On my desk, I have a list of possible future blog posts. First on the list: "How much do we include personal lives on our specialized blogs?"
My answer: zero. Since this blog is about writing and about my own take on the writing process, anything that did not address that would be superfluous and against the purpose of the blog. (For that matter, I am presently working on an entry--to be posted in the very near future, perhaps later today even--that addresses this question in a more indirect, writerly fashion: how do our personal moods affect our writing?)
Anyway, this brief violation of one of my self-imposed rules is actually for a good reason--and good cause.
I have decided to run in the Somerville 5K road race on October 2. This will be the first such road race, or any running competition in which I will partake in almost 15 years: I ran track in high school and cross-country and track for a couple of years in college, but through personal lethargy I abandoned running on a regular basis for years. I picked it up again last November and have been running semi-regularly and enjoying the healthy, if minor, sense of accomplishment it affords me. Also, as anyone who knows me knows all too well, the past year or so, I have spent a lot of time reading on the psychology of happiness, and how to create and cultivate more happiness in one's life. Of all the books and studies I have read, they all say, especially Jonathan Haidt's The Happiness Hypothesis, that volunteer work increases one's overall sense of happiness: "I know of no evidence showing that altruists gain money from their altruism, but the evidence suggests that they often gain happiness. People who do volunteer work are happier and healthier than those who don't." One of the things I began to do to increase my own sense of happiness was to begin running again, and I have also begun volunteering as a literacy tutor and finding ways to donate, if not time and money yet, at least thought to outreach causes.
The race benefits the Somerville Homeless Coalition and most of the running fees, donations, and fundraising benefits that organization. With this race I would be able to knock off two happiness birds with one stone: I could run in a competitive race again AND I could raise money for a worthy cause. (Thank you Gretchen Rubin!)
The running fee for the race is $20. If a runner raises $100, their fee is waived. I will be honest: one of the reasons for raising the money is to avoid paying the fee. However, I have donated $10 of my own money already and I do believe in the cause. Homelessness is not a right-left political issue. It is a universal cause that everyone can get behind. And, since the donations and funds being given to the cause are coming from private businesses and private donations, it's hard for anyone to criticize the motives of the individuals. It's voluntary individual charity. (Sorry: just making a soapbox appeal to my friends of all political persuasions.)
My outside goal is to raise $230: 10 dollars for each minute of my goal time for the 3.1 mile race. I'm hoping to break 23 minutes for the race. At the least I'm hoping to have a time within the 23 minute range.
To donate to this cause, and to help me raise funds, please visit my fundraising page through the race registration website:
I thank you in advance for your donation, as does the Somerville Homeless Coalition. And, thank you for allowing me to violate my cardinal rule on this site and allow a brief window into my personal, non-writing life.
Again, the donation page is: http://www.active.com/donate/somervillehomeless/darrencormier