What keeps me up at night? That's too personal

What keeps me up at night? That's too personal
Robert Burns.

The challenge came on the Chicago Now Facebook page at 8 p.m. Central Time, as it does once a month for what we call Blogapalooz-Hour. We are to write and publish a post in one hour on a set theme.

Tonight's question, the first I'm free to participate in, is "What keeps you up at night?"

Oddly enough, if I have trouble sleeping, writing usually gets me out of it. But that's my diary, just personal writing for myself. But when I started writing here about what I write about there (whew), I realized that it wasn't the right answer for tonight's post. Things that keep me up at night are too personal.

I don't believe in spreading private stories in my posts, so when I caught what I was doing, I scrapped "writing about what I write about" and decided to tell you why I believe I should not write in public about things I keep private.

The answer comes from  "Epistle to a Young Friend," my favorite poem, written by Robert Burns (1759-1796). It's the poet's advice to a younger man, Andrew, even though it ends with

And may ye better reck the rede

than e'er did the adviser!

-- that is, may you better take the advice than ever did the adviser, a sort of eighteenth-century "Do as I say, not as I do." (Reck, of course, is the opposite of reckless.)

Part of the poet's advice is this:

Aye free, offhan' yer story tell

when wi' a bosom crony,

but still keep something to yoursel'

ye scarcely tell to ony.

I  might tell a story freely to a bosom crony, a dear friend -- but that freely told story would be just for that person, not for everybody.

I love telling stories, but there are some that I scarcely tell to any, to dare to fix up the Bard's spelling slightly.

(Yes, I said the Bard. The word doesn't apply only to Shakespeare, but that is beyond this post.)

We've lost too much of "keep something to yourself." I don't know how we can get it back, but tonight I'll do my bit, first by keeping my problems to myself -- and secondly, by encouraging you to read the poem. (It's there behind the link.)

So that's enough writing for me tonight. I'm sleepy.

Margaret Serious has a page on Facebook.

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  • What keeps me up usually has to do with going to the bathroom, of which I shan't talk.
    What doesn't keep me up is some FB challenge, as I was correct in saying I would not give Zuckerberg any personally identifiable information, especially now that it comes out that he was using it to get advertising revenue by passing fake news in the "news feed." Somehow, it didn't dawn on me that FB's real purpose was to provide an unedited news service controlled by trolls.

  • Thanks for stopping by, Jack -- and thanks for getting some use out of the great old word "shan't."

  • I just remembered that you did write about FB news feed a couple of years ago. I channeled my inner Sherlock Holmes, and found it was Nov. 11, 2016.

  • In reply to jack:

    Well done, Jack. Thank you for the reminder and the research.

  • I saw that prompt and figured no one really wanted to know my answers either. You were a genius to turn it into a poetry opportunity!

  • In reply to Kathy Mathews:

    Aw, shucks. Thanks.

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