INSITEVIEW- - tom shugart's weblog

Monday, September 09, 2002

Catching Up

It's going to be impossible to catch up on all the blogs I've missed while away for the past three weeks. But there are some things that will help. Corante On Blogging is a great resource for keeping current on what bloggers are saying about our medium. And then there's the one and only Doc Searls who somehow always seems to manage to provide a wide-reaching rundown on good stuff that's out there.

Many thanks to Doc and Hylton Jolliffe for their worthy efforts.

One of my first acts in the catch-up process will be to visit Frank Paynter for the Golby interview. I was disappointed to miss it when it was fresh. Then on to my other favorites, one at a time--probably doing a lot of skimming. Hope I don't jump over anything juicy..

Opportunity and Privilege

Back from a splendid vacation! This was my first extended absence from blogging since I launched the blog back in February of this year. I can't believe that it's been less than a year since I began. Blogging has become so much a part of me, I can barely remember not having been a blogger.

This intense relationship with blogging caused me some concern when I contemplated being away from the blogosphere for a protracted period. However, I'm a firm believer in the notion that one of the primary purposes of a vacation is to "vacate" everything connected with your everyday life (except your relationships, of course).

I was so absorbed in the wonders of the region Jill and I were visiting (Northern New Mexico) that I didn't experience one moment of wanting to sit down at a computer. "Blogaria will be there when I get back," was my attitude, and it was. But I wasn't back more than a few hours before the anxiety began to strike. "Omigod! I'm out of the loop. How will I get my readership back? How will I catch up on all of my favorite blogs? Will I be able to get my "voice" back? Etc, etc.

Well, there's no percentage in accommodating such petty thinking. The only remedy is to jump in. As I was sipping this morning's coffee, I realized that I was holding my return to blogging as a struggle. Then I recalled yesterday's superb match between Agassi and Sampras for the US Open title. Although I generally find tennis somewhat boring to watch, I knew instinctively that the matchup between these two marvelous veterans would be worth my attention. I was not disappointed.

The point I'm trying to get to here is that, although both men were fighting valiantly with much effort--pushing each other to the absolute limits of their strength and ability, they did not exude the slightest air of people who were struggling. They weren't bellyaching to themselves, "Oh shit! Why is this such a struggle?" Rather, you could clearly sense how much they relished being pitted against one another, how honored each felt to have the other as his opponent in a match of this magnitude at the twilight of their respective careers.

So, every time I start to feel sorry for myself because I fear a struggle ahead--especially in the area of blogging--I'm going to try to recall the spectacle of these two aging stars going into battle with the air of opportunity and privilege--not struggle.

Yes, blogging requires the discomfort of getting off my duff and zapping the thoughts that I can't do it. And, yes, it's an opportunity--an opportunity to be more than I would otherwise be. And it's a privilege--thanks to the people who create and maintain the software, and the people who comprise my blogging community. I'm really looking forward to being back among you!

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