My semester ends today, and for the first time in a decade, I won’t be teaching summer classes. More time for blogging? Not a chance! So I’ve decided, for the summer at least, to re-post some of my personal favorites from the early days of ToughSledding. This one appeared on Sept. 27, 2006, just 15 days into the experiment. The photo is new.
It usually hits me at about 4 a.m. Like clockwork, Mother Nature reminds this 52-year-old body that the bladder is smaller or the prostate larger. Not sure I want to know which, but the result is the same.
I rise to walk the 22 steps to “my” bathroom at the far end of the house. Yeah, we have a master bath right off the bedroom, but I promised my wife if she bought me this house on the lake, I’d never set foot in that space. She has a clean bathroom, and I go kayaking anytime I want. Still seems like a helluva deal to me.
Anyhow, when you walk that far in the wee hours (pun intended), your circulation gets to pumping and your mind wakes up a good bit. When I return to the sack — and this has happened every night since I started this blog — I begin thinking of new ideas for blog posts.
First I envision the lead paragraph (owing to my training as a journalist, I suppose). Then I outline the content in my head, I rearrange it, then I go back to ponder the lead once more. I revise and I rewrite, all in my head.
Meanwhile, the clock radio is pushing 4:45, maybe 5 a.m., and I’m wide awake. A little yoga breathing will usually send me back to a slumber, but if I do that I’ll lose the ideas. So I get up again, traipse to the kitchen and jot down the basics.
I know, keep a pen by the bed. Everybody tells me that. But if I turn on the light at 4:45 to take notes each night, my wife will almost certainly invite me to move to that bedroom (next to the bathroom) down the hall. Worse yet, she may invite me to move out altogether.
To say that blogging has affected my life is an understatement, and I’ve been at it less than three weeks. It is, as several blogger friends warned, highly addictive. I know that’s true, as I crave the rush that comes with publishing a killer post. And I maintain the buzz by reading the posts of others.
I also know I’m not unique. A Google search of “addicted to blogging” pulled up 1.3 million hits. So it could be we’re all freakin’ nuts.
My blogger friends assure me the addiction will fade over time. I tell myself, “You just can’t keep posting in-depth, meaningful content day after day if you have a family, a real job, hobbies — you know, a life.”
But I blog on.
I consulted my doctor about this problem. He wasn’t much help, but then he doesn’t know doodly about blogging. He assures me, however, that the 4 a.m. nature calls are probably a permanent thing. I’m old.
What’s a blogger to do?
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I still spend way too much time blogging, but it never disturbs my sleep. But those 4 a.m. trips down the hall remain part of my routine!