Friday, 16 October 2015

Taking Stock

This is a milestone. The 100th post on my blog. So it seems appropriate that I should take stock and look at what has happened, wonder if it will show the way forward, and make some decisions about the future. Isn’t that what one does on the hundredth post? 

Since I am a numbers girl and love all things statistical, I have been looking forward to this post for a while. (I've literally been counting the last few on my fingers.) And I had to check the stats. Before I share them with you, it’s time here for a few shameful confessions…I have spreadsheets for most aspects of my life. There is one for running and walking distances I clock up; one for the books I read; one for the weekly dinners that get cooked in my house (that have shopping lists that can be automatically populated with the ingredients from the menu plans – I am quite proud of that one); one for the dismally performing investments we have; one for my blood pressure readings, one for my points earned on my medical aid scheme and finally, one with the blog posts that I have written, categorized by date and what kind of post they were. 

Let’s take a moment to reflect on the sad state of affairs that is my life. 

I am just hoping that in heaven, there is some sort of link to the internet so that my spreadsheets can be updated daily, or at least viewed with accompanying graphs. Clearly, my entire last day on earth would have been spent updating the countless new spreadsheets I would have added in my retirement – can you just imagine? No, considering the problems that I may encounter when I am elderly, it is probably not a good idea to contemplate what I may think would be a good idea for a spreadsheet when I may be a little senile. This is VERY VERY SAD.

[Quick aside – when I started this confessional, I had no idea I had so many spreadsheets. I actually stopped thinking about them when I got that far. So I won’t add the “mileage claims”, “tax claims” and newly created “roses in my garden” spreadsheets. I sense a blog post that exalts the benefits of using Excel to track one’s daily life, but I’ll spare you further details now!]  

But since I have actually got all the numbers, I am going to tell you that since I started this blogging journey, I have compiled... 

16 Ten of the Best posts (weekly on a Saturday morning where I summarise what happened on my social media feeds), 

3 posts on Running

6 on Reading

14 on Food (including the recipes those link to) and 

11 general posts. 

The other FORTY-NINE posts are book reviews

Let that sink in a minute...

I had intended to write about writing – the process etc, but I have a grand total of ZERO posts on that. So clearly, that section of my blog is not “under construction”, but rather under a thick cloud of “I’m really never going to do that, am I?” dust.

All since April this year, when I started doing this sort of seriously. My best number of posts in a month was 21. That was in June, and it came crashing down to 10 posts in July. Having spent most of that month flat on my back while people took blood and other unmentionable bodily fluids and stuff to see what was wrong with me, and which culminated in the scar I have running vertically down my abdomen, I am not going to beat myself up too hard about that.

So people, this blog that was intended to be about my many varied obsessions has turned out to reveal to us all what my major obsession is (apart from the little spreadsheet fetish, you see).

Oh dear. If you’d asked me, back then, I would have listed reading down near the bottom. Definitely after running and healthy eating.  I wouldn’t have listed social media as an obsession – but maybe I should have (Wayne, I see your wry look, stop it).

So…the time and energy that we devote to things reveals a lot about us.

Am I sorry? A little. I think. My illness exacerbated the reading thing – I read voraciously in hospital, to escape the ghastly reality that was being prodded and poked, having to consume and then pass the grossest things ever, and being surrounded by others worse off than me. Awful doesn’t begin to describe it. So I escaped into worlds of dolls houses, missing children in the Falklands and a community of families that looked perfect, but were anything but beneath the surface. Those realities were all better than mine.  I have also avoided writing about that time of my life, and my general writing has become less personal as a result.

But this reflective stock-take of my blog posts and also my life has led me to some moments of illumination.

I am now feeling less of a need to escape (partly because I have almost reached my target number of books for the year.) Don’t laugh. If you’ve got a spreadsheet, you’ve got a target, even if you don’t admit it! Also, since I am much stronger, and back to the new normal, I really want to write about so many things.

So here’s to the next one hundred posts. Raise your glasses everyone. You’re going to hear more from me, and I promise it will not all be book reviews. Mostly, but not all.

Why I started...

Reflections on addictions...

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