Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Obsession

Among my obsessions, men have figured large.
There was the Irish contractor who showed up on my doorstep to bid on my apartment renovation. Seamus. The kind of man that made my knees weak. I obsessed about his bid for a week and whether he would be the lowest bidder, would I be able to justify hiring him? His bid was low enough. We dated, we fell in love, we broke up. And then I obsessed about that -- what had happened, what had we done wrong? I've come to realize that somethings were just not meant to be.

I've also obsessed about my work -- oh, ok, I obsess about my work in the present tense. That obsession varies from day to day. Some days, it's will I ever be able to get everything done? Most days, it is about are we doing the right thing? Could we be doing better? Could I be doing better. A dear friend gave me a copy of Bright Dawn in the hopes of curing this particlar obsessive behavior. That's an uphill battle though -- learning to love my shoes, to love what I have and embrace what I've achieved. I'm working on that.

Currently, I am obsessed with Blogspot's blog stats. Before anyone points it out, I do remember what I said in Fear of Failure -- that this blog is for me. Since then, I've acquired 8 followers which is kind of cool. One of them is a bit of a mystery -- Husker Fan. When you only have 8 followers -- you notice the strangers more easily.

Then blogspot added blog tracking software to its offerings and I've been in the grip of a data obsession ever since. All of a sudden, I can see how many people have viewed my blog, what they are viewing and when they are viewing it, how they arrive at my blog, and where they live. Of the search terms that get people to my blog, my favorite is: "Rapa Nui Bathrooom with Bedroom." Dang, I should have included that the Altiplanico had a bathroom with an indoor AND an outdoor shower. But then again, writer friends have commented that I don't score particularly high marks on the practical information when I write about places I've been. That's probably because to me, half the fun of a trip is planning it. I savor every decision in the way that Robert Frost savored two roads diverging in a wood.

I can see the geographic spread of my traffic -- most is from the United States (and I'm convinced that half of it is my own traffic into the blog). I've had eight -- count 'em -- page views from Kenya! Was one of those the person who googled "harem of zebras" when searching aol image? A lot of my traffic seems to come from google images. The Easter Island shots crop up there. Hmm, maybe I should be obsessing over watermarking my photos instead of the statistics on my blog?

Can the obsession with statistics co-exist peacefully with the principle that I'm going to write about what I want to, when I want to? I think it all depends. Right now, the obsession is a reflection of that side of me that is competitive -- the side that looks at statistics as a measure of progress. I'm going to work hard at keeping it the obsession under control and continuing to write for the joy that that writing brings.

After all, what fun would it be for me if I kept a blog that was about what's on the top of your mind when you launched the google search that got you to this page?

6 comments:

  1. Oh, but you do know me....we share a mutual friend, one who shall remain nameless, but suffice it to say she is a bit tightly wound. She, who shall remain namelsss forwarded your blog to me, seeking my opinion on how, or if she should respond to a particular posting, were you 'reaching out' to her? She apparently saw a deeper meaning than I did. Nonetheless, her angst aside, I was captivated by your writing, and excited to read more, and now I am hooked. I could have followed anonymously, but I wanted to pay homage to your writing and photography talents so I became a follower, no mean feat. Suffice it to say I am here, enjoying your postings, sharing them with my husband, friends and family, living vicariously through your travels. Experiencing sadness and joy with you.

    Now I have to post my comment anonymously, becasue I can't figure how to post it as Husker Fan, crap.

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  2. i like a puzzle -- and am trying to figure out which of my past friends who is tightly wound might have forarded this to you. must have forgotten how direct i am -- no oblique reaching out via a blog for me. and thank you for liking my writing and my photography (do i sound a little bit like sally fields' oscar speech?). this blog has really been quite fun to do -- it has been a long time since I just let myself write to write. i am glad you enjoying it. off to continue to puzzle over the puzzle.

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  3. Clue: Barbie Doll

    Husker Fan

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  4. as i thought! is that you pattie?

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  5. yes, It is me! I Just read your recap of the Pam T. Doll movie and had to laugh. I recently ran across an old photo albumn and there you were, standing next to Mike in Laguna Beach with Pam T Doll! I really enjoyed your posts from Africa, what a special place.

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  6. that movie was SO much fun to make -- it still makes me laugh thinking of us trotting around with that doll. I wonder if Pam still has that doll? I remember that trip where we met you and Mike -- and that lunch at Las Brisas up on the bluff overlooking the Pacific on a clear California day. Seems like yesterday -- but mmiles and hours are in between. funny how time passes by.

    Africa is my favorite place -- it gets inside of one -- hard to not leave there and immediately want to go back.

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