Friday, August 13, 2010

August 13: Saint Benildus

It is Friday the 13th.  I'm not really superstitious, however.  Nothing really terrible has ever happened to me on a Friday the 13th.  I'm pretty sure the bad karma attributed to the day comes from the fact that Christ was supposedly crucified on a Friday, and the unlucky number 13 is connected to the number of people at the Last Supper.  The superstition, then, has its roots in Christian tradition.  That doesn't mean that I believe in the whole black-cat, step-on-a-crack, don't-walk-under-a-ladder way of thinking.  However, I did grow up with the whole Jason-in-a-hockey-mask, serial killer thing.  As long as I'm not camping in a rustic cabin on a deserted lake with a group of horny teenagers, I can confidently say that I'm pretty safe.

As a follower of Christ, I guess I shouldn't really subscribe to ideas of luck or karma or fate.  Friday the 13th is just another day of the month...Okay, I just typed that and nothing bad happened.  A brick didn't crush my skull.  Lightning didn't strike my computer and fry its circuitry.  The phone didn't ring with news that my house was on fire or my dog died of severe mange.  (Actually, I don't own a dog, but I just wanted to use the word "mange.")

Since I'm courting catastrophe by scoffing at Friday the 13th, I think I'll just throw caution to the wind and talk about some dreams and goals I have for myself and my life.  So, this post may really annoy those of you who can't stand the me-me-me-ness of current popular books like Eat, Pray, Love.  (I think I may be the only man I know who actually liked that book.)  In my defense, you are reading a blog written about me and my experiences by me.  What the hell do you expect?

Anyway, I recently accomplished one of the goals I've had for a while.  I was chosen as Employee of the Month for the health care system I work for.  That means, for one shining period of 31 days, I was better than over 1200 other people.  (Okay, even I have to admit that statement sounds incredibly shallow.)  I know that awards and accolades don't determine how good of a person I am.  But it's a lot easier to feel good about myself if I have that physical affirmation to back it up.  Plus the money that went with the award was nice.  It's sort of like my coworker who just purchased a new used car.  "Is it bad that I feel like a better person when I'm driving now?" she asked me.

One of my current goals may seem equally as self-serving as the one I just wrote about.  I know I shouldn't crave fame or readership, although sometimes it feels like I'm writing only for myself and the few friends I drag to a computer and force to review my latest post.  I know there are more readers out there than I'm aware of.  However, writing is essentially a lonely process.  You write in isolation, rewrite in isolation, and, in the case of a blog, publish in isolation.  I revel in comments from readers I don't know personally because it means that what I'm writing is actually being read by people who aren't obligated to read it.

Which brings me to my next goal.  I want to be chosen by as a Blog of Note.  Basically, every month, the good people who run choose blogs that somehow strike their fancy for some reason.  I've reviewed a lot of the blogs that have received this distinction.  They don't seem to follow any particular topic or theme.  There's artists and cab drivers and chicken farmers and Hooter's waitresses and moustache fetishists.  You name it.

I want to be chosen as a Blog of Note.

Now, the problem is that the authors of these blogs are pretty good self-promoters.  They do things like e-mail and threaten to torture kittens if their blog isn't chosen for recognition.  I'm not good at stuff like that.  I think another way a blog gets chosen is by having a large following.  That means I need more followers.  I've been at five followers for a while now.  So, what I'm asking is for those of you anonymous followers to register as official followers.  Tell your friends/relatives to register as followers.  I like new friends, even if they're cyber.  And, if you feel so inclined, e-mail and tell them you're going to shave a puppy if Feasts & Famines isn't chosen as a Blog of Note.  It might help.

Now, this blatant plea for recognition and popularity may seem to be antithetical to my quest for becoming more saintly.  I agree with you.  Benildus, today's saint, didn't go around telling friends to mention his name to the pope.  Basically, Benildus spent his life as a teaching priest in France in the 19th century.  He established a school in Saugues, France, and spent almost a third of his life providing free education to underprivileged boys.  He had a reputation for sanctity, generosity, and humility (of course).  He didn't care is he was voted Teacher of the Year.  He didn't even care is he was a Priest of Note.  Benildus just did what he thought God wanted him to do.  When I started this blog, I really thought it was God who planted the seed in my heart.  It was something I felt I needed to do.  I think that qualifies as being called, just like Benildus was called to teach.

I thought God was going to take control, and I'd have over 1000 followers by now.  I'd be getting calls from the New York Times and have my pick of literary agents.  At the very least, I'd be a freakin' Blog of Note.  But, of course, God has other plans.  So, I'm just going to keep writing and trusting.  It's all I can do.  The rest is out of my hands, like all goals and dreams.  It's not about luck, good or bad.  It's about trust.

And a few hundred e-mails to by some avid fans.

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