What Would You Do?

Darn you,  Navigational System! Let's see you "recalculate" your way out of this one.

Darn you, Navigational System! Let’s see you “recalculate” your way out of this one.

I’m in a bit of a pickle, People.

It seems that there is not enough of me to go around.

That's not exactly what I meant.

That’s not exactly what I meant.

I used to be able to get so much done in a day. Maybe that’s because I had horrible insomnia and I only slept 2 hours a night. I’m glad those days seem to be behind me, but a new issue (I hesitate to call anything a “problem”) has arisen: I’m overwhelmed by my duties.

No one is going to fire me because I am a taker” unemployed retired in the prime of my life.

Why am I retired? Because I can’t handle stress. It makes me more dizzy, panicky, migraine headachy, sick to my stomachy, and generally unable to functiony.

I've tried all kinds of things to calm my brain, some more cumbersome and, well, unsightly, than others.

I’ve tried all kinds of things to calm my brain,–some strategies more cumbersome and, well, complicated, than others.

So my solution to not getting bored and dumb in my retirement was to become something new and different.

  • I became divorced, which I didn’t plan on, but that worked out okay.
  • I became a condo-liver (that sounds really strange, especially coming from a vegan), which I enjoy because my condo is the perfect size and every room has the nice amenity of being finished–unlike where I lived when I was married.
  • I became a quilt artist, which is great but I kind of forgot how to do it because I haven’t been doing it (see below).
  • I became an author, which is totally awesome and amazingly time-consuming.
  • I became a book promoter, which is totally non-awesome and amazingly time-consuming.
  • I became a blogger, which is a blast and a half and feels like it has a life of its own, complete with a pistol pointed at my head sometimes.
Okay, I admit that my pressures are self-imposed. But that doesn't make them any less real.

Okay, I admit that my pressures are self-imposed. But that doesn’t make them any less real.

It’s the blogger/author dichotomy that’s getting my stressometer revved up. You see, I’m trying to promote my memoir, write my new novel, and keep up with my blog.

I can’t do it.

Here’s what I saw when I opened my email a couple of hours ago.

Notice the number of unread emails. This is after I have deleted or handled all of the non-WordPress post-related notices.

Notice the number of unread emails. This is after I had deleted or handled all the non-WordPress post-related notices. Can’t quite read it? 84 posts to read.

Reading and responding to 84 posts takes me many hours. You know me, People. I leave comments. I rarely leave a “like” and move on. And I comment on your comments, don’t I? All this chatting takes time, especially given my typing disability (I make tyops all the tme–see, I just did it, but didn’t correct it to show you–like a business school drop-out after a wild night of sex, drugs, and rock and roll who has to type–not text–something on a full-sized keyboard while blindfolded).

Miss Avershum, please pull yourself together. I need you to type up that letter to Corporate right away.

Miss Avershum, please pull yourself together. I need you to type up that letter to Corporate right away. And don’t forget your blindfold. You know how I love it when you wear it. I promise not to chase you around the desk this time. Those bruises are still pretty nasty.

If I respond to all these blog posts, I have no time to devote to the book I wrote or to the one I’m writing.

If I ignore these blog posts, can I call myself a blogger? Will anyone respond to a blog post I write? In this bloggy world, reciprocity is the name of the game.

In the past I’ve just announced that I’m taking a break from blogging, because I can’t seem to strike a balance between Blogger Lorna and Author Lorna before I turn into Zombie Lorna. Is that my only option?

Not a good look for me at all. And while I've got your attention, do you know any effective facial hair removal techniques? That's been bothering me, too.

Not a good look for me at all. And while I’ve got your attention, do you know any effective facial hair removal techniques? My chin hairs have been bothering me, too.

What would you do if you were in my cushy lounge chair staring at 80+ blog posts to read–all from bloggers you love to read? What do you do?

You can see I really am in a bind and I could use any help you have to offer me.

You can see I really am in a bind and I could use any help you have to offer me.

~ by Lorna's Voice on March 14, 2013.

51 Responses to “What Would You Do?”

  1. That’s a good suggestion…Thanks, Gayle!

  2. I can’t imagine doing all that you do and being dizzy on top of it all…and, most importantly, you do it with such a positive attitude and good humor. Perhaps you could cut back on your guest blogging too… You can always pick it back up again when your time is more available.

