|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?