At least two thirds of anything I utter starts with the words 'I'm so sorry'. The remaining thirty-odd percent is taken up by the excuses that invariably succeed any of my apologies.
Of course - not that this is any real defence - I'm mainly apologising for sins of omission than commission. I find myself on the back foot because I am an abysmal time manager - chaotic and unmethodical, failing to differentiate the urgent from the important, or to prioritise the essential. I'm told there's a huge satisfaction to be had from writing 'To Do' lists and then ticking things off as they are done. I tried it and promptly lost the list. Then I found the list and had to add a dozen new things that had cropped up between losing the original list and finding it again. So I bluff my way through without a list, keeping some of the plates spinning in the air whilst trying to pretend I'm indifferent to the piles of shattered crockery at my feet.
This post is no different - it's all about the apology - for I am actually awfully sorry for being such a shoddy, infrequent, uninteresting blogger all year. It really wasn't how I started, honestly: when the world for me was shiny and hopeful, and I was less weary, I posted quite often. Few weeks go past without me resolving to write more often, but then a lack of time and imagination get in the way again, and before I know it, it's a month since I last wrote anything other than my signature on a stack of invoices and some terse emails, bashed out on a Blackberry on the bus. Like everyone else, I suppose, I keep buggering on, post-recession - in a world where we all have to do more, with less, and for less, and that's as big a time thief as any. Yes, being time-poor is a good excuse, but is it really a reason?
As far as writing this blog is concerned, if I continue doing nothing more than saying sorry and making excuses all I'll do is hold the snarling dog of guilt at bay.
I do wonder, though, if I say 'sorry' a little too reflexively: Am I using it away of acknowledging the things undone without including any of your actual, you know, repentence? What is the distance between rueful and contrite? I have a suspicion that if an apology is heartfelt, it should include more than guilt and remorse, and be all about a fervent desire not to repeat the error?
If I resolve to write more often, and actually manage to do it, at least I'll have resolved something. Who knows, it might show me that I could apologise less, and do more in other aspects of my life too. I'll give it a whirl.