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Charlie's Strange and Happy World
...one page at a time
Why I Blog. 
blog
When I started blogging years back (in 2002, to be exact), I had no intention of making this anything except a journal. And not a regular one. I had almost no LJ friends for many years and had no thought that anyone but me (and maybe Marilyn) would care to read it.

But later on I became VERY ACTIVE here at LiveJournal! I had more friends, but aside from that, I was active in a number of communities. I wrote fanfic (which I've done most of my life) and shared it. I created icons to share. I managed (maintained) communities. I made tutorials on how to use Paint Shop Pro, which at the time was a very popular graphic software that many used (partly because it was so affordable).

Over time, keeping TRACK of the details of my life became more and more important to me. I've never kept a journal other than this blog, so when I wanted to remember what I'd done, I noted it here.

Later, this was a place where my friends and family could keep track of what I was up to. Especially when I got more and more busy with work and had less time to communicate with others.

And as age and memory issues came creeping up on me, this was a great place to remind myself of details, both important and not-so-important.

And I gained a bunch of VERY SPECIAL FRIENDS online -- many of them here at LiveJournal. People I feel I know really well. In many cases I know them better than people I see all the time in my day to day life. I care a lot about my LJ friends.

Because I really love how LiveJournal works, I was very active with the 'suggestions' community at one point. I wanted to help influence how LJ worked and how users were treated.

But I have to admit something that pains me: I've had a hard time in recent years keeping up with reading the blogs of my friends. It's NOT because I don't want to do that. But so frequently it's all I can do to post an entry for a given day. So, yes, it's true. I don't read and don't comment the way I used to.

I just checked my stats:
11,817 - Comments posted
13,002 - Comments received

That used to be FAR MORE COMMENTS POSTED than those received. But that's very much a sign of how my life has changed in the past five (even ten) years.

You could easily say that I could make a point to prioritize reading other blogs -- and you'd be right. It's always a matter of personal priorities, after all.

As it is, I nearly quit READING at all (meaning fiction and non-fiction) during this past year. And that's about as TERRIBLE as it gets for someone like me, who has been a crazed reader of books my entire life. I've rarely ever been reading fewer than five books at any given time since I hit the fourth grade. And that usually didn't count non-fiction (especially manuals of every variety).

When I got really SICK last year, I was pushed about as hard as I've ever been pushed. I realized I'd spent years not getting enough rest and enough sleep to function properly and stay healthy. So, yes, I've made rest/sleep a priority more than it's been in decades for me.

And, unfortunately, health issues have continued to take more and more of my time. It might sound crazy, but just my normal daily routine focuses a ton on my health. Getting up first thing every day and testing my blood sugar might not sound like a big deal. But just the amount of time I spend washing my hands during any one day takes far more time than it used to. Yeah, it sounds stupid to say that. But I wash my hands. I test my blood. I fix and inject my insulin. I wash my hands AGAIN before I insert my contact lenses. Just setting up my weekly medication/pills takes me a minimum of half an hour (usually longer).

I doubt I ever fully appreciated the extra time I had before all this. Hahaha. But there's no easy alternative that I can think of...

Obviously my work load has changed over the years, as has my level of responsibility. I used to find lots of time years back for writing up detailed tutorials/manuals/instructions/how tos (etc.) for the people I work with -- and for myself. And because many of my tasks are complicated, but only done infrequently, there's no other way to remember the steps. Again, my memory isn't what it used to be. Of course, I had a lot less to remember in the past! Hahaha. So maybe my memory isn't as bad as I think. I've been trying this year to go back to more of these detailed instructions. I want to be able to allow others to do as many tasks as they are able to do -- but I don't want them to tackle things they are NOT going to do correctly. In the long run, mistakes simply make more work for me to do.

By the way, that's WHY so many people have difficulty delegating their work. It's often easier to just do it yourself than to take the time to teach others how it's done. It sounds like a simple task to teach things. But it's not. Nobody learns the first time -- or even the tenth time -- you teach them. Many people don't take notes, won't use your notes (written instructions) and additionally can't remember things. I always attempt to be patient, but the fact is that there are only so many hours in a day or week. And work must get done and be done correctly.

I just spent part of today making corrections to the website when I discovered more errors there, for example...

I'm digressing.

Why do I blog?

