This blog is drifting. Do you feel it? I do. I know it is and I'm conciously not doing anything about it except adding thoughts here and there when it appeals to me. That's not how I want to run the blog, but it's what I have capacity for now -- to make room for the blog, the way I want it to be, would be to penalize other areas I'm not willing to penalize at the moment.
So, changes coming. I know what I want it to say and look/feel like. Just not yet. Stay with me.
Meanwhile, Election Day thoughts:
1) I'm glad the election is almost over, and that's saying something when a political junkie is talking. I'm interested in both politics and government, and my instinct is that the former has nearly consumed the latter. Interactions in the government are defined politically, and the political camps today are not just different, but openly hostile. That's what's making the election cycle such a mess, and I'll be glad when tomorrow arrives because I won't have to listen to, "I'm Jack Toothpolish, and I approved this ad becuase Mike McWeatherwax is [earnest look added here] just too extreme and deserves to lose."
I don't necessarily have a quarrel with either party. But if either party has a big day, I'll hate it if it gloats.
2) For unusual reasons, I've had the occasion to consider the ego. If you look it up, the definition (under the context of my thoughts) is this:
An inflated feeling of pride in your superiority to others
You may pick up from my tone that I despise any kind of self-importance. In fact, I'm not sure I hate anything more. I firmly do not believe that a "healthy ego" is a prerequisite for success. Confidence may be, but confidence and egoism are entirely separate. Examples abound, but here's one: Warren Buffett, the most successful judge of business, the most successful investor, of any time or age -- and he's a normal human being. The fact of the matter is that unhealthy ego is a shortcoming all its own, and my amateur psychology would guess it's a defense covering another shortcoming, which is lack of confidence, or lack of regard for others. If you're good at what you do, that's impressive enough to me. If your ego starts crowding the room, you're losing my respect.
Andrew Woolard pointed to a good post at Brand Builder about commitment and desire. It was worth reading to me, because it hit me right between the eyes with the reminder to cut the crap. At the end it asks if "brand you" is a happy brand -- in other words, do you love what you're doing and dedicate your energy to it? That's a great reminder about how to orient your time, energy and effort.
3) If you're in the Portland area, you need to do some hiking in the Columbia River Gorge. I went with three friends last week to do the Wahkeena Falls loop, a 5.2-mile round trip that starts at Wahkeena Falls, takes you up to Devil's Rest, over to Multnomah Creek, and down the creek to Multnomah Falls. It's about a 1,400' gain in altitude. Spectacular hike, one that I haven't done for several years. We did it in two hours -- unanticipated consequence is a workout of muscles I apparently haven't worked in a while, even though I've been running regularly.
All cynicism aside on the election issue, if you haven't, get out and vote. It's the most critical thing you can do in the life and operation of our country.