Some of the most fun I have is every other week when the blogosphere comes alive with bloggers all writing on the same subject. Today’s #LetsBlogOff topic is “And Here’s Where We Deliver the Death Blow.” This is the 48th Blog Off topic we’ve introduced and it’s also the last. We hope that we’ve made a difference in our participants’ lives but it’s time to call it a night. What did you get from this exercise and what would you have done differently had you been at the helm? What new bloggers did you meet through this exercise you’d have never met otherwise? What do you plan to do next?
“Start Spreading the News”
Well, I must say, and I do say, that today is not as happy as I thought it would be when I first marked it on the calendar and noted that it was a Blog Off Tuesday, for this, we’re told, is to be the last, the swan song, the coda, the capitulation, the termination, the proverbial end of the proverbial line.
I joined the party on December 19, 2010. Since then, counting this one, I have written 28 blogs for the venture. The only times I did not was when I took that week off for whatever reason. The topic that first week for me was, “If Money Were No Object,” and we were asked to expand on what we might give to others, were money no object. My wife had found employment just a few weeks earlier (she’s still there, thank heavens) after two years of unemployment, and my wish was that our many friends who have found themselves in the same position because of the economic debacle might also find work. I went on to say, “Perhaps as a corollary to my Christmas wish of employment for our friends, I would like to see this country again achieve full employment. The other thing I would wish (even though vengeful thoughts are not really part of the traditional Christmas spirit) is that those who have brought this country to this state should somehow be made to endure the same grief themselves, to go to bed each night worried, to toss and turn all night, and wake up exhausted, with no solutions in sight, only a prayer for deliverance.”
That set the tone for a lot of the blogs I wrote thereafter. Whenever possible I turned the subject to political issues, but Paul and Gerard wisely decided not to plow that particular row, so those opportunities did not come as often as I might have liked. What did come with a fair amount of frequency were opportunities to write about the marriage I am blessed to have with my wife of 35 years. She’s the whole of my existence, really, and ours is an incredibly harmonious union that I write about at every opportunity. I have many times contemplated writing a book on the subject, simply because of what we have.
Had I been in charge of topics, a circumstance that was most certainly never in the cards (only one of my ideas was accepted!), I would have opted for more political discussions. But that’s my idea, not that of those who put it together. I have never met Gerard, but was able to meet Paul in Toronto last year and spend a little time talking to him. Anyone who meets him comes away raving about what a great guy he is, and all I can do is add another amen. When I suggested something more political, Paul took the time to explain the reasoning behind wanting to eschew that particular topic. They wanted to get people to simply write about something that might be a bit of a stretch for them, but that would not involve them with the crazies that tend to come out of the woodwork these days whenever one speaks good or bad about either party or anything this collection of sad sacks in Washington D.C. does or doesn’t do. Since then, I have decided to discontinue my own political discussions on Facebook for that very reason. Which is to say that Paul and Gerard really had the right on that.
I enjoyed the back and forth with pretty much every blogger I encountered as a result of this exercise, but I have to say that the two I liked most were Brinn Miracle and James Dibben. I don’t share the religious beliefs of either one, but one of the most interesting discussions I ever had online was with Brinn when we all blogged on the difference between fact and truth. It was very much the sort of thing I would have loved to have pursued with a glass of Scotch in front of a fireplace with maybe a live group in the background playing some soft jazz. But she is clearly one sharp, sharp lady, and even though I disagreed with her position, it was one of those discussions that could just go on for days, the very type of intellectual contest I most enjoy having.
I’ve done quite a bit of woodworking over the years and am actively planning a new kitchen that will feature cabinets I’ve made myself. Part of that new kitchen will undoubtedly be a Formica countertop, so I was quite pleased to learn that James had once had a business that did that very thing. My go-to guy! The other thing, though, is just James’ fundamental decency, because that comes across in everything he writes.
As for future plans, well, Joe Dusel and I still want to make millions off this blogging venture. These last four years have been a real eye opener for me, and a real opportunity presented to me. I have found that I can do a lot of things I didn’t think I could do. Thanks to this medium, and the press of writing so very many blogs, I have learned how to compose at the keyboard (before then it was always paper and pencil, typing, revise, type again), but with this method, I sit at the keyboard and do all of my work right here, which is a decided time saver.
The other aspect of this blogging in general, and the Blog Off venture in particular, is that it has given me a much lighter style of writing that is ideally suited to a book I am seriously thinking of writing. It will be a collaboration with my wife and it will be about the marital happiness we have achieved, how we got it, how we kept it, and how others can get it too. A marriage that works the way it’s supposed to work really does have good times and bad, sickness and health; and how well you get through such things bears a direct relationship to how happy you can expect to be in your marriage. I can honestly say that in any given year, I have laughed more with this woman and had more good times then I did in all the years of my life before she came into my life. There might be a dollar or two to be made in spreading that sort of thing around!
This blog post is part of a blog-off series with a group of bloggers from different professions and world views. To see how others handled this theme, please check out the postings below. We will add links as they publish.
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