Those who follow this blog with some regularity know that its author has interests in a wide variety of topics and literary genres, and the posts that appear here reflect to some degree the intellectual pursuits that I undertake.
As much as I enjoy the freedom associated with a blog format, I am also challenged to keep the site fresh and vital. These goals have been compromised by my academic endeavors, especially my roles as a college instructor at a number of area institutions and as a doctoral candidate in history.
To get to the point, I am tired: not in the intellectual sense, but that overwhelming, creeping feeling that you can no longer control the direction you are headed.
One of the problems I face is self-induced, as I have an almost compulsive desire to answer each and every email request or blog comment that hits my inbox. This, of course, is sheer insanity, as on an average day I receive 20-25 electronic messages directly related to this blog, and these numbers are over and above the many messages I have to read and answer from students, colleagues, and employers.
As I peer into the mountain of virtual correspondence so neatly organized for me by Microsoft Outlook, I realize that I will spend the next three hours trying to catch up on all the requests for information, collaborative offers, and pleas for help from people around the world. Most of these will be a simple matter of declining the particular opportunity, yet part of me feels guilty for not being able to help or accommodate the myriad problems that blog visitors seem to think I can fix.
Christ, there are days when I can't even find a matching pair of socks - how the hell can I help someone who is wrongly incarcerated, screwed by the government, or who would like me to write about their missing child? As I write this, my three dogs are barking like hounds treeing a bear, the sink is full of dishes, and my lawn has not been cut in ten days; in some respects I should be the last person to provide advice, save for my occasional ability to string a few nouns and verbs together in unique ways.
And frankly, I'm not even sure why I am writing this post, except to vent my angst and to think out loud. It's not as if I am going to stop blogging, or as though I can suddenly develop a more narrow worldview that will limit my readership to a few dozen friends and acquaintances. I suppose this is both a backhanded apology to those who might feel ignored by my virtual silence and a post to remind myself that it's perfectly acceptable to be normal.
And then I recall the one-legged panhandler I encountered at the Corey Road exit from eastbound I-475 Saturday, a pathetic-looking (and yet oddly proud) man with a knotted-up leg on his greasy blue jeans standing with the help of aluminum crutches in a cold 45-degree wind. My troubles seem decidedly ordinary in comparison with those of this nameless soul, but thanks for indulging me in this moment of self-evaluation and navel-examination.