Even more, it had to do with the hiatus my life seemed to take in not finding an academic position for the year, the "involuntary sabbatical" I was taking while living with family and entering the year-old cycle of academic hiring again. I was, in short, embarrassed by my situation, and had no desire to advertise it. A bolder Christian writer would not have been humbled by mere humiliation, I suppose, but I was having a wretched, Mayan apocalypse of a 2012, augmented by the discovery that my mover, one Mark Cordle, had robbed me of everything I had, and just dumped it somewhere. I recovered a bit of my furniture in New Orleans, but that I could have lost most easily. 20 years' work in notes and most of my academic library, my filing cabinets, my computer, photo albums, letters – all of that was lost. So depression was added to humiliation.
And, of course, there was the simple fact that most of the social networking of everyone I knew had switched over to Facebook. For its speed, integration, and its orientation toward small, minor updates shared with friends, Facebook was a far more natural social networking outlet than a full-scale journal is, was, or could be. And so I diverted in that direction as it was likewise the most natural way to keep in touch with a lot of people. But I enjoy the discipline of the journal. I enjoy being able to have access to my life and memories this way, too, which is not something Facebook does well. And I enjoy the equal compatibility that the journal or the blog allows for long topical entries of the sort that my "Theological Notebook" contains, allowing me to even just copy in large news stories or material published elsewhere, all for easy future reference.
And so I'm going to try to revive the habit, now that a new year begins. (August 16th being, as I've said before, the halfway point of August and the start of a new school year in my mind, as well as being the day that I moved to Oregon, Illinois and what would become my real "hometown" as a seven year-old.) I was mentally composing this on the 16th, as I finished up my first day of orientation at Saint Leo, but I felt too tired when I actually got home, or was too out of the habit. So I'm trying to summon will where habit has failed. Here I go.