I'm not usually keen on making New Year’s resolutions. What’s so significant about the calendar changing from Friday December 31st, 2010 to Saturday January 1st, 2011? Numerous other dates in our lives mark the beginning of a new year - birthdays, the school year, Easter, the new tax year, wedding anniversaries, advent. They all provide equally good reasons for looking at life and making plans to change what needs changing.
Nevertheless, once the busyness of Christmas is over, there is a lull in my life which lends itself to reassessing what I’ve been doing and where I’m going. January brings several public holidays, the days are long and hot and not conducive to being active, and there’s little going on in the church outside the Sunday morning service. It seems a good time to sit down and think and plan.
I’ve been thinking for quite a while about getting back into blogging. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve given more thought to what I actually want to achieve, who I’m writing for and what I should write about. I've also tried to understand why it is that as soon as I start to write, I lose my nerve and think “What could I say that hasn’t been said better a thousand times before?” It’s a question I haven’t fully resolved, but since no-one is forced to read what I’m writing, perhaps I should leave it to the reader to decide.
One of the things I’ve learned over the past few years is that the only way my plans will happen is if I put them as concrete tasks on the calendar. Otherwise they become wishful thinking. Using an online calendar like Google’s is a boon because it can be set up to send me reminders by email. I'm less likely to forget to check my email than I am to check the calendar.
And so, on January 3rd, I received an email that said “Make a list of ideas for blogging”. It was surprisingly easy to come up with ideas once I started. I now have a list of topics ranging from shopping to self-help books, sex to the sacraments. If I don’t get overwhelmed by the possibilities, it should keep me blogging for a while. (They don't all begin with 's', I hasten to add.)