Thursday, September 13, 2012

Confabulate as well as commiserate

Welcome (belatedly, three posts in) to Confabulosity!

So why Confabulosity you may ask?

Since this is a first blog, maybe a practice blog, a training wheels blog, I didn't want to expend a lot of energy on the name. I mostly wanted something that was fun enough to say and memorable enough to bookmark.

My first thought for a name was CONFABULATE, a word I use just because I like the sound of it. If I suggest we confabulate, I mean an informal chat. So far so good for a blog. But when I looked it up to double-check the meaning, I found another most excellent use of the word I'd never known: to fill in gaps in memory by fabrication.


There is an element of fantasy in life, a process of creating (maybe more than becoming) who we are. I don't mean lying. I mean something more like multi-media visualization. We do it as children. Why not as adults?

Let me give you an example. Do you ever talk to yourself? Do you ever answer your own questions? I do. Some of my most productive conversations are a fabrication. They take place in my fantasy zone as a prelude to some main event.

A vivid fantasy life provides (well, almost provides) an opportunity to test drive difficult conversations in advance. I say "almost" because even the richest and most elaborate imaginings of a two-way conversation miss the critical factor of not knowing what the other person will actually say. Even so, I've felt more confident and less tongue-tied after running a "worst case-best case" conversational scenario through my head. The worst that happens is usually better than the worst I imagine.

That may be a pretty good mantra for daily life: The worst that happens is usually better than the worst I imagine.

Living in your head too much isn't a good thing.

Total lack of introspection isn't a good thing, either.

So, anyway, when I checked the definition of CONFABULATE, I was also drawn to the nifty example of the word used in a sentence. It was a reference to a support group in which people "can confabulate as well as commiserate."

Bazinga! (Didn't want to type Bingo! again.)

I took it as a sign. Maybe a little more anemic than a burning bush, but a sign nonetheless. As my "what am I going to do in this blog" becomes a little clearer in my mind, I can see that it's a place for people to confabulate as well as commiserate. That means addressing relationships, career, hobbies, money, purpose (or lack of purpose) in life.

And that also means sharing sharing information, developing tools, advancing the science. This may be a place for introspection, but not in isolation. Didn't I say I wanted it to be more than just navel gazing?

So far it's a self-indulgent first-person snooze fest. Need to do something about that...

Oh yeah, and when I tried to name the blog CONFABULATE on blogger, the name was already taken. As was CONFABULOUS. So I tacked on an "osity" and CONFABULOSITY was born.


  1. Confabulate sounds a lot like collaborate - wonder if that's an accident? Cool blog name! :-)

  2. I didn't even notice that. Thanks for pointing it out, Sharon!