Am I turning into THAT crabby old lady?

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In my last post I said I was going to get down to the business of writing my spiritual articles to put on this blog and that I was not going to allow life, and all that it throws at me, to stop me from doing it.

Well, I am happy to report that I have been working on the articles. I am not so happy to report that I am nowhere near ready to put any of it on here. I’m just not getting it down as fast as I would like to because life has in fact, in spite of my denial, interfered with my ability and willingness to get the work done. But, I will not be discouraged. As I said before, I am taking steps, and that is better than sitting at a stand still. We will leave it at that for now.

What I want to talk about in this post is something I’ve been noticing and thinking about for some time now. It’s a bit of a personal issue. You see, I fear that I am turning into “That” crabby old lady. You know the one I mean…we all know at least one. That older person who looks and acts grumpy all the time and never seems to have anything good to say if they say anything at all.

In my work as a nurse I had run into more than a few of these. Some were just nasty and constantly negative. They were obviously bitter and angry at the world for whatever reason and they wanted everyone to know it and suffer along with them. I am not talking about those people. I haven’t turned into that and I hope I never do.

What I am talking about are the people who appear crabby because they stick to themselves. They will offer a small smile if you make eye contact with them, but nothing else. They seem to do everything they can to avoid initiating conversation. If you initiate it instead, they kindly give short answers in reply and retreat back into their silence, seemingly uninterested in what is going on or being said around them. They aren’t really crappy I guess. They just come across that way by their standoff-ish kind of behavior. That is the kind of person I am talking about. That is what I have become.

I have had a rough 48 years of life. This is not a request for pity. We all suffer to some extent and many have suffered far more than I have. My point is that my hard experiences have been many. But I have to say that there is a positive side to all that suffering. I  have become much more serious and mature…more focused on the big picture…as a result of all I have been through.

What have a learned? For a few examples: I’m no longer interested in the latest gossip. I don’t care what my neighbor is doing, what my relatives are doing, or what the ding-dong celebrity of the hour is doing. I’m not interested in fashion or fads. I don’t want to waste my limited time, as well as my very limited physical and mental energy, fussing about politics or religion. I don’t want to hear people complaining about problems they have caused themselves, and need to fix themselves but clearly have no intention of doing.  I’m just not interested.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been guilty of doing all of this in the past.  I’ve wasted so much time and energy worrying about things that don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. I’ve spent more time and energy than I had  to spare trying to fix problems that were not mine to fix, only to have the person I was helping continue with their problem causing behavior or, worse, become angry with  me for trying to help to begin with. I’ve spent hours discussing politics and religion with people after they have ask me a question that required a lot of time to thoroughly discuss, only to have them walk away with the same opinion as they had when we started. (Some of these religious discussions went on for days via email and included me sending article upon article …with many items highlighted, references provided and explanatory comments made… to the person so they could study it. All so, in the end. they could still have the same opinion/question they started with!).

All of these experiences have taught me a lot of things over the years.

1)  I learned that society is fickle. What/Who is important to them today will be cast       aside tomorrow.

2) I learned that those who gossip to you will gossip about you.

3) I’ve learned that people need to handle their own business, but, since many of            them are generally lazy and/or don’t want to suffer the consequences of their              behavior, they will try to get you to do/fix it for them.

4)  I’ve learned not to do #3 because: You can’t fix other people’s problems and still       have them learn the lessons. You can’t do other people’s studying and still have         them learn the material. People have to do things for themselves if they are to           learn and grow.

5) I’ve learned that life is short. If you waste your time on nonsense, or doing for            others what they need to do for themselves, you will not have enough time or              energy to do what you need to do in your life.

 

As a result of these learned lessons, I have adopted what appears to be “the crabby old lady” life. I largely stay to myself, doing what I need to do and like to do. I seldom initiate conversation with people I don’t know. I avoid people I know are whiners and users. I don’t offer opinions unless asked (most of the time. I’m still not perfect) and even then, I give short answers and then direct the person to where they can find out more for themselves. I don’t try to fix other people’s problems. In summary, I guess you would simply call this:minding my own business.

