The year ahead: 2017

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.

3 thoughts on “The year ahead: 2017

  1. Servetus,

    Will I know it’s you without theology? :)

    Well, “practical” is my escape clause, and since my Christian practice continues to include a lot of stumbling around—after 25 years!—I’m sure there will be some things to say that overlap

    More seriously, I have no idea whether my voice will survive the change in focus, at least entirely. But I think something deeper will carry on. Part of what helped me decide to blog again was a comment I just posted elsewhere, the third I’ve done recently after a long silent spell. It took a little while to craft but was very much a first draft. A little while later I re-read it, and thought: I like that, it says exactly what I wanted to say and nothing else, directly and clearly. Not exactly a distinctive, but maybe unusual enough to justify itself to a reader.

    I’d like to take what skill I have to the next level, but even if I don’t make it what I write along the way may have some value—entertainment value, at least.

  2. I’m sure I’ll be interested in whatever you write. And I agree — there’s a sort of handiwork to a well-written text that can be just as satisfying as a well-made loaf of bread.

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