A Month of Growing A Beard

0, 20, and 32 days after beard growth began.

0, 20, and 32 days after beard growth began. (The day 0 photo was actually from about a year and a half before I started growing a beard. It was the only straight-on, straight faced photo available.)

Growing a beard for a month was intended to be an exercise in humility.

For years I’ve never allowed more than a few days worth of hair growth on my head & neck before I’d eradicate it. This regular hair removal did an mediocre job of hiding the balding on the top of my head that was starting to leave a horseshoe of about the front & back of my head, and it also hid the greying I’d noticed on my chin when my stubble grew a bit too long. [Read more...]

A Month of Walking In A Forest Daily

Canada Geese & Sunrise Over River

Looking out from the edge of the forest that I visited most often.

Last month I started each day (except for 3) by walking in a forest. One day as I was walking through the forest far from the path, I noticed a deer about 50 meters away that was eating plants and meandering in my general direction. It hadn’t seen me yet, so I sat down among the ferns (so I couldn’t see it – and there was no way it could see me) and waited to see how close it would get.

About 5 minutes later it was about 10 meters away from me and finally noticed me sitting on the ground. I didn’t move, and stayed there on the ground, mostly looking away from the deer so as not to make it uncomfortable. The deer just stood there staring at me (as they often do) and stomping on the ground occasionally. After a few minutes of me sitting there while the deer stomped, the deer let out a sudden snort. The snort alarmed me, so I quickly stood up. As soon as I stood up the deer took off, making huge bounds through the forest with its white tail in the air, snorting loudly the whole time.

It then started making its way back towards me [Read more...]

A Month of Blogging

The Thinker Statue - Thinking About Blogging

Statue of a man having a hard time thinking about what to write on his blog.

One month of blogging complete!

Man that was a lot of work. I’ll keep this post short because I’m just a couple hours from my end of the month deadline as I write this, and don’t quite as much to say about blogging as I’ve had to say about everything else.

Have I enjoyed blogging?

Yes and no. It’s nice to get my thoughts out on “paper”, to have my experiences recorded so I won’t forget them, and think that people are going to read them & might enjoy them. It’s also nice to create something (whether it’s a blog or something else, it’s just enjoyable to create).

And yet blogging has also been somewhat frustrating because my brain doesn’t seem to have a knack for it. I can handle technical writing no problem, but the closer I get to “creative” writing, the more my brain gets all gummed up. If anything I’ve written so far this month sounds somewhat coherent or fluent so far this month it most likely didn’t come out that way at first.

This month has involved a lot of writer’s block and banging my head against walls, computers, my own knees, etc. BUT at times the words come easier, and regardless of the process, it’s nice to read through the final version of a post and click “publish”.

There’s more to blogging than simply writing though. [Read more...]

Mixed Thoughts On Starting A Blog

Pros & Cons List On A Blackboard To blog or not to blog?

There are potential benefits to blogging for sure, but I’m not convinced that the pros will outweigh the cons.

I dislike the idea (if this blog becomes popular) of thousands of strangers following my personal life – and the fact that if I’d probably spend far too much time concerned with maintaining a good image in the eyes of those strangers.

Thousands of strangers watching my every move – what a horrid thought.

And yet even as I write this first post I can detect in myself a small thrill at the thought that some people may read it… and that they might think that what I write is great.. and that they might think that I am great. Ah, it’s great to be an online celebrity!

But things that taste good aren’t always good for you, right? Worst case scenario this blog will devolve into nothing more than a “Hey look at me!” project, causing me to obsess far too much over what readers think of me, while at the same time resenting the fact that I’m sharing my life with people I don’t know.

Interjection: Holy smokes! 5 paragraphs and I’ve already written about nothing but ME. What a narcissistic project. I’m not sure that this is a good idea. (end of interjection)

But what am I thinking – how many bloggers become well known even in small circles? The vast minority I’m sure. A likely scenario is that this blog will remain a ghost town, with few visitors aside from a tumbleweed or the occasional search engine bot whizzing by.

So why don’t I quit blogging right now before I’ve finished writing my first post? Well aside from the fact that delusional dreams of fame and ego-nourishment have already inserted their first roots into my brain, here are a few slightly more respectable reasons:

  • Curiosity / Adventure: I’m curious to see where this blog might lead, the people I might meet through it, what I might learn from them, the ideas or experiences or opportunities that might arise.
  • Connect: ‘twould be great to connect with like-minded people (not other narcissistic people, but others who have similar interests)
  • Inspire: Perhaps this blog will inspire others to start doing something new each month. The habit has definitely improved my life, and it could no doubt do the same for others.
  • Revenue? I’m experienced enough with online business to realize that the chances of this type of blog directly generating any revenue worth mentioning are quite slim …but I won’t rule it out just yet.

As for my fears about the possibly not-so-great consequences of blogging, I can at least reduce them by:

  • Writing only what I’m comfortable sharing with the world,
  • Staying relatively anonymous (at least for now), and
  • Realizing that at anytime I can quit and vaporize this blog with the click of a button.

Well, Google Bot, I hope you enjoyed the read.  Come again!