Am I angry? Bitter? Crabby? No (though I can get fired up when I sense that someone is being lazy/dishonest and trying to use me to do what they should be doing for themselves). I’ve just learned what ways are best to deal with the issues I have had to deal with in my life. I prefer the peace and quiet of minding my own business while trusting that God is the one who is ultimately in control of everyone and everything. I now accept that most things are not as important as society would have you believe they are and it is not my job to fix everything and everyone.

So, what about all those “crabby old ladies”  I’ve met in the past?

You’ve heard, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”? Well, this is a perfect example of that. I thought these women were angry, bitter, standoff-sh and crabby. I now understand that they were really kind, wise people who had learned some important lessons in life and had adjusted their behavior accordingly. They had an understanding that gave them a disinterest in the inane. They no longer felt compelled to participate in the world’s  petty nonsense or to try to do things for others that they should be doing for themselves. They were content to live quietly and walk humbly with their God.  If others see them as crabby old ladies because of that, so be it. If they see me as one, that’s okay too. After all the hard lessons I have had to learn to get here, I’m  just happy to count myself among them.

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©God’s School of Life (Marcy Lapinsky) All rights reserved. (Photo credits as written)

Too busy, Too Lazy or Something Else? (Getting to what is important)

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Where does the time go? My last blog post is dated September 6th. In it I said I needed to get down to business and start writing on God and other spiritual subjects. I meant it. Sadly, it never happened. Why?

I keep wanting to blame life. You know what they say, “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans”.  There is a lot of truth in that. In my defense, I was very ill for a week  or so between writing that post and this one. I even ended up in the ER as a result. I wont even talk about how sick the medication I had to take for 10 days made me. You get the picture.

But what about the rest of the time I had to get started and didn’t? Well, my next excuse involves blaming other people. “If I didn’t have to do this for him, if I didn’t have to do this for them, I would have more time to write”. Sounds good, right?  Problem is, it is not true. Not totally true anyway. Sure, I was sick and I had to do a lot of things for other people. That’s all true, but, if I am honest, I had time to write, but I didn’t, so that puts us right back to the question, “Why?”.

I’ve even accused myself of being lazy but then remembered that I am not generally a lazy person. After all, I’ve been running around doing all sorts of things. That is not the hallmark of a lazy person. It can’t be that, so what is it?

Then the answer came:  I don’t know where to start!

You see, the subjects I want to write on are not two paragraph blog post subjects. They require thought, organization, scripture proofs, historical proofs/references…that type of thing. They are not something you can sit down and type up in 15 minutes. We are talking serious thinking and working. It feels overwhelming.

Then there is the question, what subject do I even start with? There are so many of them and none of then are easy topics to discuss thoroughly.

Here, allow me to list some of the subjects I would like to discuss and you will see what I mean.

1) Is God really Sovereign? If so, what does that mean for us?

2) Is  there such a thing as free will and, if so, how does it fit in with God’s sovereignty?

3) Who is God and what is He doing?

4) What is the meaning of life? Why are we here?

5) Did we exist before we were born on earth? Did we choose to come here? Are we the prodigal sons of the Bible?

6) Is reincarnation real?

7) Is God enough? Is He all you need?

8) Is there a hell?

9) What happened in 70 AD?

10)  What is grace? Do we have to act a certain way to get into heaven or is believing that Jesus is the Son of God enough?

11) Do we need to go to a church? What is the church?

12)  Are God’s Kingdom and Heaven two different things and have people been confusing the two?

13) Why are people so lonely?

14) Are Christians supposed to fit in this world?

15) Is our life planned out for us?

Okay. I think that is enough to give you an idea of why the task of getting started is so overwhelming for me. But, excuses aside, I am here.  I’ve made a partial list of subjects. That is a start.

