the ground is rumbling

I was really pleased to find that my ugly Monday post generated a lot of great discussion, both on- and off-line.  Many both people that read my blog have commented, both this week and in the past, that part of the reason why they like reading is because I'm very honest about my life.  It's been described as "raw," and I don't find anything wrong with that.  The problem with being open and honest and raw, though, is that it works against me in situations like this.  Maybe if I wasn't sharing every detail of my life with an audience, there would be less stress placed on me by myself.  Huge food for thought.  I've been blogging for a few years now, and there are parts of it that I love.  There are people that I've met that I otherwise never would have known, very good friends that I've made, experiences that I would have missed out on, all that grew from sticking my nose (ass?) out onto the internet and telling my little story.  

But since we're being honest and raw, there's a lot about it that really pisses me off.  A perfect example is going on right now.  Yesterday was registration day for the Marine Corps Marathon.  My twitter feed - and later, my google reader - became filled with "oops, I didn't mean to register," and "wow, made a bad life decision today," and "why did everyone make me do this?"  It made me want to fling my laptop out of my second-story window.  Here are times when it is acceptable to feel that way.  I am three years old and wet the bed, oops.  I am thirteen years old and the mean girls made me snap the bra strap of the new kid, why did everyone make me do this?  I got drunk and slept with the kid next door's cousin visiting from college in the front yard, bad life decision.  (note: I don't think [?] that I've done any of these things.)  But if you are 29-years-old and you fill out a registration form of your own accord, check the box that says, "Yes, I understand what I am doing and take responsibility for my actions" two dozen times and then hit "register," that falls under none of those categories.  Take responsibility for your actions, for pete's sake.  No one is MAKING you run a marathon.  You know what?  I DON'T want to run a marathon (unless there is a 112-mile ride first), so I didn't sign up.  Sounds pretty easy, right?  If you're wondering what the correct response is to signing up for a big scary race, click here.  You're allowed to be scared, you're allowed to feel nervous, but stop acting like a child and own your life choices.  And while this is first time I've ranted about this on the blog, my real friends, I'm sure, are nodding and skimming because they've heard this exact rant from me five dozen times in the last six months.

And it's things like this, I think, that are leading me - and this blog, by extension - down the road of change.  I think that part of what needs to happen is quieting of my mind.  I need to strip my life of all things that stress me out and holy CRAP is that a long list.  Like I said, I've been really involved in the blogger community for a long time now.  I decided right off the bat that I was going to put up a post every workday, and with very few exceptions, I've done that.  Five posts a week for two solid years.  There have been times where I haven't had much to say (puppy pictures) or have been grasping at straws for a way to talk about yet another aspect of endurance training (granola bars) or just simply am out of content that will generate interesting discussion (the creation of random friday facts, yes I did create it and all you bloggers with your rip-off memes can bite me).  But as I've been doing a stress-cleanse of my blog reader, I've noticed something about the blogs that I want to keep reading.  The authors don't necessarily post every day - although I wish a lot of them would.  Instead, they post when they have something to say, and it's not, "look, I signed up for this race!  Here are ten screen shots of my registration and a picture of me clicking the mouse!"  They post when they want to generate interesting discussion, when they want to talk about training in a way that is not just a simple post of their dallies (although the ones that do simply post dallies don't irritate me, it's just different), or sometimes when they just want to post thirty pictures of their dogs.  But it's not by a forcing of the hand, and I think that's the direction I'd like to go.  I want to keep the people in my blog-life who stimulate my own thinking, and you should do the same to me.  Go ahead and dump me if I stress you out.

The final piece of this puzzle is the comment game, and I've said before that I hate the popularity contest of the comment game.  For the most part, I want to comment on things, I want people to know that I am reading and understanding and reacting, but I also think it's part of the stress that I'm feeding back into my day, the pressure to read and react and write instead of just process.  I feel like over time, I've gotten sucked into the popularity contest and I hate it.  I'm still going to be here, I'll still be keeping up with all of your lives and adventures, but for a while I need to absorb instead of compute and spit out a reaction.  Will I probably lose followers because I don't comment on someone's blog every single day?  Probably.  Are those followers that I mind losing?  Not at all.  Will I be upset if this post generates zero comments because everyone just said, "HRRMPH" and gave me the finger?  Okay, well, maybe just a little.  

I spend a lot of my professional life in meetings and I think part of the way I've learned to be effective, at times, is to listen a lot and speak very little.  It's time to do that here as well.  Please don't be offended if you don't here from me for a while.  Or if you don't hear from me for a while, drop me a note.  Pick up the phone.  Go ahead and facebook friend me if you like pictures of my dogs and complaints about my pool.  Don't rely on my blog to keep you informed about every single detail of my life, but instead, let's just be friends.  And I promise all of you, it's not's me.