Going to the archive, and why

I don’t have a new post for you this week, but I’m going to link to an important old one and explain why.

The other day, I had what felt like the mother of all anxiety attacks. For almost three hours I was trembling like a leaf, sweating, you name it. It was interesting (in a distressing sort of way) because while I’d certainly had a few personal things going on that merited some stress, I’m not sure they were much worse than what’s par for the course. But apparently that didn’t matter: my brain and my body decided to shut me down. And did they ever.

I’ll be OK, but for two days (so far) in the aftermath I’ve been unable to accomplish anything other than lying about and dozing. And that means that some things I promised to do, didn’t get done. And I didn’t write the blog post I intended to.

Here’s the thing: there’s nothing special about my experience. Everyone has stuff happen from time to time – you just don’t necessarily see it. This happened to me, and my immediate family knows about it (because they were there), but nobody else does. [Well, OK, now you do.]

This reminded me of a post I wrote several years ago, about a modern dance I once saw. And about making allowances, and being kind because you never know the entirety of anyone else’s story.

So here’s that post: On the rush to judgment, and modern dance. Please read it and think about it, because I think it’s important – even when the person you’re tempted to judge isn’t me. Which I hope it usually won’t be.

© Stephen Heard  August 2, 2022

Image: © Fergus Sullivan via flickr.com CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

5 thoughts on “Going to the archive, and why

  1. Chris Mebane

    Certainly hope you’re feeling better and maybe this sharing helped. But this reader actually hopes for more brief posts and a link to the recycled archives, rather than new material all the time. Why? Like a concert goer cheering old favorites? Maybe, but a couple of reasons. First, after all these posts you’ve amassed a lot of material and no one but you knows what it is. More importantly, it’s less work for you. Less work for you means less time for you to write them. Less time taken away from other pursuits. Puts off the time when you decide the blog is more of a burden than a joy. Puts off the time you decide to chase different squirrels. Puts off the time you decide to ‘stop spelling banana’ as happened over at another favorite reading hole. Reuse, Recycle, and Reduce work for the squirrel gazer.*
    Selfish Reader

    * The Reuse and Recycle is advice for blogging. Not necessarily writing scientific papers. There text recycling is verboten. Mostly. Except when it’s not. I seem to recall an old post stuffed in a squirrel hole somewhere. I’m sure if were brought out again with a brief reintroduction it would garner more discussion. For example.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ScientistSeesSquirrel Post author

      Thank you, Chris! You’re right, some day I will of course stop spelling ‘banana’, although I hope not for a while. I’m pleased to hear some encouragement about dipping into the archives from time to time. I may well do a bit more of that.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Guilherme R. Dias

    Hi, Stephen! I bought your writing book in 2020, during the last year of my Ph.D., and it really helped me to finish it and publish my results. Since then, I’ve been very interested in writing, so I became a frequent visitor to your blog. (As a Brazilian, I write mainly in Portuguese, so please don’t mind my poor English writing skills.) Today I double as a post-doc and a High School teacher in Rio de Janeiro and keep learning — and frequently laughing — a lot from your posts on other subjects (e.g., statistics, scientific names, and online classes). I don’t know if this is the better occasion for it, but I would like to thank you for everything. Get well soon! I hope to keep reading your posts for a long time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


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