Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Running the 10K

I think this blog entry will do it. At some point, somewhere, a reader of this blog entry will become the ten-thousandth visitor. Well, okay, not visitor. They will be the ten-thousandth time someone views my blog. I was secretly hoping this significant event would happen on September 8. Why? Because that would be exactly one year. My blogiversary. It would seem kind of cool to reach 10,000 hits at the one-year mark. Then again, now I can say, "more than 10,000 hits in less than a year." Sounds more impressive, I suppose.

It is hard to believe I've been blogging for almost a year. And what have I accomplished in this year? Well, I finished the final draft of a manuscript (three times...because "final" on one day isn't necessarily "final" a couple months later). I wrote a bunch of stories, and even managed to get one published. Another story has been accepted for publication in a print magazine, though I'm still waiting to find out which issue it will appear in, which makes it not quite feel "real" yet.

I also made improvements on my goal. Remember that, everyone? Do you remember what I planned to learn through this blog? Five stars if you do...

...That's right. I wanted to learn how to be funny. Or at least write things that are funny. And, more or less, I made some strides there. I'm no David Letterman or anything, but thanks to everyone who put up with my silliness at times in the past year, I have a better feel for writing something humorous. But I also learned that I'll, for the most part, stick to what I know. At least I can toss in some humor now and again. I even wrote a script for a banquet that was nothing but humor. That was quite a challenge, but somewhat liberating. (Then again, we haven't actually had the banquet yet, so it might still turn out that my script won't generate a single laugh, in which case it's back to the drawing board.)

I'm still trying to find an agent. The good news is that I've had some agent interest, so that is a positive thing. Just not enough interest (yet!) to offer representation. Soon. Hopefully. In the meantime, I think God is teaching me that while I might be a patient person, I'm not patient enough.

Oh, right...I also set up a new website.

What is disheartening, however, is that I have more trouble figuring out what I accomplished as a father and husband this year. I mean, really, who cares if I have a story published or new website? Have I grown closer to my children, shown more love to my wife, strengthened the familial bond in any way? I like to talk about the importance of family, but I realize, now, that I don't really have a measuring stick. I've run 10K on this blog, but being a husband and father is more like running a lifetime ofl 10Ks back to back.

How many times did I hurt my boys with the things I've said...or the things I haven't said? Could I have spent more time with them? Done more with them? I'm sure the answer is yes. But, like too many men, I often get caught up in my own ambitions to notice until it is too late.

I come home from work, and my boys are excited to see me. My daughter tells me the most intimate parts of her life (which, for a two-year-old, pretty much amounts to the fact that she didn't have an accident in her pull-up) and wants me to put nail polish on her nails or get her dressed in pretty clothes.

I suppose that means I'm on the right track. At least when I come home, they don't hole themselves up in their rooms or disappear into the backyard. Still, I fear I may squash them too often.

"Hey, Dad! Look at this spaceship I made!"

"Not now. Not until after you clean up the playroom!"

So, I have another 10K to run. Another chance to make a positive difference in the lives of my children, and while I'm at it, minimize the negative damage I might inflict at the same time.

Thanks to all of you who have taken this journey with me this far. Ten-thousand views of my blog is only the beginning!


Scott K. Johnson said...

Congrats man!

And really though - how can one measure those things such as relationships and parenting.

I think to be mindful of trying to be a better father and husband says something in itself.

I have often enjoyed your blog, so far, and look forward to another year and more.

Vivian said...

10K that is awesome, good job!! I am even more impressed that you are thinking about the needs of your family and what you can do to be a better partner and Father. We all need to step back once in a while to reevaluate those goals. Kudos.