After nearly a year of not writing regularly on this blog, I’ve decided I miss the exercise. I had vaguely hoped that not writing in public would spur me on to write in private, but it never happened. And recently I was reminded by some old blog posts that the steady practice yielded major benefits—I think more clearly now than then, and learned to convey those thoughts more clearly and directly. So I want to return to that frame of mind somehow. And I suppose that gives me my word for 2017: write!
Am I allowed more words? I’ll claim them anyway. The grandest one, lurking in the background and coloring all the rest, is mortality. I don’t know that I gave it much thought until I turned 60, but since then it has loomed ever larger, taking its place in my word pantheon alongside humility. In fact I suspect it was my long obsession with humility that enabled me to confront my mortality, even to begin getting comfortable with it—at least to move on from study to submission, getting on with the job of pulling together the threads of my story into some coherent whole. And so prune will be another word for 2017, looking at my too-scattered interests and whittling away those that won’t play a part in bringing the story to a satisfying conclusion. Goodbye, theology! So long, philosophy! Studying you has been helpful, but rather than seeking out new knowledge I now need to take what I’ve already learned and practice it.
This year I won’t chart an elaborate plan as I did in 2016. It was a useful exercise then, but isn’t a comfortable fit right now. I’ll just note that my practical efforts will center on my health, physical and mental and spiritual. I will also be devoting much of my spare time to getting back into programming, in part to teach my kids how to do it, but also to prepare myself for (maybe) doing pro bono work when I retire in seven years. Those projects likely won’t yield much to write about, so I’ll need to lower the bar a bit when selecting topics. What I write will be lighter fare than in days past, but I’ll try to keep it helpful and at least mildly entertaining.