Friday, May 31, 2013

No More Drama - a 30 Day Challenge

Better things to do with my time
(c), Kristi Lloyd Photography

We humans must be pattern seeking machines, some of us more than others.  This post came about late last night as a convergence of Studio Calico's business decisions, papercrafting industry gossip, The Unpleasantness on my blog last summer, and of all things, Mini-Microsoft.

Given my new life of leisure, and the fact that BabyM is actually starting to nap like a real baby, I have some time on my hands to surf the web.  It's actually a problem for me, because I could be using that precious alone time to craft, nap, or tackle one of the many life improvement projects on My List.

I've found myself sucked in as of late to Teh Drama brewing first on the Studio Calico message boards, and then on the TwoPeas boards about recent business decisions made by SC, their communication to their customers, etc.  Personally I'm not affected by much of it - my crafty hoarding tendencies are being kept in check by our newly reduced income, so I'm just not spending money there like I used to.  I've also made the decision to cancel the last of my kit subscriptions after my term ends this month, as I have enough STUFF to do the next 10 years of Project Life.  But for whatever reason, I've been reading those snarky threads for entertainment.

My other guilty pleasure is this papercrafting industry anonymous gossip blog. People go there to "talk smack" about whatever and whoever they want. Sometimes it's got mean and unnecessary personal attacks, but I do love the discussions about new products and classes, in the "wtf were they thinking?" vein. I will say that I'm proud to have gotten a mention as having the "balls" to sell one of my papercrafting kits for 4x its original price ;)

When he used to post regularly, I read Mini-Microsoft's blog religiously, along with the HUNDREDS of comments.  This was a place where people would vent about working for the "Evil Empire", share info about review scores and compensation, nearly all anonymously.  Quite simply, it was just another form of gossip.

You can probably see where this is going.  Reading all of this is not good for the soul.  99% of the information is negative. I don't doubt people need to vent, but I don't need to take on all of their issues.  I found myself furious with Microsoft over how some random anonymous person was treated.  I got more annoyed with Studio Calico, whose products I love, while reading about others' (genuine) anger at how they had been treated.

Just like when I attended the "Womens' Leadership Training" at work last year, I felt like I was taking on everyone else's sorrow, anger, and problems by hearing about it.  I think that's just how my brain is wired.  I can't let it go, and the more I hear, the more it bugs me.

And then last night, while idly reading my regular blogs, it came to a head. I was just getting ready to comment on a post and read the preceding comments, only to find the same Anonymous Coward (AC) who ranted at me here last year about being judgmental go off on a long rant about how *I* was undermining working women because I am "jealous and unfulfilled" and apparently have trouble getting along with people at work (wtf?).  It's only too bad she didn't link to my blog so I could get the pageviews.

I was pissed and ready to fire off an angry response, but then realized that the (completely uninvolved) blog owner doesn't need to be in the middle of this.  I don't need to spend more brainspace being angry about this ridiculous thing that happened a year ago when I still stand by what I said and think.  Even for those few minutes, I was letting AC "drain my energy", to use one of those fancy parenting terms.

Mulling over it while trying to fall asleep last night (thank you iced tea at 6pm for the gift of insomnia!), I realized this was part of a larger pattern.  I feel like I *need* to read those negative and drama-filled threads for their dubious entertainment value.  I *need* to be "right" and respond back to this person who's not even listening anyway, and just spewing.

I don't NEED.  I'm CHOOSING.  And now I choose no drama.  So for the next 30 days, my birthday month, I'm doing a trial of sorts.  No papercrafting smack blog.  No message board drama threads.  No Facebook arguing about hot-button issues (I've already quit this and just unfriend instead). Thankfully Mini-Microsoft stopped writing, *and* I don't work there anymore.  And no responding to anonymous Internet rants, even if they are directed at me.

Instead, for this month, I'm going to use that time constructively.  To create, to write, to plan our Funnest Summer Ever, to clear out the damn junk drawer for the first time in 8 years.  And if I remember, I'll report back a few times a week on how I'm using my time for good.

Anyone with me?

22 comments:

  1. Puts me in mind of this very well known xkcd comic: http://xkcd.com/386/

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  2. Yep, I'm with you. Although, to be fair, I don't seek out drama, I seek out chocolate. So really, I need a 30-day hip-girth-reduction challenge.

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  3. In the words of the enormously wise Utah Phillips:
    "I decided that I couldn't afford to like everybody anymore, you know? I went on a low social cholesterol diet. No more fatheads."

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    1. In the words of Macklemore, that is f-in awesome.

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  4. I love the way you approach things and really look into your life. Its a great exercise to get into.

    I don't read many of the rant blogs you do, but I can say I've been there when I feel the need to respond to prove I'm right or to just make them feel stupid. Its usually in FB and what I've caught myself doing now is really thinking, "its not worth it."

    So good for you...and for the record I think if you can get - and you did - 4X what you paid for the SC stuff...then Yay you.

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  5. I'm a new reader of your blog, but just throwing in some support. I shut down my blog a few months ago because of an anonymous commenter of my own (I was also worried about my family's privacy and realized that was more important to me) and realized I didn't need that stuff in my life.

    I'd also been lurking the SC drama threads and was just introduced to The Smack Center recently (I'm a new scrapbooker) and it was totally a rabbit hole I had no desire to fall into. It's so exhausting; I really had no idea people could get so gossipy about paper.

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    1. Yeah, it's pretty amazing, and not very constructive to get sucked in.

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  6. Awesome for you! I, too, am steering clear of it. It is what it is and me going down the dark path is not good for anyone.

    <3 ya! Keep your head up!

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  7. I think that you are making a very wise decision! :) I hope you stick with it! No drama rules! ;)

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  8. you're very. very smart girl. I had to make the same decision few years ago :) much happier now.

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  9. Hurray! I read your posts whenever I see them linked from SC, and you have such a fun blog! I'm looking forward to your new outlook! Oh, and ditto Sasha!

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  10. Great decision - it effects your health too...all that stress and drama :) Here's to a great summer, right?!

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  11. I agree completely and I am totally IN. I am still working full time myself and don't need to spend the little free "me" time I have sucked into whatever the latest scrapping drama is online. I should actually be scrapping, or doing something else constructive. Looking forward to checking back in here with you. And your little ones are adorable! Wishing you a great summer!

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  12. I don't think I've ever got fully sucked into any internet drama. I have strong viewpoints but am open to other viewpoints and realize that sometimes virtual discussions get out of hand when people get annoyed and type/hit publish way too fast.

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    1. That's very smart (to stay disengaged). Much healthier that way!

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  13. I love that there is papercrafting smack talk and drama. That sounds like a novel in and of itself. Who knew the stakes were so high?

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    1. I know, right? I guess one can only play with scissors and glue for so many hours in a day :D

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  14. I read one of these smack blogs for a few months. Then one day I posted to defend someone they were smacking. Of course I got a profane response soon after which was expected. What was odd was that it stuck with me, a perfect stranger insulting me and I was bothered by it. That was my last visit. I realized I wasn't cut out for that kind of discourse. I know this is an old thread but I liked what you had to say about this. Helped me not feel foolish about having gotten myself into such a negative place.

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