You may wonder why is this so important to me? If it is so hard, why do it? I can answer that for you. I need to do this because, at my core, this is what I care about the most. This is what brings me joy and excitement and makes me get out of bed in the morning. This stuff is what has gotten me through some awful times in my life. This is what gives me hope. This is all that matters to me. Yes, I love my family, friends and pets and I enjoy my hobbies. But, those things are all imperfect and temporary at best. The loss of several close family members, either through death or bad behavior I refuse to be around,  the loss of beloved pets, the loss of health, the change in our society/world, have all proven that to me over the last few years. People/Things cannot be counted on. Those things are not what life is about. They are not supposed to be our everything. God is.

God and heaven are more real too me in some ways than anything on this earth. Because of that, I want to share what I have learned so far in my journey  so that I can possible help others who are struggling. In the process I will also be helping myself by reminding myself of all this wonderful information and the Being behind everything that we see and hear and experience  and that is important because, without that, I am miserable.

So, here I am, overwhelmed, but ready to start this part of my journey. Writing this post is a step. A tiny step, but a step. Time to take a deep breath, say a pray for help and get moving.

 

 

©God’s School of Life (Marcy Lapinsky). All rights reserved.

 

You may be leaving me

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Hello. I hope everyone is doing well out there. I have had an insane couple of weeks, so I have been missing from my blog for a while. Sorry about that. I won’t go into all the details, but lets just say I am happy to finally have a few minutes to sit down and write.

Though I have been crazy busy (and ill on top of it), I have been trying to get caught up on reading all the blogs I subscribe to. In the process, I once again became inspired by what I read. Best of all, I become inspired to finally get started on blogging about what I originally set out to blog about: God and Biblical Truth, with a bit of my life thrown in here and there. You see, I never wanted this blog to be about me. I wanted it to be about my spiritual journey and all the wonders of God’s plan that I have learned about over the years and years of studying I have done. So why haven’t I done that yet? Let me explain.

I have already mentioned in previous posts that I am not a “typical” Christian. I don’t follow any church’s doctrine or creeds. I follow Biblical Truth as shown to me by the Holy Spirit, and some of that truth is far from what they teach down at the church on the corner. I have found that the Bible contains things the churches either don’t know is there or, worse, things they know are there but choose to hide or ignore because it doesn’t fit their agenda and beliefs. So what if God said it in the Bible..if it doesn’t fit in with what they push on their congregations in order to get their loyalty and money, then they don’t want to hear it or teach it.

I also found that, should people dare talk about such things, they will often get accused of being in danger of losing their salvation, being influenced by satan, or teaching heresy.  I have had all of those accusations, and more, thrown at me over the years. At first I tried to believe that these people had my best interests in mind and excuse their words and behavior, but many of them were just cruel, judgmental and nasty and were hard to excuse. It took a while to realize that they were not really trying to help me by “correcting” me, as they claimed, but were actually trying to defend themselves and their own beliefs. They were trying to make themselves feel better and, boy, were they far from Christian in their methods! It was often very unpleasant and draining.

That being the case, I wanted to hold off getting into the deep stuff..the serious stuff..the controversial stuff  on this blog until I had been doing it for a while. I didn’t want to risk chasing people off and having to deal with people who wanted to argue, at least not until I had been here for a while, my personal life settled down, and I had enough blog followers to make it worth the effort. Then it hit me between the eyes. This isn’t about me. This isn’t about waiting for the right time and better conditions. This isn’t about the number of followers I have. This isn’t about me trying to avoid discomfort and rejection. This is supposed to be about putting out God’s Truth as I understand it today, today. Not next year, next month or tomorrow. Today. Now.

Yes, people may leave me. They may stop following my blog and they may call me names in the process. You may be one of them and I have to accept that. After all, I have learned that it’s not me that people are rejecting. It is God’s  Truth. If some are at a place in their journey where they cannot understand  or agree with what I am saying, then they will walk away, and that’s okay. It is not their time. Those seeking truth, those whose time has come, will stay.

