Today I listened to Mozart’s Piano Concerto 27 for the first time. Afterwards, I wondered if writing and thinking about my blog takes up too much time and focus, and makes me less open to experiencing some of life’s unexpected joys.
I was about two years into retirement when I started my blog. I was traveling extensively and having a great time, but I felt like I needed something more mentally challenging. I wanted to try something that I knew nothing about but had the promise of turning into a commercial (money-making!) venture. I saw that the way that people searched for and booked cruises was from a time dating from the Mad Men era. Most people call the cruise line or a travel agent ON THE PHONE to book cruises. How medieval! I decided I would try to build a cruise-booking site. I licensed the name CruiseSearchEngine.com (still inactive.) The only problem was that I didn’t know anything about building a web site, much less a search engine.
I decided I would start a blog using WordPress, and once I had that figured out I would look into building (or having someone else build) the search engine. I started plane2port.com and just started writing about the travel I was doing–cruising or otherwise. I learned how to write the blog, add images, and troubleshoot problems. I also discovered that people really like to read about getting discounts on cruises. It made me feel good when people read and commented on the blog. I began keeping track of page views on Google Analytics, and researched techniques for Search Engine Optimization. And I was writing more and more about cruises, cruise discounts, and using miles and points. The tail (page views) began wagging the dog (my writing.)
Please don’t get the idea that I’m complaining about blogging. I like the discipline of writing weekly posts. I may still develop Cruise Search Engine. But I have to tell you that writing a well-researched blog not only takes a good bit of time, but it takes up a good deal of mental bandwidth. I am constantly thinking about potential blog posts and have a slew of half-researched blog topics. Earlier today I was driving and thinking absentmindedly about the blog, when I turned on public radio.
I was blown away by the piano concerto I was listening to. It was sublimely beautiful, and at the end of the performance I discovered that it was the last piano concerto that Mozart wrote before his death, the Piano Concerto #27. How had I never heard it before today? Here is the link to a version on YouTube:
It was a rare joy to finally discover this marvel but it made me wonder–are moments like this an example of serendipity or can we put ourselves in a position that they are more likely to happen? If we leave our minds open and unfettered, are we more likely to have more sublime experiences? On a more personal level, would I be more open to new thoughts if I wasn’t thinking so much about my blog? I guess I’ll won’t know until the day I finally stop blogging.
And by the way, I won’t be honing this post for optimal search engine optimization!