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It’s another in a series of dark, rainy days. Gloom begets gloom. All my life, I thought I was a good writer. Not contest winning good but captivating. Someone able to hold the attention of my readers. A few months back, I read some of my earlier blog entries and my life story that I wrote at 21. It seems so mediocre to me. Not very good at all. Now I’ve lost my will to write. I don’t want to write emails, blog posts, Instagram posts, Etsy listings, grocery or to-do lists, etc. It could be because I’m grieving still for the loss of my mother. Or it could be that I’ve lost confidence in the only thing I was ever good at. The only thing I ever had confidence in to begin with. I’m not about to start day drinking although the though has crossed my mind. It gives me perspective. I always wondered at what point does someone actually start doing heroin?! A fully rational adult knows better but if life has no substance for them anymore, will they do anything to get their motivation back?! Before you start worrying that I’m on the verge of shooting up, I won’t. I can promise you that. Not just because I don’t care for needles or putting foreign substances in my body. Mostly because I already know it’s not the answer.

When Mom was alive and I was so busy taking care of her, I used her as an excuse. I couldn’t write more because I never had a block of time to sit down and write without being interrupted. I figured when she eventually passed, I would spend part of every day writing. I would either be writing a book or at least do regular blog entires. Instead I feel even less like writing. The truth is she never kept me from writing or anything else. I’m doing that all by myself.

My days are all a blur now. I no longer get up with my husband in the morning (7 am) like I always did until the first of the year. I usually get up by 8 or 8:30 am. I still walk the dogs every day except today because it is raining hard all day long with no break. I still cook meals and bake desserts. I stay caught up with the laundry. I keep my housework and hygiene routine. I pay bills on time. I still watch “Stories” on Instagram every morning and throughout the day. Snippets of other people’s full and vibrant lives. I feel almost paralyzed about sharing on social media. I’ve felt this way on and off since I first got on the internet 21 years ago. In the past month I’ve only posted a handful of pictures (mostly food). I’ve taken lots more and should be excited about sharing but feel almost afraid to share. I don’t know why but the more I need people, the more I pull away. I watch tv but only half-heartedly. TV was always such a joy to me. It was something I’d look forward to at night. Now I still watch the same shows (and some new ones) but most of the time I’m not giving it my full attention. I wouldn’t be able to tell anyone what happened in a particular episode.

I’m very short-sighted and impatient when it comes to getting over things. I like to forge ahead and get on with things. When I had the chicken pox at age 30, I was so afraid that the red marks left on my face (scars) would be there forever. I asked a coworker who had them in his 20’s if he remembered them on his face and he said yes. He said they go away over time. Of course, he was right. Everything goes away over time… A decade ago I had a medical condition I’ve never written about. Someday I will. It was so painful and kept coming back. I finally had surgery and it cured me forever. Sadly, for a few years I was petrified that it would come back. I mean, it was a daily worry that I’d have to deal with it again and forever. That was during the time I almost went on drugs for depression. I was making myself sick with fear. I couldn’t see long term. I never took the drugs and over time my anxiety about reoccurrence went away.

Now I’m back to that place again. The grief over my mom’s death has only intensified. I feel empty and alone. I feel sorry for myself. The worst thing is I’m worrying that this feeling will never end. Just through living all these years, I ought to know logically that I won’t always feel like this. However, I don’t know how long it will last. It could be weeks, months, years?! When I had Mom with me, I pushed myself to get things done every day. Extra things like listing things to sell online or just reorganizing things. Now I don’t push myself. I don’t know why. The only thing I can come up with is that “nothing matters”. It doesn’t make a difference if I do it or not. She’s still dead and I’m still here. I don’t even like posting about my grief on Instagram. People are so kind and wonderful leaving cheerful comments. But what it comes down to is there’s nothing anyone can do to help. It’s going to take time. I feel embarrassed that I’m not handling this better. I don’t like feeling vulnerable. I want to be strong and be able to just go on without being phased by the loss. April 7th will be 5 months since Mom passed away. It seems like it should be long enough to live like this. I’ve always hated “wasting time”. I know how precious life is and grieving this long feels like a waste of time. Maybe it’s one of those things that just sneaks up on you. One day, without realizing it, I’ll notice that I no longer feel this way. That I’m able to find joy again in life. Only God knows how long I need to grieve and when he thinks I’m done. In the meantime, I’m soldiering on.