Am I saying I have all Truth? No! Am I saying that everything I believe is 100% correct? No! But, I am saying that I have had some interesting studies and have learned some fascinating Truths and I want to share what I know so that others may be inspired to take up the study of the subjects and so those who may know more about it than I do may be able to help me learn more too. It’s a win-win situation to me. But, as you know, it is never that easy. There will be people who leave because they think I’m nuts or satanic and they will tell me so in not so nice words. There will be those that try to “save” me by calling me names and accusing me of some awful things, and there will be those that just attack me for some unknown personal reason/satisfaction.

Part of the problem is that so many people just cannot understand or accept that we are all on a spiritual journey here and we are each at different places on that journey. We are all in God’s school, but we are in different grades. Our individual learning is at a different place than that of any other, and that’s okay. That’s the way its supposed to be.  Some know that. Some refuse to even consider it. If their brand of church doesn’t teach what someone else believes, then it’s wrong, and they refuse to discuss or even think about it. Worse, they go on the attack.

I can’t control that and I can’t allow that to control me. I am going to start writing about some of those controversial subjects. If you leave me and my blog, I wish you well. We will meet again another day, another time, another place. If you stay, lets celebrate this thrilling journey of learning we are on together and see what God has to teach us.

Either way, God loves you, and that is the biggest and best Truth of all.

©God’s School of Life (Marcy Lapinsky) 2018 (Photo from free photo library)

 

 

 

 

Am I ashamed to be a Christian?

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This morning I read part 2 of a good, honest post by a blogger that I follow and enjoy. His posts are often touching and, most often, thought provoking. In this post he admitted that he doesn’t like dealing with other Christians because they have let him down in the past and he didn’t even know if he considered himself a Christian any more.  Let me tell you, that brought up some thoughts and feeling for me. You see, I am ashamed to admit I am a Christian.

Now, pick your jaw up off the floor (or yourself, if you fell off your chair) and hear me out. This world we live in very much looks down on people who believe in God. Believers are considered ignorant and  gullible. Being a human being who, like all other human beings, likes to fit in and be accepted, that is hard enough to deal with. No one likes to have other people thinking they are stupid.  But I deal with it.  I will admit I believe in God and that I believe that Jesus was/is His Son. That is not the main problem for me.

My issue is with admitting I am a Christian. No, I don’t feel that way because I’m ashamed of Jesus or of believing what He taught. I am ashamed to be lumped in with what the world thinks of as a Christian. Look around you. REALLY look. The TV is plastered with a bunch of lazy people claiming to be ministers, preachers, what ever you want to call them, who have never done a lick of work in their lives. They are dressed in designer suits/dresses, living in mansions, having affairs and being dishonest while getting up on a stage and telling everyone else either what they want to hear or how they should be living…all so they can collect money from them. Then there are the churches on the corner. Are most of them any better than the televangelist? I don’t believe so. They often have ministers who do nothing but preach a 20 minute sermon once or twice a week, all for a full salary, retirement plan and health insurance. Their main job? To collect money of course.

The last church we tried collected for 3-4 different things every Sunday. It was ridiculous. Worse, they were giving to charities that were not responsible with the money and they were getting involved in constant silliness, all in the name of the “helping”.  Helping who? Crooks? Lazy people? All you ever heard from the minister, who taught one 15 minute sermon a week (all for a salary bigger than my husband’s and health insurance, which my 50 hour a week working husband doesn’t have because we can’t afford it) was, “We are collecting for this, We are collecting for that”,and then they had the cute kids come around and shove a can in your face to get your money. We quit before we went broke or our heads blew off from frustration and disappointment.

Then there are the “Christians” out there. So many are in your face judgmental, hypocritical busybodies.  Always telling people they are sinning, not doing this right, not doing that right. Gossiping about others. Shoving religious tracts in people’s faces (even people who are already Christians! They don’t bother to ask first, they just assume you are a heathen and shove one at you). You name it,  they have all kinds of rude, offensive behavior. But they claim they are doing it all in an effort to save people. Ha! I’ve seen more people turned off of Christianity by these people than I’ve ever seen brought to it. Who in their right mind would want to sit next to these people in a church week after week? Not me!

