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.
Posted on December 19, 2013, in Diabetes. Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.
Scott, these things go in cycles. No use putting pressure on yourself to deliver something when there are other priorities. Sounds like the family is doing well, and that’s good. Thanks for the update!
Always nice to read your blog, on of my favorites! I can relate about not having time to blog, with the baby on the way, working on the bedroom amd furnace has taken up most of my spare time. Time is short, can’t spend it keeping up with the Jones blog wise is my newer motto. See you around.
This was like reading my own thoughts. Because of this I tend to come and go from the DOC. Also I can relate to most family and friends not knowing about your blog – only my hubby knows about mine. I too can’t really explain why they don’t know about my page – but I just prefer it that way right now.
Thanks Kari. Yes, it’s hard to divulge that, and the more time that passes, the harder it becomes.
I think we all go through phases where we need a break and/or life take precedence, I know I have at times and there’s nothing at all wrong with that.
There does seem to be a lot of anger in our community and it feeds on itself. Someone will post something that made them angry and almost immediately get a dozen replies in total agreement. Facebook seems to be where I notice this most but it happens anywhere there are people sharing things.
All in all, I agree that we should pick our battles and, like you, I don’t want to be angry as a part of my normal daily routine.
Amen, brother! There is a lot of anger, but there’s also a lot of love. But in both cases, we’ve got to sort through which feelings are genuine and which are superficial. It goes both ways — and sometimes the superficial can tend to diminish the intensity of the genuine.
(Nodding) mm hmmm
Well – hey! Thanks for letting us know you are alive! 🙂
Unless you see me tweet that I’ve died, you can assume I’m doing fine! 🙂
I really love this. Yeah partly because apparently we are feeling the same way but also because you touched on something I didn’t. You talked about the whole “loud and proud and fighting for every single little thing mentioned re: diabetes in the media”. Seriously. I am the type to ignore blatant ignorance (like the 2broke girls episode) but a part of me feels like I have to bitch because it’s my duty. I never used to be like that and for sure it’s related to the fact that the DOC blows up whenever something is mentioned in the media.
any way…. I’m not removing your blog from my reader anytime soon so when you want to write, i’ll read it. I don’t read TOO too many blogs now a lot of the reason is because I’m just not interested in the topics. I’ll always come here tho. 😉
Thanks Scully. And I always know which blog to go to when I need a tell-it-like-it-is approach with no sugar (or gluten) coating.
Glad you’re still alive 😉
You said exactly what I’m feeling. I’ve got so many drafts that I’ll start but never find time to finish/publish. I don’t have time these days (for obvious reasons) to keep up with all the blogs I used to read. I read a handful of them when I can but I used to spend hours reading and catching up – those hours are now spent changing diapers and feeding babies 🙂 Well said, my friend, and yay for your son scoring a goal!
I hear you. me too. I haven’t blogged since last spring, for many reasons very similar to yours, directing both non-D and D energies where they will be best for me at the moment. I’m glad for you for doing what works well for you and your family, too. 🙂
You know, I thought I commented on this post last week!
Sorry about that, my brain is fried!
I hear you brother, blogging’s ebbs and flows can be tough, not to mention draining. I’m glad you took a breather and came back to us!
PS: Your grandmother ROCKS
Thanks Kelly! So glad to hear from you on this — I was afraid you might be insulted when I alluded to not having the motivation to bust diabetes myths and perpetuate realities — I know you’ve made that your mission, and you’re damn good at it! But you deserve a break too… 🙂
And yes, she totally rocks! (Born and raised in New Jersey, could you expect anything less?)
Completely relate. To ALL of it. Glad you did what you needed to do for you. And I’m also glad that you’re back 🙂
Ummm – my last post was November 13…
If you think you’re too old for this…
I haven’t downsized my reader – just every now and then I do a “Mark all read…”
Your posts almost always give me “food for thought” and I appreciate the work you put into posting
Happy New Year & Hugs!
I had a teacher once who told me that you have to pick which hill you are willing to die on. There are many, many times that I will read or hear something and just think “not my hill.”
I’m not really a fan of group think and we probably should all be smarter than to join a battle just because everyone else is doing it.
Everyone needs a break here and there. For as much as I love the DOC, I hate how guilty I feel when I skip the chat on Wednesday or don’t blog for the carnival. Then I have to remind myself that it’s a community not an assignment.
Diabetes isn’t going anywhere, and like you said, you can’t spend all of your spare time on it (and you shouldn’t!) which is part of why I try to blog about more than diabetes. Thanks for saying this and I’m glad you’re ok.
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