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My proudest achievement of the past few weeks has been getting my aol mailbox almost empty. To me, “almost empty” is under 650 emails. I’d been hovering around 3,000 to 4,000 emails in my inbox. I’m not talking my “old mail” that’s been open and sitting there waiting to fall off the planet. No, these are ones I’ve kept as new. I had 3 year old emails that I’d never opened. Yes, it’s utterly ridiculous. I didn’t want to delete them even if they were “forwards” because I didn’t want to miss anything. The joke’s on me because I’d already missed them. Just keeping them there had been a big burden on me. It’s kept me from wanting to go online since I knew there was such a massive amount. I was to the point of just wanting to close my email account and not start another. I get very few personal emails. Mostly jokes, forwards, newsletters, customer service reminders…the list goes on. Nothing of value.

 
So I made a small goal for myself to go through emails and get them under 3,000 to start. Well, I’ve actually gotten it to that point more than a few times. Maybe even to 2,5000 once or twice. But probably never in 15 years have I been under that amount in my inbox. Mail I’d actually planned to open eventually or look at again. Ha ha. As you can guess, a lot of the jokes and forwards are out of date. No longer relevent. A lot of the newsletters that included photographs no longer even load the pictures. Some of the food/cooking newsletters I sent to myself to check out later, no longer even have a working link to the recipe. The emails I do read, I read on my iphone4. If I go to someone’s blog and want to read a post or go back and leave a comment later, I will email the post to myself. Hence, there are probably 1,000 blog entries I planned to read or write a comment to. At this point, the person who wrote it wouldn’t care that someone left a comment on something they wrote 3 years ago. What’s worse is a good portion of these blogs no longer exist! I call them the missing and the dead. In case you haven’t noticed, I have to be dramatic and seem to be obsessed with death. Probably one third of the blogs are still out there but the owner hasn’t written anything in 3 years! I’m not even kidding. Another third of the blogs are completely missing in cyberspace. They were taken down completely. This makes me sad on so many levels. I don’t know which is worse, to quit writing and never return to your blog or to decide one day that everything you’ve spent the time to write, no longer deserves to be seen.
 
I know in the past I’ve said that I never understood how anyone couldn’t find something to blog about. Or didn’t understand how someone didn’t feel like writing. Everytime I make a broad sweeping statement like that, it comes back to bite me in the ass. I had never felt like that until the past 3 weeks. I’ve had at least 3 occasions where I had the time to blog and in the past would’ve ran to my computer with glee to quickly type out a blog post. Instead I just wasn’t up to it. Part of it is how I’ve been feeling physically. Aug. 20th I went with hubby to the doctor for his checkup appt. and the doctor told me I looked fantastic. I keep laughing when I think of it. I feel so unwell. Back in the day, on the tv comedy show Saturday Night Live, there was a character who always said, “It is better to look good than to feel good.” 😉 I’ve had this dizziness and general malaise the past few weeks. I briefly mentioned the episode I had in the bathtub to the dr. and he said it sounded like I had a virus in my left ear that brought on vertigo. He said if it kept up to call and he’d give me some medicine. He said he didn’t like to prescribe it because it makes people so sleepy, it’s impossible to function. I don’t have it all the time but it comes and goes. Sometimes while I’m sitting even. My sinuses have been awful and that’s been giving me pain in the face and making it hard to breathe.
 
Of course, I know what I can blog about but I surely get sick of complaining about my health. No doubt people are sick of reading about it too.
 
People are abandoning blogging like rats off a sinking ship. I’m wondering if it was just a fad that has now jumped the shark. Obviously, everyone has different reasons to quit blogging but it does seem like it’s gotten “uncool”. With my contrary nature, that just makes me love it more. As much as I will miss those blogs (& some of them I will), it’s fine that so many have dropped out of the blogosphere. As big as the Internet is, it’s starting to get crowded. There’s too much crap out there. If people really don’t want to be there, if they feel they no longer have anything to say, or choose not to do it in that format, they should leave. They are taking up space that someone else could use to better advantage.