You see, the “real” Christians are not in your face. They aren’t advertising themselves. They are doing their best, with God’s help, to live loving, productive, kind, Christ-lead lives. They stand out, in a good way, because they are refreshingly different.  You know one when you are around one. No mistake. But those people are rare and the problem is,  you will not be lumped in with them when you tell someone you are a Christian. No. Instead, you will be lumped with the loud mouthed, rude, hypocritical  self- proclaimed “Christians” that the world sees and hears and despises. They assume you too are an ignorant jerk who just wants to put them down. THAT is why I am ashamed to say I am a Christian. I feel so strongly about this that I’ve even started explaining to people, to who I have admitted to being Christian, that I am not “one of those Christians”. I actually feel the need to give a disclaimer!

So, right now, I do not attend a church building, but I am not concerned about that. After all, the Christians ARE the church, not some building. I also don’t need some lazy person who went to some seminary that taught them THEIR version of the Truth to teach me their version of the Truth. Teaching the Truth is the Holy Spirit’s job:

1 John 2:27  But the anointing which ye have received from Him abideth in you, and ye have no need that any man teach you. But as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him.

Please understand, I am not saying that EVERY single minister/preacher is a lazy crook. There are always exceptions. But, they are just that, exceptions.  I am also not putting all Christians down. I fully realize that NONE of us are perfect and that we all offend someone else from time to time without even trying. It’s part of being human. But I do believe that aggressive, judgmental, unthinking, often hypocritical  “Christians” have given Christianity a bad name in a world that already wanted nothing to do with us.

So, no, I am not actually ashamed to be a Christian. I am ashamed of what people THINK it means to be a Christian. I don’t want lumped in with the “Christians”  who hurt and discourage people like the blogger I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, but, it happens everyday and it is a big problem that I don’t know how to solve. For now, I will keep looking to God for help, wisdom and guidance, while concentrating on correcting my own short comings, (after all, the only person you can change is yourself), knowing that all is safely in His hands.

What are your thoughts?

Article ©God’s School of Life (Marcy Lapinsky) 2018. Photo from stock.

I’m Back!

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Yes, I’ve been gone for a while and, yes, I didn’t know if I was going to come back. I had some things I wanted to think through. Serious things. Things like: Do I really want to blog? Does anyone even read what I write? Does it/should it matter?  Do I get anything from blogging on a personal level? I’m I looking for a stage…a platform….to get attention on or am I really trying to just share my experiences and thoughts, and hopefully in the process, help someone else along life’s path? Am I afraid to really put myself out there? Am I ashamed of who I am and what I have to say? Do I think I’m not good enough or important enough to have anything worthwhile to say? On and on.

I think you will agree that those are some pretty heavy questions to ponder. But, ponder I have, and I’ve come up with some interesting thoughts and conclusions.

I enjoy writing, so, yes, I enjoy blogging. Problem is, I don’t like wasting my time and energy. As a result of that I thought, if no one reads what I write, what is the point of writing?  Isn’t it a waste of time?  Well, no. It is not a waste of time. It’s a proven fact that we benefit when we put some of our thoughts and feelings down on paper. It helps us to process things more clearly, efficiently and thoroughly. Writing also helps a writer better her/his craft. We get better at anything with practice, right?  so, it looks like blogging is personally beneficial to me.

Am I looking for attention by blogging? Yes and no. I really do want to put my experiences down so they could possibly help other people. That is not looking for attention. On the other hand, I am a human being, and as such, I want to be heard. We all want to be heard. We all have something to say, but some of us are afraid to say it. We’ve been put down, ignored, laughed at…you name it…and that makes us want to keep things to ourselves. After all, who are we to have anything to say? I’ll tell you who we are. We are people. And as a person, every single one of us has something worthwhile to say. You can’t make people listen. You can’t stop them from laughing or ridiculing you. That is true.  However, should that stop us from saying what we have to say? I don’t think it should. Allowing rude, ignorant and unfeeling people to stop us from sharing who we are is allowing them to win, and people like that should not win these kinds of battles. There are too many people out there with great things to share. We can’t allow the Negative Nasties to stop that. We all need to say what we have to say no matter how the jerks of the world feel about it. Don’t get me wrong, human beings can also be self-serving and egotistical. We like positive attention, complements, etc. That can be carried too far. But, mostly, I think we just want to share ourselves with others and have some meaningful conversations.

