Of course you should judge a book by it’s cover. You ain’t got all the time in the world to read every single book. It’s why Robert Heinlein books all look the same so you don’t accidentally read one.
When I was younger, I kept handwritten journals. I know that a lot of people think (or at least say it, even if they don’t really think it) that journals are time capsules, records of the people we used to be, historical documents, and so on.
I found my journals tonight. I flipped through them. I cringed over and over again. I saw the records of the person I used to be, and I realized that if I met that person today, I wouldn’t want to know her at all.
I took them out to the fire pit, and now they’ve become a pile of ash, and I feel pretty good. You can’t get away from the person you used to be, but there’s not really any reason that you ought to have to make space in your house for that person’s ridiculous, navel-gazing artifacts.
A couple of interactions I’ve had on the web today reinforce the idea that even when a person is talking about an idea, event, or even another person, it is really more about them than it is about the topic at hand. When we feel (correctly or not) our relevance dwindling, we rush to say something- anything- that will get us the attention we feel we need or deserve. I’m guilty of it myself, and today I was on the receiving end of a couple of other people’s insecurities.
The Toast recently published a funny piece on criticism that is particularly relevant, I think.
The take away is that when someone is being a butthead, it’s not about you. It’s about them.
So, I ran that 5K yesterday morning. Unbeknownst to me (until I arrived there), I had signed up for yet another trail run. I don’t think I blogged about it but I did a 4 mile trail run back in May and it was miserable. Trail running is hazardous! Too many opportunities to fall and hurt yourself, at least in my opinion. But that race was a mountain bike trail, and this race was a trail that was mowed through some private land that’s usually used for leased hunting. I didn’t realize that until I ran by some camp chairs and a blind that seemed to be a more or less permanent installation, and then I quickly figured out that this was not a place to run any other time of year. Anyway, I ran yesterday’s race in 38:09, which is about two minutes over my personal best. Considering all the soft ground and sand I ran through, I think I made a pretty decent showing.
Next race is a 5K on August 16th, which is Saturday after next.
I’m running a 5K in the morning, you guys. I don’t think the race will be chip timed, so my Garmin watch and I may be on our own to determine my time, but I’m still looking forward to it. Running is sort of a funny sport. It’s a solitary pursuit, but through racing we find a community. Well, a community and a collection of commemorative t-shirts of varying comfort and quality. Those t-shirts are a separate post unto themselves. I’ll come back to that topic sooner or later.
I’ve heard it said that at some point in many pregnancies, the woman, despairing of ever seeing her feet or reclaiming agency over her own bladder again, reaches the desperate conclusion that she is going to be pregnant forever. I don’t remember having such a watershed moment, but for such a life-altering experience, my pregnancy has faded into the background of my life- which is to say that just because I don’t remember thinking that my child would never come out doesn’t mean I never thought it. Nine months is a long time and is exceptionally difficult to remember in detail, or even generalities, come to think of it.
What I do remember (funnily enough, I was pregnant at the time) was having the thought that I would never be done with my Bachelor’s degree. My college education has been a meandering path, cluttered with changes in major and breaks between degrees. I used to run degree audits weekly, hoping that the requirements would magically dwindle if only I checked diligently. Fortunately I applied that diligence to actually studying, and I eventually finished.
I’m now four classes from completing my MBA, and again I am burdening myself with the ridiculous idea that I’m going to be in school forever. I am exhausting myself.
Please, someone remind me that I don’t need a PhD for anything. Having people call me “doc” is not a good enough reason.