Do not panic! You have arrived at You Think Too Much. It just looks different and so much snazzier. This is the inaugural post on the brand-spanking new home for You Think Too Much. The address is the same (you-think-too-much.com). I’m the same (mostly). And all the old posts you know and love are still here.
But look how much more stylish! There’s a logo and everything. Better organization means you can find the posts on the topics of particular interest to you (and skip the book reviews, as I know many folks out there do). You can instantly follow me on Twitter or Facebook. And commenting should be a breeze, as they’ll be no login required. I’m expecting many more comments as a result (hint, hint).
As part of the process of transitioning to this new home, I had to go back through all my old posts to re-categorize them (as Bookish Thoughts, Mindful Thoughts, Madison Monday, Writing Thoughts, Family Thoughts, Pop Culture Thoughts, Random Thoughts, Sociological Thoughts and Nature Thoughts, just in case you were curious as to what the new categories are). It was an interesting journey through my blogging history.
Mostly what I thought were things like, “Did I really write that three years ago now? Has it been that long?” I started blogging seriously and regularly during my sabbatical, which began about this time just two years ago. When I think that this means there are still four more years until my next sabbatical, two years seems like a very short time. When I look at the volume of things I have written, two years seems like a very long time. Either way, it’s interesting to see parts of my life documented in these posts.
Blogs began as web logs, and the idea suggests a kind of online diary. When I first set up my blog way back in 2008, the idea of an online diary was horrifying. I wasn’t even on Facebook at that point, so the idea of sharing copious amounts of personal information on the interwebs was still kind of atrocious in a punch-you-in-the-gut kind of way. You can tell I was feeling pretty ambivalent, because I didn’t write much for those first two years.
But then I figured I didn’t have to talk about myself on a blog; I could talk about books. I read a lot of those, and I often forget them pretty quickly. Writing about them on a blog would help me remember what I read at the very least. So I started doing book reviews and connecting with the extensive book blogging community, which was great.
At some point in there I realized that writing book reviews actually was writing about myself after all. So why not just write about myself? Not in the diary, “I got up this morning and cleaned up cat vomit” kind of way (which would be the first sentence in many, many of my diary entries). But in a more, reflecting on the implications of repeatedly cleaning up cat vomit kind of way.
So interspersed with book reviews, I started writing about the things I love and the things I just needed to write about. Living in Madison. Playing music. Teaching students. Being married. Parenting. Being a part of a community. Writing. In spite of my initial misgivings about an online diary, I began to record my life.
Back at the beginning of this semester, we lost a student at the college. I hadn’t known her well, but she had been in the first week of one of my classes. I was editing my novel at the time, and thinking about how that particular moment, those particular feelings associated with losing a person with such potential at the very beginning of their life, leaked into the writing. What I felt and thought would be preserved there in the words, even if no one else but me could ever see it.
This is, of course, what writing is–a frail weapon against the passage of time. We freeze a moment when we put it into words. We can freeze a moment by actually describing what happened, imperfect as that after-image will be. But more than that, the words become a window to the person we were in that moment, regardless of what it is we actually wrote. The book review I wrote about Jayber Crow four years ago is not the same book review I would write today.
It is a pleasing thought that, though it is not what I set out to do, I have created a kind of record of who I have been and who I am constantly becoming. It’s nice to know that other people sometimes find this journey interesting. I wasn’t certain what my blog would be when I started, and while I have a better sense now, who knows what will happen tomorrow? For now, I hope you enjoy and thanks to Tin Star Media for the re-design.