to attend JournalCon when it was held in San Francisco. I should have known better. Im not really a sociable person--I mean, I dont present well in a group of strangers, and when you add to that the fact that I was probably the oldest--by far--in the group, well, I just never felt part of it all.
Still, it was fun putting some faces to names and when I returned home, it was with the idea of staying in touch with the folks Id come to know over the weekend. But, well, that just never happened. There were big disappointments with the few interactions that I did have...people who were so anxious to meet me who never ever even answered e-mails when they returned home. People that I went out of the way to befriend who never even said thank you and who never contacted me again.
It underscored the fact that I am an outsider in the mainstream journaling world.
But by then, I really didnt care. The other thing that happened during that time was that slowly I discovered I had my own group, the same people who read this journal as religiously as I read those journals which made the cut when I had to cut back. YOU guys. Youre the ones who write when I need a kick or a pat on the back or a hand with a problem.
So I guess as I start the fifth year of this journal, Ive come full circle. I started out writing this for myself, and for friends. I got caught up in the competition within the journaling community for a bit, and now Im back just writing this for myself and for friends again. The nice thing is that the circle of friends has widened somewhat and now includes people I will never know about.
Its really been a delightful experience, this weird world of sharing your personal, intimate feelings on the internet for God knows who to read. But it has brought me much pleasure and I hope to do it for a long time to come.
Thanks for being along for the ride!
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