“It is my very favourite time of the year.” ~ me
I write a weekly column called “On The Homefront,….and Beyond” for a small town newspaper, and I often start my rants, raves, or mere observations with seemingly simple, or to be quite honest, truly simple, statements like the one above. Then I wonder why people bother to read what I have to say because really, why would they care? I have been doing this for 51 weeks a year, for almost fourteen years now, and have only repeated one column due to a death in the family. The strong desire that the space temporarily allotted to me on page 5 of the Kingsville Reporter not be filled with anything other than my column has given me the inspiration to find something to fill it, even in my grief.
I try not to think too much about my audience. Actually, that is not true. I write with my audience in mind, but I try not to think about what my audience thinks about me too much, because then I would not be brave enough to tap words into my computer, and email them off to the newspaper for publication.
I know my column is read in some of the local lunchrooms at the municipal office (I cover municipal politics), the local grocery store, and maybe even at some of the schools. But I am not comforted with this knowledge, as I imagine that some of the readers wonder just who the heck I think I am to write about the subjects I comment on. Then I remember the words that get me through both the more grisly and just slightly unpleasant events in life: “get over yourself”, and continue my merry wordsmithing.
Ever notice when good things happen in your life, you do not need this advice? Because when the good things happen, many times you do not need to navel gaze, you just accept them thankfully without askance (perhaps with the slight uneasiness that if you look down the throat of a gift horse too deeply, you will find something you would rather not face. Remember the Trojans.)
“Get over yourself” is a rather crude philosophy with a lot of adherents, who put the advice much more gently. One of Oprah’s “gifts” to the world is Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now and A New Earth. He wants people to basically just ignore their egos and get on with life. Live and let live is basically what his books are about. He is not really this clear—he talks around the point, about the point, and describes the point, but never says “get over yourself” in those exact words. But that is all he is really saying. There, I have now saved you the time it takes to slough through his books to get to his point. Although once I got used to his circumventing of the point, I did enjoy how he said it, without really ever saying it.
As I am a bit self-conscious, but not to the point of being paranoid—I shall keep my new mantra at the forefront of my mind when I write: “Get over yourself, get over yourself,……”, sort of my version of the Little Train Who Could: “I think I can , I think I can,….”