Much ado about nothing
This is probably my eighth attempt at writing a blog post since the end of October. I’m going to try to force this one out, which means it’s probably going to be pretty lousy – as most of the “forced” posts are. But I’ve got to do something – to prove that I’m still alive and that I’m not abandoning this little pedestal that I’ve built for myself. So what you are about to read (or skim, or skip, or whatever) will kind of be a mixed bag of stuff.
Actually, to be honest, there was a period of time in November when I did contemplate abandoning this blog. I wondered why, as an almost fortysomething-year-old, I was still playing around in social media, which seems to belong to the younger generation. (Counterargument: my 88-year-old grandmother, who is possibly the youngest person I know, uses Facebook – and even commented on the Diabetesaliciousness page once!). But no one in my In-Real-Life circle of friends or family knows about this WordPress page, and I’d probably be a little embarrassed if they found out. I’m not quite sure why.
Yes, my family knows I’m involved in online discussion groups about diabetes, and some of that has crossed-over into my real-life, evidenced by my most recent JDRF walks and the Lenny-the-Lion that sits on a shelf in my office. But they don’t know that I write as much and often as I do.
Look, life gets in the way and time becomes scarce. It’s the common excuse when blogs die (or take hiatus). It’s true. But I won’t apologize for it. I won’t apologize for the family trips to watch my son’s hockey games (he scored a goal last week!), for teaching my younger son to say the blessing over Hanukkah candles, or for lying in bed with my wife – after the kids have finally gone to sleep – to catch up on the accumulating library of mediocre comedies on the DVR (most of the shows aren’t really worth it, but the time together is).
This community can suck you in. I’ve seen it. It can shape who you are, what you do, how you interact, and how you think. I’ve seen it (granted, I only have a limited window into people’s lives and this could be an unfair conclusion, but the perception is real). I don’t want to become one-dimensional and predictable.
The DOC has grown, not through anyone’s fault, to teach us how to behave and how to respond in certain situations. When my friend posted that diabetes-targeted joke about diabetes on Facebook, I felt obligated to get angry. When the New York City Department of Health airs graphic TV commercials showing unhealthy behavior and its grotesque consequences – in the context of (an unmentioned type of) diabetes, it agitates me. When an episode of 2 Broke Girls (one of those stupid TV sitcoms I mentioned earlier) has a character pass out from diabetes, only to spring back to life the moment he is given an insulin injection, I immediately foresee a campaign to flood CBS with angry emails.
Suddenly, I find myself getting upset when people tell me things that never bothered me before. From the “you can/can’t eat…” to the simple use of the word “diabetic”. It’s all part of being sucked into that mob mentality. If I allow all these things to bother me, I’ll be more bothered.
I don’t want to be angry. Or even to pretend to be angry. Before the DOC, I’d just smirk and think “the producers of that show are morons”. But now, there seems to be a well-established and appropriate response for every mention of diabetes, and that is the response dictated by the Community, not by me.
There’s nothing wrong with setting the record straight, and I admire and respect those who have the willpower to do it. Someone has to — and that goes beyond preaching to the choir. It’s just not me, not in my nature. I’d rather let these things roll off rather than let them upset me. I’m happier to choose my own battles than to choose all of them.
It’s what lets me say, in all honesty, that diabetes is NOT on my mind 24/7/365. I’ll give it the attention it needs, but it doesn’t need extra. Right now, other parts of my life need extra attention, and are deserving of it, and that’s where I’ll turn.
I do enjoy helping people and using my experiences to make theirs’ better, but I do it on a personal level. Not a grand scale.
On that note, I just can’t spend all my recreational time focusing on diabetes – or reading diabetes blogs. After experiencing huge growth, I’ve had to downsize my Google Reader Feedly list because it was just overwhelming. Keeping up with dblogs can be more demanding than keeping up with diabetes, it seems. (The unfortunate fate of my Droid – in the mobile phone sense – has made it difficult, anyway). And the longer I spent away from the DOC the easier it was to not come back.
But then something happened – and I started to miss it.
So here I am. And I’ve got lots more to say, but that’s it for now.