After I came to these conclusions, I went for it. I mean I didn’t just peek out of my shell, I threw the sucker off. I finally opened my arms to the possibilities. I opened an Etsy store to sell vintage items and, eventually, my art work. After all, art, like writing, is meant to be shared, isn’t it? (Plus I love vintage stuff!) Opening an Etsy shop is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time but told myself every excuse in the book why I shouldn’t. You know what I mean: Your art isn’t that good. No one will buy your junk.  It’s a waste of time. Etc. I finally stuck my tongue out at that and went for it. (As well as selling stuff on eBay that I can’t put on Etsy).

I also finished a children’s book based on a character I have been doodling since Jr High School. It’s at the Copyright Office right now getting reviewed and copyrighted. If all goes well with that,I plan to send it to some publishers to see if anyone is interested since several people have pretty much insisted that I would be nuts if I didn’t do so. If no one offers to publish it, I may publish it myself. In any case, I finally wrote and illustrated my book thats been in my mind for years.

I also had an article published on Ezines. That was another thing I wanted to try but kept talking myself out of. But, I did it!

I started a YouTube channel where I do relaxation videos (ASMR videos). I plan to add a comedy channel soon.

So, as you can see, my break for pondering paid off. I finally figured out what I wanted and accepted the fact that I was worth the effort of going for it. I’m finally actually participating in the world instead of hiding from it.  Yes, my friends, I’m back. I’m back in the company of my fellow bloggers who are trying to improve the world one thought, one word at a time, and I’m excited.

God bless.

Article ©2018 God’s School of Life (Marcy Lapinsky). __________________________________________________________________________________________

If anyone is interested:

Etsy shop: MarcysArtandVintage

YouTube channel: Peaceful Paper ASMR

eBay: seller name tesmom

Ezine name: Marcy Lapinsky

 

 

Is Blogging for me?

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I need to ramble a bit today because something is bothering me…a brain niggle, if you will. Let me start by saying that I am fairly new to blogging. I had tried it very briefly about a year ago but stopped after just a few posts. I had several reasons for doing that, the most important being an ongoing family crisis that took a lot of my time and energy. But there were more reasons, and one of those reasons is niggling in my brain again. It’s that niggling question that I want to discuss today.

Is blogging selfish? Is it just a different version of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, where everyone is vying for everyone else’s attention and approval via likes and posts? Is it a means of trying to get attention from people who are, in turn, too busy trying to get attention for themselves to give you any attention.

I just did a quick Google search on the number of blogs on the internet. According to the page I reviewed, in 2014 there were over 78 million WordPress blogs alone. Over 78 Million! And that’s just WordPress! After I saw that, I didn’t even bother reading further. That’s all needed to see. On WordPress alone, there are over 78 million people trying to gain everyone else’s attention. Some are marketing and selling things, of course, but a lot of them are just your average run of the mill blogs…electronic diaries, if you will, where people tell everyone their thoughts, feelings and opinions about anything and everything. Why are so many people willing to open up their lives and hearts to perfect strangers? Why do they want to? Why do they have to? And why do they expect people to actually be interested?

Personally, I think one reason we blog (and do social media) is that we live in a lonely world. Though we have all the advances in communication that we have, we are lonelier than we have ever been because we are cut off from each other. Ironically, those advances are part of the problem! Instead of calling friends and getting together with them, we sit on our phones, computers and gaming systems, often updating our social media with more news about ourselves. There is no real, worthwhile interaction with other people because we have become a society  of people too wrapped up in ourselves to bother.

Human nature is inherently selfish. Don’t believe me. Ask God. The Bible clearly says so and He made us and knows us intimately,reading our every thought, so He ought to know.  No, it’s not a pleasant thing to have to admit about ourselves, but it’s a fact none the less. It’s also a fact that all of this social media and all the blogging host sites we have available have given us platforms for this selfish nature to exhibit itself to the world, often in rather sad and pathetic ways.

