It's got to be tough being one of my friends or family members. I'm not talking about some of the obvious reasons it would be difficult - I'm more focused on how difficult it is never knowing if your latest conversation is going to be fodder for the next week's column.
I've included snippets of conversations I've had over the dinner table. I've brought in topics that were brought up while we were fishing. I've shared family outings, road trips, hunting mishaps and cattle pen adventures.
Ask any columnist where they get their ideas, and they will all readily admit that the next great column is waiting just around the corner. We get our inspiration from the lives we lead, and that includes the people that populate our lives. Our friends. Our family. Our lives!
On many occasions, I've actually had people raise an index finger in my direction and caution me, "I don't want to see this in your column." And I try to honor their wishes; but, sometimes the topics are too good to pass up and I find my narrative straying back to my most recent conversations.
I see Kendal sharing weekends with his family. Rene' makes her forays about the square the crux of her columns. Jane has never spared Ronnie from inclusion. Tad shares the lives of the people in Art. It is the very reason that columnists write. We love the people that surround us, and we want to share them with the world.
I've opened up my life to share some of the grandest successes that have come my way, as well as some of the most horrific disappointments. I've included my readers in the travails of my dating, and the travels of my dog. Always, we columnists use our lives as a means to tell a story.
Sometimes these stories have a point far outside of the events being related. And then, sometimes we just want to tell a really good story.
But, back to my friends and family.
I know that, after a column has printed, some of the people in my life have rolled their eyes and shaken their heads. They've reminded me that some things should stay private, even in a town like Mason where privacy is one of the greatest illusions that we produce. It's difficult, if not impossible, to actually live a private life in Mason, as everyone knows just about everything that is going on with our lives, even if we don't discuss them.
Yet, I know that there are times that I worry about sharing a bit too much. Just because everyone in town already knows something, it is sometimes better to keep them guessing about a few things. The risk, of course, is that the "facts" created to fill in the gaps are not always accurate. But, they are often a great deal more interesting!
So, to my family and friends - I apologize for so often making you part of my VERY public life. I wouldn't trade my life with all of you for anything, and I don't mind sharing that I think I'm extremely fortunate to have all of you around me.
But that's a topic for another day!
It’s all just my opinion, but it’s what I wish would happen.