  3. I’ve noticed that some of my favorite bloggers have gone AWOL, too. And I welcome them back like a dog welcomes his/her human when that person walks through the door. So I know what you mean. I haven’t been responding to every post from every blogger I follow and I have been trying to post less. It seems to be sort of working. Three good chapters done on my new book. Lots more to go…

  4. I am late in responding to this…why?…because I have a life outside of blogging! Even more now that I’m watching a wee lass three days a week. I simply can’t keep up like I once did. I would suggest posting less and taking regular breaks to catch up and do those things you can’t put off. Some of my favorite bloggers have disappeared for long stretches of time because they have written books, have health concerns, etc. I’m always there when they return…love them no matter what…like I would you if you had to take a break. Who would want you to stretch yourself to where you’re worrying yourself? Not me, Lorna…

  5. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. It is a balancing act, and one I’m not very good at. I think I have to post less and write more for the time being…but, oh, I love to post zany blog posts! 😉

  6. I can completely relate to your post. I feel that way all the time balancing a corporate job (editing, producing) and my personal interests. Good luck managing it and thanks for all your thoughts in words.

  7. Thanks so much Christoph! I’m truly honored. 🙂

  8. As one of my loyal followers you receive this award
    http://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/the-dragons-loyalty-award/
    Thanks for following!
    Christoph

  9. 🙂

  10. I just get around (via Reader – not email) when and how I can. I post when I can. Subscriptions keep growing even tho the comments fluctuate at a lower rate than when I tried to read and respond to ALL.

    I had to remind myself several times that it was okay to only do what I could without stressing.

    If you have a blog, you’re a blogger. Where’s the heroism? Be good to yourself, Lorna, and change YOUR standards. Your prerogative!

    Big hug!

  11. No problems that anyone has told me about. Are you using Chrome or Explorer. I find Chrome sometimes whacks out on me… Sorry to hear that and thanks for the perspective. It helps. 🙂

  12. I’m sure that’s true. 🙂

  13. LOL No, that’s why we have each other! 🙂

  14. I completely understand. I think women in our age bracket tend to think it’s rude not to respond to everything that comes our way. Rules like never return a plate without something on it or if someone invites you to dinner, you have to reciprocate–those social niceties are cemented in our brains. But you can only do so much and when you look at everything we’re expected to do to market our book, it gets pretty overwhelming. Add a few health problems to the mix and it gets even more overwhelming. Your readers love you, no matter how frequently or infrequently you post or comment. So cut back as much as you need to.
    BTW, I’ve had problems opening up your blog lately. Has anyone else had a problem?

  15. Some of us are just better able to handle it. We HSPs don’t handle it so well, eh?

  16. Thanks for the compliments. 🙂 That helps keep me uplifted, giving me the energy to keep going…and that’s something, right?

  17. I love, love your crazy wacky pictures and the way you put your story together! Of course, I have no advice on how to multiply your time nor use your wonderful talents in a timely manner….Good luck with this!

  18. It’s challenging, I’m sure we all feel it, I really related, Lorna, you voice how it affects us so well.

  19. Amen to that … Amen to that …
    Namaste …

  20. LOL!

  21. Paulette, have I told you lately how much I love you? 🙂

  22. Isn’t that the truth! Get paid to read…Thanks Darla!

  23. Quality, honey. Not quantity. Your cyber buddies love you and my bet is most know if you don’t show it’s cause of what you wrote here and one dizzy girl can only do so much. Have faith in the people who you blog with that when we don’t see you show we love you none-the-less and hold you in our hearts. I know I can’t speak for everyone, but honestly it’s a great cyber community out here and we’re all in the same boat. If you feel compelled to blog daily see if that can be cut back? Pencil in your blogging? Spread out who you visit and who you delete, knowing you’ll get to them another day but for today just hold them in your heart and send them out a little light that you know we’re all connected in this great big energy sphere of life. If someone has a reaction to not seeing you, to not having something reciprocated, that will pass. Bring all of this to your own meditation and see if it too passes.

    Lots of love to you and know that being my friend means expectations and obligations are illegal.

    Paulette

  24. I know others must go through the same conundrum. I posted this for me and for those who feel the same pressure. 😉

  25. Thanks, Harry. Good advice.

  26. I have gotten some great advice: nix the guilt, friends know you are there even when you don’t show up every day, take care of yourself first, and it’s only a blog not your baby (unless it is your baby).

    Namaste, Sister of the Soul

  27. Ha! I’m feeling kind of old, too–or just tired maybe…

  28. I suppose that’s true. Friends are friends. I don’t need to continue to prove myself. Wise woman, You! 🙂

  29. So pragmatic. And you know what I got from all of that? I’m going to miss you when you hit it big with your company! 😉 I was named well–I am a total lost cause!

  30. You know, Al, I’ve tried Multiple Personality Disorder. It just didn’t work for me. Oh yes it did! Oh no it didn’t! Well, it did for a while. Stop bickering! You’re making me dizzy! And that’s how my dizziness was finally diagnosed… 😉

  31. Thanks Sara. You’re a wise woman. I needed to hear that. 🙂

  32. I’m finally getting the message, Peter. Rarely are you so emphatic. I best do as you suggest (and as I know I should anyway) before you really get mad at me! 😉

  33. Thanks U. I need to hear the kind of thing you are saying (about loyalty). I know it’s true and that I fret too much about pleasing everyone all of the time–at my expense.

