What have I learned in 2016?

The cost/benefit analysis of singing in the choir mitigates in its favor

Melanie, who got married recently – congratulations, you’ve made an honest man out of your honey! – asks:

What was the most important thing you learned this past year?

That I REALLY have to be more selfish. I find this, at some level, to be an anathema to me. There’s all this service that needs to be done, people to be helped, tasks to be fulfilled.

And I get this message not from my church, though it emphasizes it, but from deep within me. It was modeled by my father and I understand its import.

But if I’M not happy, then I’ve got nothing to give. It’s like when you put your air mask on first if it should drop from the airplane ceiling. If I tend to the other first, without getting my oxygen, I’m likely to suffocate.

Not sure I can pull it off. But emotionally, 2016 was emotionally battering, and it wasn’t just Agent Orange and those who supported him.

Another thing I learned is that some folks just are not fact-driven. A person mentioned, on FB naturally, that “Under God” wasn’t always in the Pledge of Allegiance. In reply, someone wrote: “I’m too lazy to research it at the moment, but, actually, I think ‘under God’ was always in the pledge.” This person had IN HIS HANDS a device which would allow him to access the answer.

What is something you are hoping to learn this coming one?

I want to know if I really can write in long form. Blogs are, relatively, easy for me, but I suspect a book, on one subject, would be hard. Yet I’m about 75% sure I want to write one, which will mean clearing the deck of other things.

But I’m not giving up the blog, because the blog is what keeps me sane. Looking for a graphic for something else, I came across the item pictured. I’ve known it a while, but it’s no less true for that. And sometimes I forget.

I don’t know ANYTHING, in terms of many opinions, until I’ve written it down, which may require looking up facts – REAL facts, not GMO facts. Until then, I’m in flux. This is why I always do those Ask Roger Anything things in the first place, to find out my truth, as it were.

I also need to keep singing in the choir. The cost/benefit analysis mitigates in its favor.

I’ve tired of half-read books, and old newspapers and magazines piling up. I want to read more, NEED to exercise more. But time is not fungible, it’s finite, at least on the three dimensions I understand.

Facebook will be a casualty; no big loss, though items will continue to be automatically posted there, since it is an effective tool.

Oh, I have a book on learning how to play bridge, the card game. Always wanted to learn that. To be continued…

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. i hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

4 thoughts on “What have I learned in 2016?”

  1. Yet again we are living in a parallel universe on the same planet, because I know exactly what you mean. I also want to read/exercise more and to explore long form writing. I also know that one barrier is time, as you mentioned, but another is just me—something I can’t quite see or define holds me back. I’ve never wanted to learn bridge, but last year I bought a screenprinting (also called silkscreen printing) starter kit so I could try that. Maybe this year…

  2. Alice – able to replace or be replaced by another identical item; mutually interchangeable. But if I spend time doing X, then I can’t spend that same time doing Y.

  3. Bridge, you’ll like. I haven’t played in many years, but I had lots of fun, none more than the weekend in 1975 when our Army post’s new S1 man, a man with a few actual ACBL master points, decided to set up a proper tournament. I drank perhaps more than I should have in those days, and one night I spewed something in the NCO club to the effect that I could beat the Colonel and his choice of partner with an unrepentant Spades player.

    We didn’t do all that wonderfully, but we took third. (His Birdship got fifth.)

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