After nearly four years (October 1 is four years) of inactivity, I’m not so sure my mind is capable of creating a column again. After all, they do say: “Use it, or lose it.” I haven’t been using it, unless you count e-mails or short replies on Facebook. Texting certainly doesn’t count.
Texting uses non-English and as such is simply disgusting – yet I have found myself sending text messages nearly every day. And I use some of the obnoxious, but popular, short cuts. I don’t use very many, possibly because I don’t know very many. Some our age say they will not use text messaging, and I could be one of them; but our children began sending text notes to their parents because we each have a cell phone. It is reasonably easy, but slow. And it is less intrusive than a phone call which must be answered when it is ringing. A text message can wait for a while, and be read when there is time for it. Even though I use text messaging, I have not mastered the “thumbs” method. I have observed youth who can “thumb” nearly as fast as a good reporter used to type. And they can text with speed on a 10-key keyboard or a querty keyboard. I find that simply amazing.
But I digress.
I am wondering whether I am still able to create a column, despite several years of inactivity.
One thing I have discovered since agreeing to write this column a week ago is that I have had it in the back of my mind at all times since. Even though I do very few interesting things nowadays – I am retired, after all – I have found myself wondering if the activity just completed was “column-worthy” or not. In nearly every case I have decided that it was not worthy — even the time I awoke in the middle of the night wondering if I had missed the deadline, fearing I was now in trouble because I failed to fulfill my promise to provide some meaty and worthwhile thoughts.
(As an aside: a couple of weeks prior to agreeing to write a column, I awoke in the dark of night with a chill running up and down my spine and a terrible thought in my head: “I have done nothing this week in regards to publishing The Teller. Nothing. What was I going to do? One cannot publish empty pages. This is a bad predicament. Then I awoke fully and determined that I was indeed retired, had sold the paper and was no longer responsible for producing a newspaper. That was indeed a big relief. As I recall, I sighed, blinked and fell fast asleep again – this time with no nightmares. I suspect a really good psychotherapist could tell lots from this revealing information. But the only thing it means to me is that it reinforces the thought that I am happily retired. Oh yes, and the re-telling of the occurrence has filled another paragraph of this missive.)
I digress, again.
I suppose I could have completely avoided these mental anguishes had I told my good friend Bill that I was not interested in writing this column this week. I produced a column for 1,781 consecutive weeks. That’s enough. But that would have disappointed Bill. Actually, writing this column in this style may also disappoint Bill, but he is a big boy and can handle being disappointed. I could have spent a portion of each morning and each day gathering up information for the column, like Bill does, but that would have taken some time and a solid commitment. I think I have developed an aversion to commitment. I seem to be content avoiding obligations. It is a different lifestyle than I lived for so long. I think I like it.
So there you have it. Ye Olde Editor has bared his chest and admitted that he no longer enjoys hunting down a story, spinning it with a new and bright twist, publishing it for all to admire and then starting all over again next week.
Cuzzin Floid sez he has noted that Ye Olde Editor has gained a few pounds since retiring. Probably because of the relative inactivity. And people thought he didn’t do much when he was working — but he wasn’t spreading out.