I stole this from a commenter on my friend Corri's FB page. I instantly loved it. I also instantly took my inventory. I've been guilty of spouting off about something someone posted that they obviously enjoyed, and I poo-pooed all over it.
Some of it completely good-naturedly. Hockey for example. My people know I love hockey. I have a dear friend who, over the years, has given me a "workout" with hockey banter, each of us fans of rival teams. But I do admit I've been a pretty horrible football basher. I hate the game. I honestly hate everything about it. I have an equal disdain for basketball. Oh heck, let's just be real, shall we Pua? I hate ALL SPORTS. Except hockey. Hockey is awesome. :)
With this recent Pokémon craze, I was at first annoyed. But because Pokémon played such a huge role in my kids lives, I decided to peek in to the world everyone was going gaga over. The truth is, it's pretty awesome. I admit it. I have found myself out and about, on my morning walk, waiting for my coffee friends, running errands, waiting at a job interview, looking for Pokémon. I've been assimilated.
This, like any fad, is going to have its cheerleaders and its choir of detesters. It's what happens on Social Media. Everyone knows it. Something comes along, or someone posts their enthusiasm for something they enjoy, and there's always someone who wants to throw a raspberry at them. Again, I've been guilty of that. The difference now, I guess, is that I have some time to reflect on where I am in my life that I would let something effect me so profoundly. I'm unemployed.
With unemployment comes a level of depression. Well, if you're not supposed to be unemployed. Don't get me wrong, we won't be losing our home anytime soon. My husband is a wonderful provider. But the fact is, should he lose HIS job, we're screwed. I have no talent that anyone wants, really. I have no degree to fall back on. Everything I would bring in financially is put toward what would be our retirement. Let me tell you, that really isn't much. So, it can be quite scary. My husband is generous and doesn't make me feel bad, but I know me being employed would very much help. So, as the days go by and the resumes and interviews bring no fruit, it weighs on me. Then what happens is, I take my depression and frustration out on others. On Social Media. That makes me feel pathetic.
I decided at the beginning of the month, after not getting too many hits on jobs, and after getting more and more sad with the state of politics and news, and violence in our world, that I was NOT going to participate in negativity. I was not going to follow the normal cycle of letting things take me down. It's a very dark hole that I am easily susceptible to allowing myself to fall into. It manifests itself in me saying snarky, sarcastic, passive aggressive things in response to someone's joy. It's sad, and it's sick, and it's not me. I don't like it. It makes me feel crappy. I've also found it's my response for two things:
1. Jealousy. That's not something I'm proud of. But it's real, and it's true, and it's completely embarrassing. I hate this about me. Of all of my faults, and there are many, this one slays me and leaves me incapacitated more than anything.
I'm fat. So when my friends who watch what they eat and exercise do their thing, and post about it, I get all grumpy. Instead of cheering them on, I want to say something high-caloric in the snark department.
My house is falling down around us. There are so many things that need fixing that it's depressing. When I see friends getting new kitchens, new carpet, new floors, new landscape, I become a creature that goes well beyond the Green-eyed Monster. I simply ooze chartreuse. Again, it's not something I'm proud of. In fact, I can't even believe I'm sharing this now. A response of "Lucky you." is the most generous I can be when inside of me, a torrent of nastiness is happening. It's ugly. It's very ugly. I don't like this about me.
People seem to travel. A LOT. And they post lots and lots of travel pics to exotic places. Yes, we've been lucky with local trips to Mexico (which I love) and weekender cruises (cheap and close to home). But the last time I went home to Hawai'i was 6 years ago. I'm not whining. I AM grateful. Hell, my poor sister hasn't even had an actual vacation or gone anywhere for YEARS. But, I'm just being honest. I don't want to hear about trips all over the world. And I get monstrous when people say; "Just travel." Yeah? Seen my bank account? Wanna yodel in the canyon. STFU! Jealousy. It's ugly. I hate it.
You get my point.
2. This one is a doozy. Lack of understanding. Not lack of compassion. I'm overloaded with compassion and empathy, sometimes to my own detriment. The lack of knowledge of something. If I don't understand it, if I don't "get it", I tend to debase it. I know I'm not alone in that.
The result of these two things is that I risk hurting people I care about. Well, yes, it's true that most of my interactions these days are online. I'm not working, so I don't get out much. But there are people out in FB world that I care about deeply. Though we may live far apart and we don't see on another in everyday life, I care about them and their lives. Why is it then that I would be so quick to judge something they do that they get enjoyment out of, and say something mean about it? Do I feel better after? Does it give me joy when I know that if I don't hold my tongue and blurt my opinion of their "silliness", it could hurt them or make them mad?
I don't understand the face-swapping thing. It honestly grosses me out. I mean, to the point of physical illness. But, so many friends and family members are getting the biggest kick out of it. My world is full of happy nerds, musical freaks, over-the-moon grandparents, rabid dog-lovers (yes, I did that on purpose), vegans, meat-eaters, published authors, political enthusiasts (that's my nice word), creationists, scientists, ecumenists, geniuses, the list goes on and on, encompassing a myriad of life's wonders. Would I tell any of these folks to their faces that I think the thing that gives them happiness in this messed up world is stupid? No, I wouldn't. I don't. Well, okay, I confess I have said some pretty awful things to people who have bashed our President in hateful ways. But with regard to religion and politics, I only speak my true mind in the comfort of my home, in the safe company of my husband. Who loves me in spite of all of the ugly parts.
I decided recently, when I recognized that I was getting really depressed with this last round of unemployment, that I wouldn't bash people's joys. So, I've held my tongue on many things, and I've asked myself these questions when I want to set my fingers to commenting:
1. Is my friend excited right now?
2. Does this thing give my friend joy?
3. Will saying something shitty take my friend's joy away, or will it just make me look like a crappy person?
4. Do you WANT to hurt your friend's feelings just because you don't understand this thing that makes them happy?
5. Will your opinion enhance or detract from their joy?
I have decided to stay away from political posts, religious posts, and negative posts. I have decided not to fall into my hole of depression. I have decided to SHARE in joy, not take away from it. Don't think for one minute I'm not biting my tongue a lot. I am. But that doesn't mean I can't be a better person for myself. Because being a shitty person certainly doesn't make my depression go away.
That being said, all bets are off if you VagueBook. If you Vaguebook, I'll annihilate you. ;)