My Nest May be Empty, But My Kid Still Calls Me Mom

Stop Telling Me What to Do!

Stop Telling Me What to Do!

By on May 23, 2015 in Blather | 2 comments

So many posts these days play on people’s fears of doing the wrong thing. Maybe we should stop worrying about what others think.

Stop Being So Judge-yIt’s been a long time since I’ve used this space to write. We visited the UK, returned, sent my daughter back to her second semester of college, and just last week brought her back home from Chicago. I enjoyed Passover with my family in Sacramento, and spent another four weeks housebound because I broke another toe on my driving foot. I’ve been working my butt off at my marketing job. And I’m dealing with the shame of gaining back all the weight I lost eight years ago — and then some.

I turned 59 last week and am starting to feel really, really OLD.

And I never had the urge to write about any of it. 

That’s not exactly true. I’ve had fleeting thoughts of “I should blog this.” But none of it stuck. And now it’s Memorial Day weekend and this is the first entry I’ve made here all year.

I hate to think that after more than a decade, I’m over blogging as a creative endeavor. I don’t think so. I think I’ve just been too busy to sit back and reflect upon my thoughts and feelings, which is what I need to be able to work up something to say.

So what made me decide to fire up the old blog again? THIS headline, which caught my eye on BlogHer:

Let’s Stop Using ‘Just’ to Justify Ourselves

The post, from a blog called Literally Darling, is a perfectly reasoned argument for ending one’s reliance on filler words, like “just” (uh, and I suppose “like,” for that matter). There’s nothing wrong with it. It makes a good point.

And it irked me…

…because it seems as if sites are increasingly publishing whiny posts designed to make the reader feel bad about something perfectly harmless:

Why You Should Never, Ever Use Two Spaces After a Period
There’s a whole lot of articles on this, and I have to say: What’s it to you? Really, what difference does it make if someone who learned to typing on an IBM Selectric doesn’t choose to change that habit after four or five decades of extra-spacing? It’s not as if we’re killing digital trees to make reams of digital paper here. Leave us poor senior citizens alone! (For the record, I figured out that I didn’t need the extra space years ago and broke the habit without being chided by the Internet punctuation police — but I wouldn’t dream of trying to force others to follow suit. It simply isn’t that important.)

Seven Obnoxious Things Women Need to Stop Doing on Facebook
There are tons of articles out there like this, trying to police our behavior on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Most of these are by people who have used social media for fewer years than I have. This post is pretty typical, and the suggestions make sense. But if I were to follow the advice of every single arbiter of what’s good and proper to post, I’d have nothing left to contribute.

The thing about social media, and Facebook in particular is it’s just like high school: You’re not going to be friends with EVERYONE, and that’s OK. (Actually, that’s more than OK, because no one can reasonably have a meaningful relationship with thousands of people at once). The only rule I want to subscribe to here is Be Yourself. The folks who love you will put up with a steady stream of photos from your vacation, political links and pictures of that new baby. The ones who don’t can unfriend you. You don’t want them in your stream, anyway. It’s a win-win.

One writer even put up an entire Stop Doing List. I’ve read it, and don’t have any argument with the content — just the tone — because really, all I want to say is:

STOP TELLING ME WHAT TO DO, and I promise I won’t get in your face and try to make you conform to MY ideas of proper behavior, either.

    2 Comments

  1. Hi Donna: glad you are posting again. Always enjoy your blog. Love this post, but it should apply to all areas of life – not just what to post/or how to behave on the Internet.

    Linsey

    May 28, 2015

    • Thanks, Linsey. I realize that – but this is what was on my mind. As always, am having a hard time finding balance (I think that’s THE big challenge of the 21st century – for everyone). I haven’t yet figured out how to carve out the time I need to compose thoughtful (hopefully, well-written) posts on a consistent basis. And here I go again, writing about blogging/Internet behavior. I will endeavor to do a better job!

      Donna Schwartz Mills

      June 2, 2015

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