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Fred's Views

My Journal

I have often thought about keeping a journal. All great men seem to do it. All great women, and some not so great, perhaps, keep a journal - or a diary. So why not me? There have been many times when I would like to have been able to refer back to a written record to see when a certain event in my life occurred. Now, did the big ugly pimple on the end of my nose come before my cracked toenail or after? This could be really important. But darned if I can remember now.

I have often toyed with the idea of writing my autobiography. However, I usually decide it would be best to put it off until something really significant occurred in my life. But I have hope. Actually, I think a lot of people would buy a book called The Autobiography of an Insignificant Little Human I mean, even when it doesn't sound impressive, it does. Sort of like flammable and inflammable: whichever way you take it, you're going to get burned. I think there are a lot of people out there who would like to read about a life as dull as their own, if only to help them get a good night's sleep. However, a publisher would no doubt want more scientifically accurate marketing research than what I would provide.

But without a journal to refer to, how would I possibly remember all of those most insignificant moments in my life? I have enough trouble remembering the few significant ones: When I met my future wife, when I proposed, when we got married and when our two sons were born. I'm sure something else significant happened, but, without a journal to refer to, how could I possibly remember?

I would probably be stuck with making most of the stuff up. The problem with that is that I would no doubt want to make this stuff more interesting than my actual life, and that might jeopardize my whole approach to my autobiography. Besides, I suspect this "make the whole thing up" business has already been overdone by all those other autobiographies.

I don't know about you, but every time I get to the autobiography section of a bookstore, I expect to see a book like A Bug's Life by Volkswagen. Or I was an Alphabet Model by Tin Lizzie. (The Fresh Prince of Bel Air by Chevrolet?)

Still, a journal would allow me to document my life.

Now something like that I could really use for my autobiography. I could fill a whole chapter on the ramifications of losing my journal and then the scraps of paper. Freud would have a field day. Did I lose them on purpose? Was someone secretly sabotaging me so I couldn't finish my book? Did I sleep through four whole days? Was I abducted by little green men? Of course, by the time I was ready to write my book, I would have completely forgotten about what actually happened during the missing 4 days, so I would just have to make it up.

I'm a great organizer. I can organize anything - even a journal. I once organized my filing system. I neatly kept everything filed for at least a day and a half. Then I got bored with the whole thing. Now my desk is littered halfway to the ceiling with all kinds of papers, books and scraps - oh, look, here's one dated August 7, 2002. Could it be my missing day? Can't tell, that's all that's on the paper. - but I know exactly where everything is. It's on my desk, somewhere. If it were all neatly filed, I'd have to figure out what heading it was filed under - sort of trying to figure out what word will actually give me the info I want with Microsoft's help system. (You know, if Microsoft would just pay me a buck for every time I manage to sneak their name into the conversation, I might be able to afford the next upgrade to Microsoft Windows. - Look, that's three dollars right there!) Organizing something is a challenge. It fires my creative juices. Actually using the organized system is too much like work. It's boring.

And, when you get right down to it, that's the problem with a journal. It's a great idea. I'd love to have it to refer to (seriously), but I know I would never stick to it. I pride myself on my self-control, but I know I have no self-discipline. So there you have it! I'll just have to settle with offering the occasional personal tid bits right here, where the whole world can find them.

Now to put this sucker through the spell checker. Why is it I can never remember how to spell "occasion" or "occur"? Oh drats! less than 900 words so far. Guess I'll just have to fill it up with some other drivel. I try to write about 1,000 words for each piece, sometimes more, occasionally less. However, this entirely meaningless paragraph may enable me to reach the 1,000 word plateau. (If you're in a hurry, you can probably skip over this paragraph. - Don't you wish I had said that first?) Just a few words to go. One of the problems of being a one-man operation is that there's no one here to tell me to stop already. I feel like a kid having to write an eight hundred word essay. What do you say after you've said it all in 25 words? Thanks for reading.

Copyright © 2002 by Fred Oldfield. All rights reserved.

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