It's that time of the year again. The days will start to get longer, and 2011 will roll along presently. A little navel-gazing can't do much harm, and this being a blog, here's to looking back on the year from the point of view of PrimeJunta, my net.persona.
My main net.activity has been this. Blogging. This blog is now over a year old, which is a good deal longer than my last attempt. I think it's because I left the name and intention of the blog deliberately vague. In the first attempt, I wanted to restrict my blogging to politics, under the assumption that there are people who are interested what I have to say about that, and it'd be polite to them to blog about stuff that interests them.
I'm pretty sure that was a solid assumption. The only problem was that I wasn't interested enough in politics to keep the blog going, and because it was supposed to be about politics, I felt that I couldn't blog about other stuff as it wandered through my transom. This time, I thought "Screw the readers, if they want me to write about something specific, let then commission an article from me," and just named it Come to think of it..., which worked out much better. From my point of view, anyway.
I do have some readers, too. Thank you. I appreciate your being there. As much as I want to retain a feeling of being able to blog about whatever I come to think of, it wouldn't be as much fun if there was nobody at all who read it. And sorry about not taking requests and being eclectic and stuff, especially to those of you who subscribe to this blog for my extremely occasional camera and photography writing. I get way more hits on those posts than the others, which makes me feel vaguely guilty about (a) not writing more about cameras and photography and (b) imagining you going "Aw, dang, not another of those stupid Zen things."
I will blog about cameras and photography too, if I come to think of anything worth blogging about. Which may be tomorrow or never.
Besides blogging, I've gotten onto Twitter. I don't tweet that much, but I do follow my timeline. It's kinda fun.
I have also more or less definitively left RPGWatch. I look in from time to time, but since I haven't been playing any computer RPG's (or, indeed, almost any computer games at all), and the reasons that caused me to sour on the P&R forum there have not changed, I feel no pull at all to return there. I have gotten some messages from some of my net.friends there, telling me that I'm missed. I appreciate that, and I do like to stay in touch with you, just not there.
I have made a couple new net.friends, and deepened a couple of more net.friendships. With a few of you, the imaginary line between net.friend and just plain ol' friend has dissolved. You know who you are. Thank you very very much for that, it means a great deal to me, and is without question one of the best things that 2010 has brought me. I've also read a good many very interesting blogs and got to peek in the lives of their authors, some of which I haven't interacted with in any other way at all. Thanks to all of you as well.
I have also more or less broken off contact with some... not exactly net.enemies, but net.people I just failed to get along with, for any of a number of reasons. That represents a new approach for me. Previously, I've stubbornly attempted to repair those kinds of relationships. Usually I've managed to kiss and make up, only to have whatever caused the failing-to-get-along to build up again and lead to another flare-up, and yet more drama. I don't want to do that anymore. In case you haven't reciprocated and are reading this, you know who you are too. I'd like you to know that I don't bear you any ill-will, and I realize that I am responsible for those breakdowns, sometimes almost exclusively, but always more than marginally, and I have behaved badly—childlishly, hurtfully—in those collisions and conflicts. I sincerely apologize for the hurt I have caused, and I wish you all the best in your lives. However, this breaking-off-contact thing is working out pretty well for me, and I would rather not reconnect with any of you until I'm able to handle this kind of stuff with a good deal more equanimity, which, with my temperament, is quite likely to be "never."
This year has also been the first full calendar year of regular and structured Zen practice. But then you already know that, since that's been the main subject matter of this blog. I've sat zazen more or less daily. Sometimes it's been really good and I've really been into it; at other times it's felt boring and pointless, but I've still managed not to skip two days in a row, except when traveling. I've also sat through a half-dozen zazenkais and two retreats. The retreats were definite high points, especially the second one. It's possible that there will be a sesshin in my program in 2011, but we'll see. I also managed to develop my sitting posture a good deal, making it to a somewhat ugly half-lotus in July. Unfortunately, then I got an inflamed tendon in my knee, and had to go right back to seiza. It's slowly getting better, and I sat a round in quarter-lotus the other day, but that got it all irritated the next day again, so I'm still nursing it along.
An especially big thank you to everybody at Helsinki Zen Center and Zenbuddhistiska Samfundet; you're a seriously good bunch of people, and I'm surprised almost daily that such a bunch even exists, let alone in this (frozen and snowed-in) neck of the woods. Thank you for being there. And thanks also for reading and commenting, and please remember that I really do not know what the hell I'm talking about, most of the time, so do not by any means take any of this seriously at all.
My feelings about blogging have evolved a quite a bit over the year, and I think they'll continue to do so. As I wrote on my Dear Reader page, I'm still trying to find a balance between just writing for the hell of it and writing for a public. In particular, there are some things I feel I'd like to say, but they would upset a good many people. I'm still trying to work out ways of doing that without causing unnecessary drama. If I do decide to say those things, I'll need to tighten up my arguments too, since it'd be a bit lame to make it a hit-and-run, I think.
What of 2011? Nothing much, I think. I'll keep posting if and when I come to think of something that congeals into a blog post. If not, I won't. Thank you, everybody, for making 2010 what it still is. I have appreciated your virtual company, and I wish you a most enjoyable remainder of the year, and a very Merry Christmas if you're celebrating it.