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August 24, 2009


I hate it when bloggers disappear for weeks and then come back with a long list of all the more important things they were up to. What does that mean, that the blog wasn't worth their time? Sometimes that's the case, and that's fine. But do I really need to hear that someone was getting the car fixed and negotiating with a roofing contractor -- when the blog is about politics? Do I care?

So, assuming you feel the same way, I'll skip the details.

And let you know, simply, that I've been thinking.

Wondering what comes next.

I asked for a year. Analyzed spreadsheets and made colorful charts. Reflected on the who, how, where and why of asking. Snagged some interviews with Time, Salon, NPR. Reveled in tons of new experiences. Made enough cash to pay for a round trip ticket to China. And discovered that that asking is both complicated and exhilaratingly easy.

Now what?

In the spring I said I'd continue this project, and this experiment proved without a doubt that this daily routine was worthwhile. But should I really do it daily? Should I ask for things even when I'm not inclined, merely because I made a one-year commitment last July? And if I do ask, should I document every detail for you?

Here's my thought today. I shall I reach for a new goal in Year Two. I will still try to ask daily, but not make it a rule. That way I'm always on the lookout, but not feeling forced. Instead, I'm going to ask strategically. And when I report something, it will be good. Either an interesting or significant gain, or a valiant or pathetic attempt, or some sort of revealing or crazy or instructive experience.

And I'll work backwards; rather than seeing where asking can take me, this year I'll see where I want to be and then find out how asking can get me there.

In fact, the more I think about it, there's a long list of things I still want and to need ask, beyond these items. I've just written it up, and I'll put it some place safe.

So, for Year Two, I'm going to work on that list, and fill in the blanks as I go along.

I realize there's one more reason I need to keep asking: I'm not done yet. There are many potential directions I can take this project -- deeper into negotiation, bargain hunting, gender and career issues. But most of all, I need to keep writing. When I sat down at this table after one margarita and far too long a silence and started typing, it felt delicious.

Back again,

La Roxy
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