I'm a Hypocrite
1. Your bad day doesn't matter, and
2. There IS no "good" or "bad" -- life basically boils down to perspective.
I also said I have trouble empathizing with people, especially when they fail to realize that their problems are primarily the result of their own actions. Thus, I despise the Negative Drain effect of people crying "woe is me" in an effort to draw attention to themselves, because it derails both THEIR forward momentum AND mine.
Some folks agreed with me. Some disagreed. But no one else thought to call me a hypocrite except longtime STBD fan Andrew Smith, who made the point on BOTH of my blogs.
Here, he commented:
‘Woe-Is-Me’ could be a wonderful title for that classification of blog entry in which I might place most of the ‘inability to manage time’, ‘get things done’, or ‘financial difficulties’ posts.
(In case you're new, those are topics that bubble up quite often here at Cafe Witness...)
Then, on the STBD Blog, when I mentioned we'd fallen behind on production due to my tendency to hit the metaphorical snooze alarm, Andrew wrote:
...or call it 'woe-is-me'. Justin, I'm not trying to beat up on you here, but for you cast's sake and for that of your art, please forget where the snooze button is. I've been a volunteer for the greater portion of my working life. Take their time seriously. It isn't really free. They sacrifice for what they care about.
I think it's pretty clear that Andrew is trying to be proactive here, which I appreciate. Which is why, instead of sitting here and attempting to defend myself, or debating the points he raised, I won't. Instead, I'll make a proclamation:
September is "No Woe" Month (for me, at least).
What does that mean?
- No blog posts or Twitters of a negative nature. (That includes irony, since I mentioned yesterday that irony is a great way to couch frustration.)
- No blog posts or Twitters about time management, getting things done or personal finance -- since, to offer suggestions for improvement, I'd have to first acknowledge that I sometimes have these problems myself.
- No blog posts or Twitters about bad news, be it mine or the world at large's.
- No COMMENTS about other people's problems. To acknowledge them is to delve into The Negative Drain, and hence risk hypocrisy.
- Not saying "I can't," because that implies an inability to succeed. Instead, I'll be using "I won't," which implies a conscious choice over which I have full control. (AKA, "I won't be going to PodCamp Philly next week, because I've chosen to work on STBD production instead.")
What's the Point?
The point is, Andrew's right: I can't claim to not care about other people's problems and then pretend that mine are worth talking about.
Beyond that, I'm interested to see if this woe-free experiment improves my productivity and general attitude.
In actuality, here's what I suspect will happen:
- I'll become quite disenfranchised from everyone for the next 30 days.
- I'll get a LOT of work done.
- I may find something else to write about on this blog, since all traditional topics will be taboo.
- I just might end up happier... or I might go crazy with no ironic outlet.
However, one thing you can count on: I won't be a shiny, happy person every day. It isn't in my makeup. To paraphrase, if I've nothing positive to say, I'll say nothing at all.
And if I do have problems? Fear not; you'll not hear about them. (That's what friends and family are for.)
So: who's with me on "No Woe" Month?