With my friend Julia holding my internet-challenged hand, I am preparing the book I wrote for inclusion in the world of Kindle and other read-it-online applications.
Actually, Julia is doing the work since even the simplest of how-to internet instructions leave me gasping for air. But she told me on the phone yesterday that in the world of on-line reading, you put reviews of the book right at the front of the internet presentation.
So I went and looked up some reviews and was forced to read them for typos.
The book, self-published in 2007, now seems a bit old and stale in my mind, but reading the reviews made me think, as if someone else had written it, that it was a book I might like to read. A strange sensation.
The reviews -- all of them complimentary, of course -- were, with the exception of one that was a bit boisterous-if-fun, the kind of praise that I could listen to, hear, and be at home with. I found myself pleased that even one person liked it, but the question whispered, "Who is the guy who wrote this book? Oh yeah, that was me."
In the past, I have been habituated to not receive praise well, to open myself to it, to enjoy it and let it flow through: Some glass-half-empty was always waiting for the other shoe to drop ... the mirror image of wallowing in it. But last night as I read those reviews, it was pleasing and I found myself allowing the tail to be stuck on the donkey: "Isn't that kool?" And yes, it was kool. And there was no other shoe, no yes-but rearing its head like some wicked stepmother.
Strange how matters of the past can so often be matters of regret...or at least for me. Others, I know, can glory in the past, find solace and support and reaffirmation. But it occurred to me that finding regret is really not a whole lot different from finding affirmation ... it's just another affirmation, though not, perhaps, so tasty and warming as relying on and wallowing in the accomplishments.
But last night, I just found myself enjoying it all. I wasn't entirely sure what I was enjoying (the guy who wrote that book and the words written in it are gone), but I knew that enjoying myself was fun. A nice birthday present, somehow.