    I wish we live round the corner from each other…imagine the trouble we would get into! 😉

    A little more gone but never, ever forgotten, Lorna

  34. My dear dear Lorna, you fret too much. Guilt? You want guilt? You can have it: I now feel guilty that you feel compelled to answer my own mutterings when there are 79 others awaiting your comment with barely concealed anticipation.

    Do what I do, Lorna: Be a little slapdash. Easy for me to say since I seem to attract those with an impeccable sense of duty and honour into my life. Like you. Which is great for me. Unlike any of you I try not to dwell on my shortcomings. All I know is that some people are for life. Even if you don’t hear from them or talk to them for donkeys’ years.

    You are a good, loyal and caring friend to me, Lorna. And if you lived round the corner believe me, I’d take up an awful lot more of your time than I do already.

    Do what you need to do; and if it means being a little neglectful so be it. True friends can be measured by their patience. True friends are not babies whose every whimper needs to be attended to. Have now severely shot myself into my own foot since I’d miss your thoughtful comments like hell. Mind you, there is one remedy for both of us. Before I expand on that idea I shall now go into the kitchen, masterfully cook a ragout and mull.

    U

  35. Look. I’ve said it before. You were suffering from post operation pain, and told us but you still went to all the trouble of putting up the pictures and everything. You are a compulsive perfectionist but those who really care about you, and I include myself in that number, just want you to cut your self some slack. I would write the above post for you if you asked me . It would read thus. “Got too much to do to Blog and visit other Blogs. Love you all. Be back soon “,

    We would all understand and you could get some rest. Will you listen to me for a second. No. But I’m still ranting because I care so there xxx

  36. Hey! I see me in your list of e-mails! And guess what? It’s okay if you don’t comment on every blog post you read. I read all of your posts, but I don’t respond each time. Are you offended by that? I hope not. I certainly wouldn’t be offended if you didn’t respond to all of my posts. I would, however, be devastated if you stopped following me.

    The point is, I don’t see why people think they have to respond to every blog post they read and I also don’t see why bloggers feel they must respond to every comment made on their blogs.

    I could go on and on (ooh, reference to my latest post?), but let me just say that I would much rather you work on your novel than feel compelled to respond to this comment. I’ll miss you while you’re gone, but will be happy enough knowing you’ll return some day.

    Go write your novel and read blogs in your spare time, without leaving comments. And plus, I love that you are a condo liver.

  37. Three words…… Multiple Personality Disorder. Since you’ve had to endure so many other medical problems in your life, what’s one more. Then you could assign one of your personalities to your blog while the others write the book, do the quilting, the housework….well, you get the idea.

    P.S. If you quit blogging with me I will kill myself. Your pal, Mental Al

    P.S.S. Don’t listen to the mental Al, just quit. Your pal, Impulsive Al

    P.S.S.S. Don’t listen to either one of them, they’re always bickering. Take a few nights to sleep on all the advice you have had an you will make a wiser decision. Your pal, Rational Al

  38. What is it about blogging, reading and trying to keep up.. 16 people have liked this page so far… I popped back to look at a couple of your other posts to see 20 likes and 28 likes.. Now when I get a little behind with having received approx. 100 notices a day.(trust me to follow those that post everyday) I will read those that either “like” mine or “comment” on my posts on a regular basis… and then when I get deep in trouble.. like when I went to my sons and unexpectedly got stuck there for a week.. (612 notices on my return)… I highlight all and hit delete… You see I don’t do this for the likes and comments.. if someone wants to read please do and enjoy and if you don’t I wont unfriend you or not read your posts.. I read other post because there is something about them that attracts me.. but if too busy I have to punish myself and skip it for a day or two… and if someone is going to stop looking at my posts because of that..?? .. I’m afraid I wont feel a thing..
    We go live on the 1st of April with the computer program I designed… as sales happen, I will be doing on line training and assist.. now that could take a lot of hours in a day.. and I might disappear from the blog-o-sphere for days.. hopefully weeks.. even months.. cause you know what that would mean.?? I’ve become rich beyond my wildest dreams.. (not likely to happen) but it will mean I’d be around less, less to post and less to read, but then this is my income and I like to eat… now is this not the same as you.. a book is where your food comes from.. your followers should understand that, hell man delete us all.. we won’t be bashing down your door to hit you over the head .. we might wonder what has happened to you.. but that’s all.. The computer blokes thought of blogging before blogging began.. they supplied a “delete” button…

  39. I hear you, Lorna. I turned off all my other blogger emails — actually, WP did it for me, somehow — and I found it much better. I have my fave blogs as bookmarks so now I visit when I remember/feel like it. I also set the timer on my iPhone for blogging/reading time. Sometimes I don’t stick to it, lots of time I do. On the psychological side of things, you don’t need to show bloggers you love them when they already know who you are, ie, generous, loving etc