 
At the risk of making another statement I’ll later regret, I will never walk away from my blog. Mostly because if I left it up and never added anything new, it would be a constant reminder that I’d failed at another thing. I hate failing but I’m good at it. I don’t want to be good at it. I want to be good at blogging. I’ll never be as good as others at it but it lets it be known that I’m not missing or dead.
 
I wrote this last week and didn’t publish it. I always think I’ll have something better to add or change and never do. He who hesitates is lost. I’m so lost, I need a GPS for blogging. Siri, when should I post on my blog? In other news, I’ve had 3 days in a row where I haven’t gotten dizzy. I’m afraid to say it out loud because it might jinx it. Sat. Aug. 23rd, our basement flooded again. Yawn. 2 inches of rain water and I had hubby do most of the carrying items up the stairs since at the time I was still dizzy. It’s almost dry enough to go down and wash a ton of clothes that have piled up. You know what I’ll be doing. Maybe I’ll get some ideas for future blog posts. 🙂

 

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I recently took notice that a lot of my blog titles have some reference to death or being dead. I don’t know why. I’m forever having trouble picking the title of a blog post. Some people seem to have a knack for it. I never quite tie the title in with what I’ve written. If I do, it comes out as trying to be “too cute”. It may be worse to make no reference to the title at all like it is so random, it doesn’t belong to the post at all.

At this point in my life, I don’t have the time to dwell on such things. I just pick a title and send it out to the universe. Even though I haven’t been blogging much lately, I’ve been thinking about blogging. I used to lament about how plain my blog is compared to others. How others have so many bells and whistles and are just plain fancy. From the background to all the pictures and the buttons. I was like a poor person admiring a rich person’s possessions and wishing for their fur coat or their high heels or their Mercedes Benz. I can covet what they have until the cows come home but deep down, I don’t really want them. I’d be afraid the fur coat would be stolen. I couldn’t endure the agony of squeezing my feet into 4″ heels, let alone strut around in them. I might enjoy driving a Mercedes but my 21 yr. old car is more my speed. I don’t think I could love a car more than that one.

What I’m trying to say is that my blog suits me. With it’s plain jane look that’s mostly words and no flash. If it was all fancy and full of bling, it wouldn’t reflect me. I may like looking at other people’s fancy blogs and even temporarily wish for the stylish details they have. But I’ve finally come around to accepting that my blog doesn’t have to look (or read) like anyone else’s. I have a very select audience. The people who read me are mostly from other countries. I don’t know what that says about me. Maybe that I’m unappealing to Americans. Somehow, I can live with that.

My spelling is better than most but not flawless. I refuse to use a spell check–that would be cheating. My sentence structure could use some sprucing up. I don’t always word things correctly and am often not completely happy with how a paragraph sounds. I don’t always have time to fiddle with it until it sounds right. As long as I’m getting my point across, I let it go. If I tried to write a perfect blog post, I never would’ve been able to start. It used to bother me that a few others who started blogging around the same time I did just skyrocketed to fame. Obviously they put more into it, more time and effort, more networking, more everything. I didn’t begrudge them their success but I felt almost invalidated that I was going unnoticed next to them. We don’t all have to be the star of the show. In fact, we all can’t be! Some of us must be supporting players. Being a Leo, I love the limelight under the right circumstances. As long as I’m not being embarrassed or made fun of, you can call attention to me and I thrive on it. I no longer expect to gain any fame through blogging. Going to BlogHer13 last year made me realize how insignificant I am in the blogging world. I’m not even one of the thousands of stars in the sky, I’m the fleck of dust on the telescope that others are looking through to see the stars. Mostly annoying and in the way but occasionally helpful by reminding you of the need to dust.

