Being of the pre-Twitter generation of bloggers (yes, I’m sooo 2008) , I’ve never used this blog merely as a diary, mainly because I’m unable to imagine what a reader might get out of knowing that I’m. . . on the way to Home Depot for some nails. . . kinda sleepy, need a double redeye. . . watching a rerun of Seinfeld, etc. (Epitaph: He Was Never Narcissistic Enough.)
But I do like this one diary-istic benefit of blogging: A long-running blog provides a record of what you were doing and thinking about at a certain time: On Day X, you were mired in this problem. Now, X days later, you’re not. Seeing that can be encouraging.
Case in point: About eight months ago I was really feeling guilty about all the plastic bags our family was bringing into the house–grocery bags, newspaper bags and more, 20-40 a week sometimes. They would just sit around until they were thrown “away.” You see these awful but useful things everywhere, waving as tattered remnants in treetops, choking ponds, even barnacled onto glaciers, for God’s sake. I was behaving as if convenience was the only thing that mattered.
So I vowed to change my bag habit. As chronicled here, it wasn’t easy to change, which is why they call it a habit. It’s never a snap to stop or start any behavior. But, looking back, I’m now able to mark some progress. I’ve now grown accustomed to taking my reusable cloth bag into the grocery stores–I even see a few allies now and then– and when we do bring home some plastic bags (the wife has yet to get on board), I recycle them; almost all grocery stores now have recycle bins.
Anyway, not to sound the trumpet of virtue too loudly or too long, but I feel good about the change, and the feeling goes beyond bags. It’s always good to know that we don’t have to plod mindlessly in the ruts of habit. If we can change x, we can change y. That’s empowerment.