Two years ago, on January 18, 2011, I launched my Not Ready for Facebook blog. Over that time I have posted 100 blog entries (this is no. 101) and have received a total of 16,833 pageviews. That's about 168 per post.
Of course that's an average. By far my most widely read post was An Open Letter to Rick Santorum, calling him out for the hypocrisy of his views on healthcare, which was read by over 1500 people within hours of when it was posted. My statement of support for the Occupy movement, in which I challenged a widely circulated but suspicious picture with a line-by-line refutation, was read by about half as many people. After that come my commentary on Mitt Romney's bullying behavior during the debates and a number of posts on guns, including my account of my showdown with a Texas State Senate committee over the proposed bill to make concealed weapons legal on college campuses.
I started this blog in order to have a safe place to share political commentary, since I was getting some serious flak over comments I'd been making on Facebook in the aftermath of the 2010 elections and, specifically, the Gabrielle Giffords shooting. Over the first year I touched on a wide variety of topics, including musical ones. My favorite political post was the one I wrote about the national conscience at the height of the debt-ceiling debacle in 2011.
At the end of the first year, my life was dramatically transformed, and my blog followed suit. In Barbara's Gift, my final post in 2011, I struggled to use words to come to terms with the sudden death of my wife of nearly 23 years. This remains my most heartfelt post, although grief and bereavement were my primary theme through most of 2012, and the total number of posts was much smaller than that of the previous year.
With this post, I kick off the third year of Not Ready for Facebook with a sense of uncertainty. I am through the first year of grieving, which many consider a major milestone, and I probably won't have as much to say about that subject. That doesn't mean I'm "over it," or even that I will ever be "over it." I continue to take that journey one step at a time, and will no doubt continue to describe it on occasion.
I also confess that my passion for politics has cooled down a bit. Intense personal tragedy will do that to you. I also feel vindicated, though, by the 2012 election and the long-term demographic trends that it seems to represent. I have a sense, which I didn't have two years ago, that America is finally moving in the right direction again.
We're not out of the woods, of course, and I'm likely to take more than one occasion to comment on the gun issue as things play out this year. I may also contribute a few more ruminations on musical subjects like this one. And there will probably be long stretches when I am simply silent. I'm not going away. I'll just be taking some time to smell the roses.