I’m no longer going to vow to blog more. I will blog when time allows, as I always have. I will continue to just sit down and write without measuring my words as carefully as I should. I will jump from one topic to another, unintentionally alienating people along the way. July 18th will be 5 years that I’ve been blogging. I’m proud that I’ve kept up with it. I know blogging is something I’m in for the long haul. Hopefully, I’ll always enjoy writing on here and sharing my life stories. Several of the blogs I enjoyed reading have just up and disappeared over the past 5 years. Most of the time there’s not even an announcement. I just go to the blog and it’s NOT THERE. That is a rude awakening. It’s akin to being invited to someone’s house and you get there, knock on the door and they’re not home. You’ve been stood up. Obviously, I’m making it personal. I know how to do this quite well. I’ve never felt like closing my blog since I started it so I’m unsure why others are doing it. If it is boredom or they’re just not that into writing. Maybe they’ve gotten other interests or feel bad neglecting it so just quit entirely. Blogging feels like the only thing I do for ME. There’s no way I’m giving that up. You can’t put a price on the feeling of achievement I get after publishing. Or the smiles I get reading the comments. Or just the emotional release I get from sharing thoughts or events in my life. What I’m trying to say is you’re stuck with me. 😉 Even if I tried to fancy up my blog, it would still at the heart, be a pig. My blog and I are both pigs that don’t need lipstick. Oink. (What a stupid ending to this…)

 

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Today’s gem of the day was Mom yelling out, “There’s a fire in the basement!” Without considering the source, panic set in. She was sitting at the dining room table eating her cereal and I was in the sunroom with my SAD light on. Then she made that exclamation and I jumped up LIKE THE HOUSE WAS ON FIRE. Heh. We’ve never had a fire (knock on wood) but I know it’s nothing to fool with. I don’t want to be the person whose house burns down at Christmastime OR EVER. We see it on the news so often this time of year but really all year round. I ran to my mom and said, “What are you talking about?” and she pulled  back the curtain on the window to reveal “smoke” coming from under the window. Again she said, “The basement’s on fire!”  Before my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she was the most trusted authority on if something wasn’t right. She used to have the best “smeller” and could smell anything that most others couldn’t. I inheired this super smeller but I’m sure mine isn’t what it used to be either. So at one time if she said there was a fire, I would’ve believed her and gone down to investigate. This time I knew exactly what the “smoke” was from. Our forced air gas furnace vents out the side of the house. OMG. I could never forget that since over 10 years ago the next door neighbor kids were playing between the houses and stuffed both pipes (intake and outtake) with snow! The furnace quit entirely and we were freezing to death. Hubby cleaned it out and when he told the next door neighbor what her boys had done, of course she denied it. “They wouldn’t do that.” She also said the same thing when confronted with her boys poking our previous dogs with sticks through the fence! Anyway, I told Mom that’s what it was and that there was more than usual of the exhaust coming out  because it was extra cold today. Temps overnight were around zero with windchills of 15 below zero. She seemed to be satisfied with my explanation but it made me do a double take. Luckily, it really didn’t upset me. I’m trying to find the humor in the situation since I’ve been far too serious most of my life. Now that I’m faced with her gravely serious diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, I need to laugh more than ever before. So I try to find humor in everything I can. That’s why one of my favorite sayings is “We’d get along like a house on fire.” I’m ablaze for you. 😉

Back on Sept. 11, 2001 when Mom still had most of her faculties, she was the one who came into our bedroom while we were still in bed (sleeping) that “They’re flying planes into buildings!” She used to lie in bed in the mornings if she woke up before us and listen to radio. She had heard a news report and got scared. We thought she was out of her mind. Another incident around that time had her coming to us saying there had been a “pterodactyl” on the deck. That it was 4 feet high and just huge. That it was taking fish out of our koi pond. We had NO idea what she was talking about. Shortly after that, I saw with my own eyes the pterodactyl! It was a heron. I could understand her thinking it was something prehistoric because it was enormous and not something I’d seen up close before.

