Reading through old posts I can see so many cases where I let my anger or frustration leak out into the words on the screen and I think while it’s therapeutic for me it’s got to be spectacularly painful for those who read it, and therefore it’s discourteous. “Please read my blog and let me spit on you.”
I’m not alone in that. During the years that I read a wiiiide variety of blogs for aggregation purposes I spent a good 10 hours a day adrift on other people’s anger. Or frustration. Or sadness.
So much of what our politics is now is really a complex attempt to punish other people for making life difficult. A fair number of conservatives want people to pay for their mistakes by paying for food or children they can’t afford. A fair number of liberals want people to pay for their comforts by paying for food or children that other people can’t afford. Either way there seems to be more and more of an element of punishing to it. No one has it easy, but it seems from inside your life that sometimes everyone else has it spectacularly better off than you. No where is that more clearly said than in social media.
I find myself often mentioning the things that are hard about my life not so much to complain but to underline that in spite of the things that are good I do have struggles. It occurs to me that I feel like i should have to apologise for the good things, that I can’t say “hey, I love my life” without having to detail the cost of that life. In some ways this is good because social media is far too full of life-lovers who hide their consequences behind closed doors. In other ways it’s really bad. Because satisfaction and contentment are not things that are given to you. They’re things you work at.
I’m not good at working at things. I was born knowing how to read and ever since then I’ve eschewed the idea of practice. If I couldn’t pick it up and do it flawlessly after two tries then I just wasn’t going to do it. That’s a childish mindset and it took me 40 years to work on overcoming it. I’ve now been seeking out things that don’t come easily–drawing, for instance–and forcing myself to drill. Satisfaction has been the same way. In both cases I sit down in a quiet place and repeat the steps until my work looks like something worthy of foisting on people. That’s what this blog entry is. It’s me writing about how I’m trying to talk about being satisfied without feeling guilty about it. Something I still can’t do. I know that guilt is learned behaviour. Sadly it’s the only thing I really ever practiced until I turned 40.