summing up

I said in my previous post that I would be taking a break from this blog, but it occurred to me that a good way to mark that break would be to take a look back at the decade that’s just now concluding (or that everyone thinks is just now concluding, except for the precisians who insist that the decade will end a year from now).

For my family, it’s been eventful. Teri and I moved to Texas after twenty-nine years in Illinois, and have come to love Texas very much. Our son graduated from college and started his own life as a grown-ass man. I once again became a member of an Episcopal parish, something that in 2010 I would have deemed inconceivable. I entered my sixties. I am still a teacher.

I published six books, a few dozen articles, hundreds of blog posts, and thousands of tweets. I regret all the tweets and some of the blog posts. The rest of the blog posts did no harm, but also did precious little good. Given that I don’t regret the books or the articles, maybe I should focus on that kind of thing in the decade to come.

I miss Books & Culture, and the First Things that was: for many years those were my two periodical-publishing homes. I now write for several venues that I never imagined I would be able to write for, but I would have been very happy to spend the whole of my career writing long reviews for Books & Culture and essays for First Things. Now B&C is defunct and FT is not interested in the kind of thing I write — which is fair enough, I suppose, because I’m not interested in the kind of thing they now publish.

The world overall is not in the worst shape it could be in, but online life seems to be chiefly a cesspool. I am glad that it is only a part of life; I hope that in the coming decade it will be, for me and for others, a decreasing part. One can always hope.

I won’t say that I’ll never return here, but right now I feel that the blogging season of my life, which started around 2007, is over. I’m excited about the work to come, the reading and thinking and writing that awaits me, and I’m especially excited about doing all of it in a less internet-connected way.

A blessed next decade to us all!

December 31, 2019

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