  40. Not crazy–just very kind. I’ve always been a very fast reader but often I’ll comment with one or two words or a sentence or just a like. I figure they are as busy as I am and it they aren’t, well…I do my best and don’t worry about it. I can’t I don’t have the time to worry or waste. I’m old…

  41. MMMmmmm … I’m there with ya, Lorna, I am totally there wiith ya. I want to do it all. I have days where I get up and do nothing else but read the posts people blog. Then, I have nothing to write about. I feel like I might have read it and am copying someone’s elses isea. I feel guilty if I can’t remember if I read it somewhere. DId I mention I have a info retention issue? I forget a lot. It’s a childhood safety thing. Kind of like a – safe word – when you want to do some of those 50 Shades things. Og, I detoured. Ummm …. I am trying to figure it out, too. I feel too guitly and think that people won’t want to come and visit my blog if I don’t comment on their blogs. EEEkkkk … i am so guilt riddled it isn’t funny. It must be that Catholic school thing. To be honest I doubt if I’ll change my way but I do feel a weight lifted when I’m on a cruise and can’t blog because it is so expensive. Maybe, I should make believe I’m on a cruise all the time. hahaha
    Oh, did I mention that I tednd to write a lot in the comment boxes because I want people to know I really read their post. YUP – another guilt – like someone is going to be thinking that … you’re not thinking that … Are you???
    ~~~~~ : – O
    Let me know if anyone gives you a really spot-on answer. I just heard those 2 words (spot-on) and found them to be so fun-like.
    Toodles …
    Izzy xoxo

  42. There are times when i delete all my emails because i’m busy, next day i would answer them all.

    Choose which ones you do not want to recieve mail from and go to dashboard and set them to never recieve a post, i had to do that with a lot as i have over 500 folowers.

    I only post twice a week i think thats enough.

  43. I don’t know what to do about it either. Do I spend the time reading? Writing? Blog writing? Blog reading? Book writing? Book reading? Agree with Elyse. We do what we can do. And that is all. As a blogger I understand if I don’t see people often because I am guilty of same. But I trust they understand our “pickle” and carry on best I can. Be here when you can and not when you can’t. That is what leads to resentment and no more fun. It has to be fun for me. I just decided that now. Thank you. LOL xo

  44. I can barely manage to crank out a post of my own once a week. Let alone comment, read, reply to 100s of blogs. I think I’m currently subscribed to close to 70…. then there are others I like to read here and there. But I have to limit my blogging/commenting to a couple days a week or I’d go insane.

    I love to read, of course. Seems that’s all I do lately. I read blogs, I read comments, I read my textbooks for class, I read books on my kindle. If only someone would pay me to read, I’d be golden.

  45. That depends on the number of posts in my inbox! I just deleted anything from February. Sometimes I want to spend lots of time reading blogs, sometimes I don’t (or can’t). It just depends.

    I try to not let the guilt get to me. I am loyal to folks who are loyal to me, to folks I think are particularly good. But if you post multiple times a day (and some blogs have multiple authors posting multiple times a day), well then, I just can’t read them all. Sorry — I have a life and a job and a husband and a dog.

    If they don’t understand, well, that’s life.

  46. As I would expect from you, my friend, very pragmatic and excellent advice. What does “old” mean? A couple of days? A day? I subscribe to a few bloggers who post several times a day nearly every day.

  47. Yes, Casey, I know you tend to post just once a week. But how do you handle the blogs you subscribe to? Do you limit the number of them or just decide on a set time limit for responding then that’s it? My problem is with not wanting my blogger friends to feel rejected if I can’t get to them. I worry about things like that! Am I crazy or what? 😐

  48. Yes, it’s totally unfair, especially for a fair-haired child like me! 😉

  49. It’s the chin hair curse, I tell you! The scratchy shouldn’t be there for a girl beard! 🙂

  50. You know what I do, Lorna. I only blog once a week and rarely guest elsewhere because I don’t have the time. That works for me at this point but I know what the downsides are and most days I’m willing to accept them.

    Today isn’t necessarily one of those, but my hubby keeps reminding me on those to days to remember my priorities and my values and do what must be done to handle what’s important.

    You’d be surprised how many people check blogs but don’t comment. You’d be surprised how many bloggers don’t comment on comments. It’s like a party where you have those who talk all the time and those who enjoy the conversation but don’t generally participate.

  51. I delete the old ones. I can’t do it all either. I try to read the ones from folks who only post a couple of times a week. The ones who post multiple times a day I read if the title interests me. Otherwise, I can’t. Unless I’m really bored at work.

    People have to understand. Period. End of story.

Silence can be just what the doctor ordered. You know I'm a doctor, right?

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