One of the things I regret most is not writing Mom’s life story. I’ve wanted to for the past 15+ years and she really wasn’t interested. She was never a big reader and even less of a writer. I don’t know that she saw the value of having her life documented. About a decade ago, I used to suggest we sit down together and tape record some of her childhood stories. She loved to talk about her time growing up on a farm in Minnesota. Now she doesn’t talk about it anymore and I have no way of getting those stories out of her again. All that knowledge and life experience is just lost. I honestly think it should be mandatory that everyone either write their life story or have someone else write it. It could all be kept somewhere digitally (maybe even on the Internet). If people didn’t want it published until their death, it could be their option. However, this makes more sense to me to honor someone’s life this way than with a cemetery plot and tombstone. I don’t know how we’d get people to tell the truth about their lives. To not only curate their successes but their failures, their broken hearts as well as the love they shared, the pain endured in addition to the happy times, etc. I just feel there should be something left (besides offspring) to commemorate the lives lived. Not everyone makes a huge mark in the world (or has kids) but there has to be lessons to be learned from every human being. As I’ve mentioned before, I find everyone’s life fascinating. That’s why I love reading biographies, autobiographies and blogs. I marvel at the different lives they’ve lived, choices they’ve made, journeys they’ve weathered, etc. That is why I CAN’T DIE UNTIL I WRITE ALL OF THE WORDS. I have so much to tell and share. It’s not that I think I have more wisdom to impart or eyepopping experiences to share than anyone else. It’s my way of making a mark on the universe.

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There’s some people who I would read if they posted “how to take the cap off a tube of toothpaste.” Due to their high quality writing, their beyond honest sharing of daily struggles, humor that can’t be replicated anywhere on earth or just my loyal devotion, they keep me coming back for more, year in and year out. Yet, I can’t pay people to read my stuff. Well, I mean I probably could if I had enough money. But I don’t want to have to pay people. That’s cheating. I now understand why some blogs have “giveaways.” To entice people to their blog in hopes of winning an item that they don’t really need but desperately want. Sure, I could have giveaways too. I’ve thought of it. But that would be cheating. Obviously, it’s NOT cheating but in my mind it is. I feel like if someone comes here of their own volition, it means so much more. That if they’re coming here for the writing, to see what’s going on in my life or even just to be nosey, that’s genuine. I feel like I’ve had to earn the loyalty of each and every reader by writing things that aren’t always easy. Sharing things that are painful or ugly. To try to draw people who would normally have NO interest in me or my writing to come to my blog JUST to inflate my blog stats is SO NOT ME.

I’ve been careful all my life not to buy friends. Maybe that’s why I don’t have more?! Equally, I’ve bent over backwards to make sure others never felt used by me. I love giving to people and don’t expect anything in return. I’ve always been unconventional and don’t like giving gifts on the day of a birthday or for Christmas, etc. I like giving gifts “just because” or any day of the year. If someone gives me something, I make a mental note of it and make sure, down the line, that I repay the person in some way. I try to pay attention to what they like (they usually tell you, if you listen) and surprise them when they least expect it. I’ve never liked “exchanging gifts” with someone. If it’s a true “gift,” it shouldn’t need reciprocity. As I’ve gotten older, I don’t need gifts at all. The intangible gift of friendship is a greater gift than most material things ever could be. A gift could last a short time or for years but if you’re especially lucky, friendship will last a lifetime.

I’ve been seriously thinking of putting an ad for my blog on someone else’s blog. Someone more famous, obviously. It’s $5 a month which won’t break me but I haven’t reconciled with the fact that I’d be PAYING to have people sent my way. This isn’t like a blind date where someone I know recommends me to someone else I’ve never met to get together for coffee. That’s what a blogroll is. This is where I have to pay someone to take a chance on me. Yikes. You know, I’m not against other people doing it or running giveaways. I’m not saying this is the devil’s work. I’m just saying I don’t feel comfortable with it. Just writing this out, makes me wonder why. It has got to tie in with my lack of confidence. I don’t like drawing attention to myself, being the center of attention or even raising my hand in a room full of people. Maybe the difference between others who do this and me is that they believe in themselves. They are trying to sell themselves to others and I don’t feel worthy of that.