When I was on Facebook (I’ve been off of it for years), I was amazed at the inane stuff people used to post just for some attention and validation. One person used to post pics of every meal she made. This was not some gourmet chef or cooking school student showing their latest creation. It was just a woman cooking  for her and her child. Nothing special. But there was a photo of the meal on screen, three times a day. Another person used to post pictures of herself sitting on the bus on the way to the doctors, sitting in the doctor’s waiting room, waiting in the exam room, etc. Again, nothing special, just a person with a chronic illness that felt the need to share every single detail of it. And I mean EVERY single detail. Everyday, all day, she was on there posting things obviously meant to solicit attention and pity. In one sense, it was sad. In another, I hate to admit, it was irritating because she clogged my feed up with a huge volume of posts.

Now , lets digress for a moment and talk about some more nasty human nature being exhibited online: constant arguing.  You can’t even make an innocent comment on your own Facebook or a YouTube page (I never had Twitter and such) without someone having to come and argue with you about it. It doesn’t even  need to be about politics, religion, or any hot topics like that. It seems that there are just a lot of people out there just looking for arguments and they will use any and all opportunities to start one.  This problem is so rampant, I just deleted my YouTube channel, again, because I want to keep myself from commenting on videos so I don’t have to be bombarded with all the jerks responding to it. I don’t have the time and energy to deal with these people. I’m just not interested. Worse, sometimes, I can be one of those jerks. I’m not proud of it, but there it is.

Okay, so its obvious I think social media stinks, but what does that have to do with blogging? Well, I think they are very similar. As I said, social media consist largely of people screaming for attention with their posts and pics. They want your likes and positive responses (or a good argument that makes them look clever and smart…or so they think it does).  With a blog, you write about whatever you want, expressing YOUR thoughts and opinions and…what? You want people to notice it. You want people to like it. You want people to follow you.

What’s wrong with that, you may ask.  Maybe nothing. Maybe something. Maybe its just a sign that we want to be heard.  Maybe we don’t have people in our lives to discuss this stuff with, so we tell it to the world instead. Maybe we think we know it all, and everyone else is entitled to our opinions.  Maybe we want compliments, likes, and followers to boost a sagging ego. Maybe  we want to share our experiences so we can help others.  Maybe we want to connect with like-minded people. Maybe its a mix of those things or other things. Only you know the reason YOU blog, if you do. I’m trying to figure out why I want to blog…or even IF I want to blog. I don’t want to be one of the desperate people shouting for attention. I don’t want to give my selfishness and self-centeredness a platform.

Along those lines, something interesting happened recently. I participated in a blog party for the first time. People jumped on there, as instructed by the host, with brief descriptions of themselves and their blog, and a link for others to check their blog out. The whole thing felt selfish and desperate to me. It seemed like everyone was yelling, “Here I am! Check out MY blog!”, but few people seemed genuinely interested in anyone else’s blog. They were using the party as a means to try to get more followers but were not really interested in looking for any to follow.

In some ways I get why people may not be looking for more blogs to follow.  I wake up every morning with an inbox full of wonderful blog posts from people I follow. Unfortunately I don’t actually have the time to read all of them! You only have so much time in the day to devote to reading other people’s blogs. That’s understandable. But, everyone else has the same limited time, yet people think that others should be willing to follow and read their blog even though they do not intend to reciprocate. It feels off to me…like a kind of sick and sad game of sorts.

On the other hand, I’ve seen many blogs that already had thousands of followers. Problem is, there is very little actual activity from the followers…relatively few likes and comments. What is the point of being followed if people aren’t actually reading/interacting with your posts?  Writing blog posts takes time and effort. What’s the point if no one reads them?

That leads me back to my niggle. WHY do I want people to read what I have to say? If it really is to help people, and meet like-minded people,then I guess I need to trust that God will send the right people my way, and just keep writing no matter how few readers there may be. If it’s for attention and a soap box to pontificate from, then, as a Christian, I need to not be doing it. Being a human being, it’s difficult to sort all that out to get at the truth. Blog or don’t blog, and why? That is the question(s).

