Family Moab

Family Moab
In Arches National Park

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Real Readers (and Autumn, of course)

I'm reassured by the return of lower numbers to my readership stats, convinced now that real humans are represented by those digits. My small contribution to the whirlpool of today's media has softly drifted to the seafloor, where it lies mostly in obscurity. That's what I'm comfortable with, what I'm used to. Let us hope the bots do not rise again.

Moving on .... Autumn is a perennially delightful subject; my favorite season and one that blew into Colorado over the last two weeks, shaking golden leaves to the dried-out ground. We've had a dry September after an astonishingly wet summer and perhaps for that reason, the aspens down at this elevation rather missed the mark, achieving a dusty brown color as opposed to the brilliant yellows of the high country. The cottonwoods are similarly dodgy, but the ash and willow families are burnishing up nicely.

Autumn celebrates the end of growth, the dying of daylight and the return of colder weather. I always want to adopt it's mantra of flagrant, glowing delight in the face of darkness. In further celebration of leaf-peeping, I'm headed back to New England next week, hoping to catch the fall leaves of that splendid territory before they blow off or get snowed upon. I'm venturing north from Boston into Vermont for a day or two then making the happy rounds of family and friends in my old stomping grounds. I may even resurrect an old sweater or two out of sheer delight, though the modern lightweight tech fabrics are almost as worn, and much easier to pack.

In the midst of a truly topsy-turvy world, in which so many people are shocked and suffering, the ritual glory of dying leaves gives me some optimism that the world can keep on turning and evolving in spite of us. Someday the seasons might continue their peregrinations without us, and that thought, too, brings me some peace.

I hope wherever you are, my dear (few) treasured real readers, that you have some seasonal glimmer of joy in your day. Whether it be a scent, a taste, or a vision of a tree in flame, rest assured that I hope the best for you and I am grateful for you.

Monday, October 2, 2023

To Bot or Not?

So why haven't I been posting?

Because the blog had almost 40,000 visitors last month and I don't know whether that indicates individuals and their eyeballs or "bots," my older son's suggestion which I don't understand in the slightest.

If 40,000 real people read the blog last month, that also makes me queasy. I'm used to 35 per day, 100 views at the most for a really impassioned or funny post, and the thought of baring my soul to tens of thousands of people put a hitch in my step.

But it's probably bots. 

As you all know, life's busy-ness has a way of creeping up and burying you up to your neck in sand. To-do lists can taunt from the same desk where you heroically scrap away at the day-to-day work, appointments, and endless emails. In recent weeks I lost my swim club and coaching position and applied to two different clubs in attempts to stay swimming and keep coaching. The two new positions, with their application and onboarding processes, when added to my three existing jobs, kept me underwater (pun intended). The waves keep creeping up to my buried-in-sand position.

I have decent reflexes, but have never been good at juggling. This current schedule represents far too much juggling, driving, trying new things, meeting new people. Newness represents potential and opportunity but it requires the expenditure of far too much energy.

And voila! A laundry list of excuses for not posting which even I don't fully subscribe to. During the pandemic writing was the most positive job-related force in my life (and pretty much the only job-related activity). Traveling away from writing makes me sad. Connecting with friends and family - on a small scale - through the blog feels warm and meaningful and I can't let it slip away.

But no more bots, please!