I think I’d be crushed if I ran a giveaway and just for that one post my numbers skyrocketed into orbit and then fell back down the next time. Reaffirming that if I wasn’t giving away something of value, no one would show up. Maybe I’ll feel differently in the future. At least I’ve documented my feelings on it now so that I can look back and see if it changes. In the meantime, I want to thank anyone and everyone who takes the time to read this. This type of validation money CAN’T buy. 😉

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In the middle of writing my blog post about last weekend’s activities, it was getting lengthy and I had barely started. So what else is new?! I’m used to going on and on in great detail about everything. I don’t know where that came from. I can only guess that it’s because everything in life is complicated to me. Before I do any further writing of said blog post, I had an epiphany. I am INCAPABLE of telling a short story. It doesn’t matter what the topic. I was behind the door when the gift of brevity was given out. I also missed that day at school when the lesson was “being brief.” I don’t really know if that’s a thing but it totally should be. If “brevity is the soul of wit” that explains why I’m not funny. Or why the funny I think that’s trapped inside me can’t get out. The irony that Shakespeare thought up that phrase in Hamlet is not lost on me. I wouldn’t exactly call him brief either. I need to take a class in “being brief.” I don’t know if that’s a thing but it totally should be. I can’t promise to write shorter blog posts but I may take pity on the reader and break them up into more than one.

This sounds like the start of a great standup routine for me. I’ve wanted to do stand up comedy for at least 15 years. I doubt I ever could since I can’t even bring myself to do karaoke. If I had written the Bible, it would be the length it is now but only for one chapter. Imagine if the Bible had the kind of detail that I put in my blog posts?! The shortest line in the Bible: “Jesus wept” would never stand. I would have to tell what kind of tears he shed. Were they the large tears that fall across the front of your cheeks or the tiny kind that seep out of the corner of your eyes and people don’t notice unless they look closely? Was it a silent cry or the ugly cry where your face gets knotted up and you can feel your insides being twisted all the way to your stomach? You get the point.
Imagine if there had been iPhones in the Bible. Everyone would’ve been taking selfies. The jews wouldn’t have been lost for 40 years in the desert since they could’ve called someone. Unless they had AT&T, then they’d never find their way. Mapquest might’ve had them more lost taking a wrong turn at a mirage that only exists online. Plus they couldn’t find a place to plug in their cellphones. No one could share a charger either because there were still a few stubborn Android users. If there were cellphones during Biblical times, no one would’ve written the Bible. The reason for not writing it would’ve been, “Who uses cursive anymore?”
Thanks for humoring me. 😉 BTW, did you notice this is a short blog post?! It CAN be done.

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After attending #BlogHer13, I came away with a renewed inspiration for writing. I’ve always loved writing and never run out of things I want to write about. NEVER. Currently, I have eleventy billion ideas swirling in my head for blog posts. I want to get at least 4 of them done in the next week. At one of the sessions someone raised their hand to say they can’t think of anything to write about. REALLY?! Then we can’t be friends. I’m kidding. We can totally be friends. Just be warned that after drinking copious amounts of alcohol, I’m going to ask you to explain in detail why this is. I’ll be obnoxious about it. “How come you can’t think of anything to write about? Do you live a dull life?” It’s like standing in a huge library and saying you can’t find anything to read. PLEASE. That was the only time all weekend that I was tempted to raise my hand. I would’ve said “I never have trouble thinking of something to write about. I just can’t find the time to write.” Of course, that was too much like bragging so I didn’t do it. Lack of time is an issue for a lot of people, if not everyone. There’s always something else you can be doing. However, if you’re like me, you get so much JOY out of laying down the written word via your brain, through your fingertips, that you need to MAKE time. I never knew what that meant. I don’t have a machine in the basement that manufactures extra minutes or hours to add to each day to make it longer. I don’t have farmland that has migrant workers picking spare moments like weeds for me to stockpile and use later. How do I make time for writing? Yes, I’m asking. To write 2 LONG #BlogHer13 recaps this week, something had to fall by the wayside. Pretty much everything but general hygiene, walking the dogs and physical therapy. I didn’t clean house and took the easy way out on cooking meals. I let the laundry pile up. Like a lot of other women, I rarely take time for myself. I felt guilty at spending the majority of my day writing a blog post. That quickly passed though with the huge rush I got from publishing it and getting such positive feedback. Normally, I do a post a week (used to be a post a month). I’m lucky if I can squeeze in an hour to sit down and whip that puppy out as fast as I can type it. I’m writing this one the same way but I’m actually going to proofread it. This is just a huge preamble to what I really wanted to bring up today.
 
