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Unpopular Opinions

May 7, 2010

Lately I have been feeling a big shift happening internally. I don’t mean any of this in a mean, petty or bitter way, but some of the realizations just end up sounding that way. I actually feel quite happy about these things, not bitter or angry. Anyway.

I’m kind of feeling like I don’t really like being so convenient for everyone else. I’m kinda tired of being endlessly helpful without reciprocity. I want to break the habit of doing what everyone else wants to do, and just staying quiet. I’d kind of like to speak up a bit more, say “no” a bit more, and enjoy myself more. (um, burned out much?)

My friend Shea today asked me what sorts of things I really want to be working on personally or in my own little small businesses, where I want to focus. My truthful answer was: “Nothing. I feel like doing nothing.” I’m taking a vacation from the shoulds. I don’t particularly want to work really hard. At least, not right now. I’ve done a lot of that in the past, and I will probably do that in the future. But right now, I feel like doing… nothing. Except my own stuff, which will benefit me (and my family) personally. And then later… see where that goes.

Because I work too hard.

And so do you. Well, maybe not you personally, but most people do. Most people (myself included) think they need to be working harder. But I don’t think that’s true. Loafing is highly underrated these days. Especially for moms and women in general.

Have a lemonade. Have two. Read all day if you want. The kids can make themselves a sandwich. Or eat crackers all day. Everyone’s happy.

While I’m at it on this little soapbox, here’s an observational tangent: I took a look as my past-read lists, and it seems like most blogs-to-books are unsuccessful. (In my opinion.) And I think that it’s sort of tiresome how so many popular blogs are obviously being spun into book deals. While I’m sort of jealous, when I end up reading the book, I’m usually disappointed. Possible exception: cookbooks.

Also: I have started and stopped myself from saying this about a million times, but it’s time to come clean: I really, really, really hate reading so many marketing posts on Twitter. I like Twitter and I think it’s fun, but the marketing turns me off. I’m sorry, I know it’s useful. I know it’s “the point” for lots of users. But it makes me crabby and contrary. There’s an old writing adage: show, don’t tell. I think someone who does Twitter beautifully is Ruth Reichl. She never talks about anything except what she is eating, or what her surroundings are. And yet, I would read a book by her in an instant. I’d attend a workshop (which I would hear about through another avenue, or which she would mention in passing). She barely even mentioned the closing of Gourmet. She doesn’t say anything about what she is doing now. And yet, her posts are so evocative, that I want to go see what she’s up to. I like this. I do not like having a constant stream of commercials. I don’t really have a problem with the actual offerings (some of them sound fun!), but it’s the excessive promotion that is getting me down. I’d just unfollow those people, but usually I enjoy the other half of their posts, so I try to ignore the marketing and just pay attention to what I do find useful/fun/interesting. Still, see above. Feeling not so much like being as flexible as usual. Have crankypants on.

I think we are reaching a marketing tipping point. It’s like a frenzy out there. Don’t you think?

This is another reason why I like thriftshops. No advertising. You either like it or you don’t like it. No one is trying to convince you one way or the other.

Ok, I’m stepping off my soapbox.

So if next time you ask me where I want to go for lunch, and I say “Japanese” even though I know you prefer Mexican, sorry in advance. We’ll do Mexican next time. Maybe. If I feel like it.

And then we’ll tweet about it. But we won’t offer a follow-up workshop.

(hee!)

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. May 7, 2010 8:14 pm

    Ya-HOOO!!! Good for you :).

  2. Lara Starr permalink
    May 7, 2010 11:17 pm

    Good for you girl – as someone who works two jobs and has a family and still feels like I’m slacking because I watch TV and mess around on the internet most nights….

  3. Lua permalink
    May 8, 2010 5:59 am

    I’ve learned that being able to say ‘no’ to things you want to say ‘no’ to brings you freedom. Once you unburden yourself, you have more time, more energy and more ‘you’ for yourself… 🙂 I’m glad you’re taking a turn in a direction you wish to pursue.

  4. May 8, 2010 10:40 am

    good for you. and i agree that we all work too hard. i always have a to-do list and i feel like a slacker if im not constantly working to complete something on the list. it’s really silly.

    this morning i walked with my daughter to a nearby neighborhood park. im a really fast walker and i found her dawdling to be frustrating. frustrating to the point of irritation. all i could think about were the other things i wanted/needed to get done today. i had to remind myself to take a deep breath, we’re in no hurry. it’s a saturday morning for petes sake. i definitely need to learn to enjoy the journey and stop worrying about the destination.

    actually i am in total agreement with this entire blog post. i feel the same way about the blog to book thing. on the one hand, cool and why isnt it me? but then, the book usually ends up stinking. reading a blog just isnt the same as reading a book, plain and simple.

    and Twitter? sigh……i dont want to say too much because i worry about offended folks i consider my friends, but the constant self promotion is a bit of a turn off. when does ‘enough’ become ‘too much’?

  5. May 9, 2010 11:07 am

    Thanks, everybody! I get nervous writing about stuff like this, but sometimes you just gotta say it.

    Mom: thanks!

    Lara: three lemonades for you, busy lady!

    Lua: I sure hope so! Let’s see how it goes… can I follow up?

    Tammie: I know what you mean. Enough is enough.

  6. May 9, 2010 3:09 pm

    Go Daphne! I so need to learn to say no more often.

  7. May 10, 2010 5:21 pm

    Good for you Daph! I think you work waaaaay too hard and am constantly amazed that you can keep things together so well and be so nice. Saying no is okay. There are even books about it if you need extra encouragement. Please loaf, Walt Whitman I belief has some nice things to say about loafing so go loaf and read some Whitman 🙂

  8. May 10, 2010 5:23 pm

    Ah yes… Whitman is an excellent example for loafing. I love him.

    You are so funny. “There are books out there about saying no!”

    I might have to get one of those. 🙂

  9. Theresa permalink
    May 13, 2010 8:01 pm

    he he he. I love the part about letting the kids eat crackers all day. They’ll be fine! LOL shhh… I think i’ve had that day once….okay maybe twice. I agree though. Speak up, say no, state your opinion. Most people aren’t mind readers and if you never tell em what you like/don’t like how will they ever know?

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