 

Living MY Life/LIVING My Life

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I don’t know about you, but when I get on my computer, the first page that appears is the news feed.  The internet company I use automatically sets it as my home page.  I guess they think they are helping to keep their subscribers up to date with the latest news. Sadly though, most of it isn’t real news at all.  Worse, the “news” in no way contributes positively to my life. How could it? There are slanted political articles (what use are they if they are lies?),  the latest in celebrity/royalty happenings (what effect do these have on my life?), and, of course, article after article about disasters (none of which affect anyone I know and most of which I can do nothing about).

Sometimes I am able to ignore the news feed and move right into whatever I had logged on to do. Other times, for reasons I still haven’t completely figured out, I feel like I HAVE to scroll through it…and that is ALWAYS a mistake. Inevitably I end up either angry, depressed or both, and it ruins hours of my day. I find myself feeling sad about all the suffering I can do nothing to alleviate, I get angry at all the lies we as a society are fed for the benefit of someone else’s wallet (after all, in the end, that’s what’s behind it all), and I shake my head at the fact that so many people get so wrapped up in celebrity goings-on that have no effect on their lives. But then I come back to asking myself, Why are YOU reading this stuff?

This is not a new question for me. I found myself asking this same question years ago when I was on Facebook and feeling very frustrated by my desire to constantly check it even though what I read on there left me feeling angry and depressed because the same thing was going on there then, as is happening in the news feed now: people were constantly talking/posting about celebrity nonsense, fighting over the latest political lies, or trying to make themselves look like their lives were a lot better than they really were (more lies). None of it ever lead to anything good for me. None of it. And I know I am not  alone in that.

So why, as a society, have we gotten to this point? Why are we spending hours of our short lives reading garbage that doesn’t contribute to our lives in any positive way? It’s bad enough that there are so few intelligent, positive, uplifting conversations taking place, but, sadder still is the fact that I have no doubt that there is a lot of talent going to waste out there.  People are so busy wasting their time on the internet, in one form or another, that they are not putting time into developing their own talents and abilities. They are so busy following other people’s lives that they are failing to live their own. (I should mention here that I think that reading blogs and articles in moderation can be educational and enlightening. I am only referring to following other people’s lives via extreme social media use and the routine reading of celebrity “news” as a waste of time). I personally have come across several people who complained to me that they had no time for this or that because they were VERY busy and overworked…yet I would find them posting on Facebook all evening long. They were busy alright, but not for the reasons they would have you believe. And I find that sad. Not only have these people deceived themselves, but there are potential musicians, artists, writers, athletes, photographers, etc. whose skills are never going to come to fruition because they are too busy with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and news feeds to develop their skills.

Why is this happening? The answer to that question is beyond the scope of this blog. During my research on this subject I found that there are several theories out there about it.  Some of them were quite complicated, others fairly simple. I don’t know if any or all of them are correct. However, no matter what the reasons are behind our obsession, the one thing I did take away from my research was the fact that there is only one person I am responsible for, and one person whose behavior I can change, and that is me.

Years ago, I got tired of frustrating myself with Facebook and I permanently deleted my account. Yes, I felt cut off and left out for a while, but, in the end, I’ve been much happier without it. That was over five years ago. Today, I have finally reached my limit with the news feed issue too. I’m tired of the bad effect reading it has on my mood and I’m  fed up with surfing through nonsense about other people’s lives instead of living my own. I have pictures to paint, books to write, instruments to play, horses to ride, books to read, walks to enjoy, and naps to take.

Yep, enough is enough. As the title(s) of this article indicate, I want to live MY life, not vicariously live someone else’s. I also want to LIVE my life, not waste it.  To help me do those things I am going to end my blog and figure out how to get rid of that news feed!

Note to self:

untwaste 2tled

Article ©2018 God’s School of Life (Marcy Lapinsky). Photos from free stock on Internet.