Since #BlogHer13, I’ve got about 100 blog post recaps to read and comment on. I’ve read a few and was shocked at what has offended people. First off, I’m not easily offended. Only if I think someone is INTENTIONALLY trying to hurt or insult someone else (or myself), do I take offense. I heard most of Guy Kawaski’s keynote and Q&A session in front of the entire blogging community. I never understood why he was such a big deal before this. I saw that a ton of bloggers follow him on Twitter and I even tried following him briefly. He is not my cup of tea. It has nothing to do with him being a man. He is just totally wrapped up in getting more followers in all social media sites. I know in some circles that’s where worth is measured by numbers of followers. I’d love to “be somebody” and have a huge following. But if it came down to brass tacks, I’d much rather have 100 people I interact regularly with on social media than 1,000 people I’ve never talked to. Anyway, Guy Kawasaki is a salesman first and foremost. He works for Android and Google +. He sings their praises but I believe he really finds them superior. He’s not just saying it because he’s getting paid. I think he’s done enough public speaking that he appeared relaxed. He said what he felt and that later on caused a backlash in the blogging community. People have been up in arms by his sexist remarks. Things such as “Behind every great man is a woman.” “You women writers come up with the best blog names.” “I’ve got the wrong chromosomes for that.” (when referring to Pinterest) I’m sure these are sexist remarks, I’m just not sensitive to them. Overall, the guy seemed generic to me. He didn’t get me excited about publishing or Android or Google +. He didn’t seem dynamic enough to command that size of an audience. I am not political and stay out of any heated and hardcore discussions involving conflict. That’s just not who I am. I’m not here to defend Guy Kawaski AT ALL. But I do think the people who are attacking him need to consider a couple of things: 1) He was being himself. He’s human. We can’t all say the right thing at the right time. 2) It’s more on BlogHer for hiring him if this is how he references women. I mean, if he’s being himself and they want him, then they have to bear some of the responsibility for picking him. 3) No one in their right mind would get in front of a huge blogging community made up mostly of women and INTENTIONALLY say anything bad about women. Think about it. I don’t think he’d want to lose the gig of appearing at BlogHer in the future. He didn’t say these things in a nasty voice or a sarcastic tone. We need to consider his intentions and if he’s malicious.
 
I don’t have a problem with others writing posts about their extreme dislike for his sexism. I think that’s a large part of what BlogHer is. They get women talking about what they see going on around them. They start a dialogue and give everyone an equal voice. I just think it should matter if he did it through ignorance or with the intention of putting others down. They say ignorance is no excuse but it’s been my excuse more than once. I’m a very naive person. I never want to hurt anyone by my actions or words. Yet, I’m sure I have and do. Unless people know me personally, they wouldn’t know it was unintentional. Someone who was offended during the Q&A should’ve stood up and just asked him. “Did you mean that to sound so sexist? You’re supposed to be talking about writers but instead you make it sound like women come up with cutesy names for blogs.” I have no doubt if it was brought to his attention (in a non-threatening way), he would’ve admitted he could’ve worded it better. People say the wrong thing everyday and that’s never going to change. Even with all the education in the world, there’s always going to someone somewhere who “misspeaks”.
 
You’ve probably got me figured out by now. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I make excuses for them and let them get away with things. Especially it is is done by accident, not knowing better or just having an off day. I do this because I’m human and screw up a lot and hope that others will cut me some slack when I say or do the wrong thing. That they won’t give me a hard time when I’m probably already having a hard time. I do look for the best in people and forgive them for not being perfect.
 