Some days I have to fight myself to make an entry. Because I'd rather sit quietly and read. Or watch TV (especially mindless TV, just to relax). Or I'd rather sleep. Or do all the normal chores that keep a home running, like my laundry or housecleaning.

But I like having my blog as a reference. So it's mostly still for me -- and my closest friends and family members who have indicated they enjoy having it to read.

I always believed -- and I STILL believe -- that my blog was BORING AS HELL. It's not that well written. It contains a lot of personal details that aren't at all interesting! Like what we eat or things about my daily health and on and on. And I still can't believe ANYONE BUT ME wants to read the myriad of posts about my work! IT isn't interesting! Setting up Profiles on the Server is dull stuff! My battles using WordPress can't be worth reading, surely.

So I guess the real question is: Why do YOU read my blog???

I could easily make this blog private, I know, if it were just about me. Yet there are people who want to read it (or so they tell me), so I don't. In fact, I've rarely ever made any friends only posts in all the years I've written this.

I think I'll TRY and make a goal of spending time -- AGAIN -- reading my friends' blogs. But I don't know how that will go.

I have an account at Facebook, and rarely ever use it. The same for my Twitter account and my Instagram, too. I feel bad that I'm not better at Social Media, because it matters to me -- and I feel strongly that people should use it.

Of all these things, LiveJournal is my favorite and has been for many, many years. And so much of that is about my LiveJournal friends!!! In fact, I've felt really bad more than once when an LJ friend stopped being active here. I'm always hopeful people who 'disappear' will come back again someday...

As for my day, I had low blood sugar right after Marilyn got home. And issues with my IBS-C (I'm constantly dealing with constipation, as TMI as it is to bring up). Today the weather was in the 80's and it was uncomfortable in the house -- in fact I'm in a total sweat as I sit writing this. But I did do some laundry and some festival work.

Tomorrow I'm going to the office. We're starting up Staff meetings again (we always stop them during the actual festival weeks because we're so busy). There are several big events happening this coming weekend, as the festival isn't over yet. And Rich and I went back and forth today about the Press Release/News item for this weekend... Marilyn is doing the treadmill right now. Then we need to head to bed. Tomorrow is going to be a very busy day at the office.

On that note, you do matter to me. Please never think you don't! I need to find time to read your blogs. I need to comment more, like I used to do! I need to reply to the comments you write. I have no expectation that you'll treat me special, believe me. And I do value your comments more than I can say.

Life is very busy. I know something, somewhere has to give. I just can't figure out right now what that should be. Maybe less TV watching. But, you know, I find that very relaxing. And Marilyn and I really do need to find ways to relax...

I hope things are going well for all of you! More soon. Less wordy, I hope! Hahaha.
Comments 
June 20, 2017 (Tuesday) 10:44 am (UTC)
I have been on lj even longer and I miss the "good old days" when people were more active, but I am still here. I have met some great people on here. about 4 years ago, when Roy was alive we took a road trip and met some friends I had blogged with who were visiting here from Spain and met about 8 others in person I had blogged with for years. It was an amazing trip. My CPA, when I needed one, I met on here. I find everyones day to day life interesting, no matter what they do. I watch more TV now than ever since it is relaxing for me and keeps me company. The thing I miss the most is the give and take when I have interest in the lives of my friends and they don't respond. I feel maybe I got too personal, and I don't mean to, it just helps to know people better when reading their journals.
June 20, 2017 (Tuesday) 12:25 pm (UTC)
One of our best summers ever, meeting you and Roy. We are so happy and grateful that it happened.

You never get too personal...I love interacting here with you and others. I've been lucky and still have both old friends and new who, for the most part, carry on as of old.
June 20, 2017 (Tuesday) 12:43 pm (UTC)
Charlie, like Kathy, I miss the old days of intense interaction here but have managed to maintain a good group of people and we actually talk to each other.
:)
I read you because I'm interested in your life and am amazed at all you do in a day. But I do miss a good give and take. Anyway, health and work are two huge factors in not maintaining a lot of contact and I get that.

So do what you can, you know?

June 20, 2017 (Tuesday) 12:58 pm (UTC)
I too don't comment enough. I read all the blogs on my friends list on my phone but I don't like writing on the phone keyboard much..so often even if I'd like to write a comment, I tell myself: later, when I am on my computer...and obviously I forget.
June 21, 2017 (Wednesday) 12:12 am (UTC)
There are days it can be hard to keep up with it all.
The good news is that you can always go back and check things later...