In some ways I’m easy going like that. Don’t think things don’t get me riled up! I’ve worked myself into a lather about plenty in my time. I wrote in my last post about meeting some great people. At the Voices of The Year, I happened to be 2 seats away from the infamous Titcircle. I don’t think it’s my place to discuss it but that’s not going to stop me. A group of women to my right were just having a good time. I could tell they genuinely liked each other and were thrilled to be in one another’s company. At one point they all jumped up and formed a circle and took a picture of their cleavage. My first instinct was to ask if I could take a picture too. Why on earth would I want a picture of a bunch of strangers’ boobs? Because of what it signified to me: women, friendship, fun. It was that simple. To me, it wasn’t sexual, it was like having a foot/shoe picture with a group of friends only x100 on the fun chart. Yes, I probably go through life looking at things simplistically and innocently. At the moment it was happening, I wanted to join in. Not just to take a picture but BE in the picture. I’m pretty much up for anything at all times but unless someone asks me, I’m sitting on the sidelines. I don’t like to insinuate myself into situations. Unless I’ve been drinking. Then all bets are off! So I didn’t join in but felt good about seeing it. I wasn’t offended in the least.
 
Imagine my surprise when I read the post by Lauren Marie Fleming about being called out as unprofessional for participating. She had taught one of the sessions I attended at #BlogHer13, It was called Using Social Media Tools Without Being A Tool: Marketing And Promotion That Lifts The Community As A Whole. This was my first exposure to Lauren and I could espouse her virtues until the cows come home. Instead, I’ll suggest you check out her blog. She speaks for herself better than I ever could. She was very professional while running her session. I felt like when she’s not teaching, she can do whatever she wants. I think to some people, you can’t be professional and have fun. If that’s the case, then I NEVER want to be a professional! Not only was Lauren called out for being unprofessional, she received so many NASTY, VICIOUS comments about the Titcircle. I think they should be everywhere like Cropcircles. We need to figure out if they need to be anonymous like Cropcircles though. Not only were people attacking the women for doing it at all, they were criticizing their breasts! I was aghast. A community made up mostly of women were going after what they deemed as body flaws. Really?! Haven’t we come farther than this? Besides how wrong it is to criticize someone for what they were born with, WHY DOES ANYONE ELSE NEED TO LIKE OUR BODY? Or anybody’s body. We need to learn to like our own bodies and nasty remarks like that aren’t helping anybody. This is where i will repeat that INTENTIONS ARE EVERYTHING. Looking at those comments, there is no question that those comments were meant to tear down, humiliate, bring pain to another person. Lauren in general but also all the other women participants. They were beyond cruel and so unnecessary. I could live to be 100 and never understand that type of mentality. If someone doesn’t like that they had that Titcircle, that’s fine. They can say that they’d never do it. Or they thought it was wrong for them. They should walk away and never do one. But to attack and malign anyone because they were having a good time is stupefying. No one forced them at gunpoint into a Titcircle so they need to calm down. Whether they know the women who participated or not, they need to respect their choices. That’s like going up to someone with a tatoo and saying, “That’s the worst tattoo I’ve ever seen. That’s gross and you should be ashamed.” I would hope nobody would ever do that but it’s along those same lines. Life is hard enough without having others telling you you’re doing it wrong all the time.
 
Something Erin Sipes told me happened to her at #BlogHer13 was equally disturbing. A blogger who KNEW Erin wanted to meet her put her hand up to shield her face as she walked by her. I was horrified to hear this. Erin isn’t a newbie, she was on the panel of the session I attended called Is Your Blog Holding You Back? The Balance Between Your Blog And Your Goals. The fact that someone could treat another human being this way hurts my heart. It shouldn’t matter who you are or what you do, no one should treat another person like that. Especially at an event intended for networking and connecting with other bloggers. There may well be people that some don’t want to talk to (although I can’t imagine it being Erin) but wouldn’t it be the right thing to do to exchange pleasantries and then say you need to talk to someone else? Is it ever ok to be that rude? I’d hope not. If we examine the intentions of the Talk To The Hand/Don’t Bother Me blogger, it can only be their way of showing their superiority. They consider themselves too important to deign to speak with mere mortals.
 
I’m going to climb down off my soapbox and go make some dinner. Let’s hear your thoughts on intentions and what makes you accept some less than stellar behavior and what behavior you will never accept.
 
 

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