You’d Think I’d Know By Now

I recently received a comment about one of my posts, which I have let drive me crazy.  The person (whose blog I read regularly and enjoy – particularly for the  fabulous photography) wrote candidly that he didn’t read my posts frequently because he found them “too sweet”.  Now before you say anything – this isn’t a referendum on whether he’s right.  He’s right – I’m not the type to disabuse anyone of their feelings and after obsessing about this for days now, I see his point.

I assure you I’m not all that sweet.  Well, I’m sweet, but I have as many snarky moments as the next person.  And I can be sarcastic.  And if you’re a friend or relative of mine, I can be an absolute lioness – with both chuffing and growling sounds perfected.  You get my drift, though believe me I could go on and tell you all the reasons why I can compete with the best provocateurs, devil’s advocates and cynics.  Just ask Andy.  But I digress (again).

What gets me is how much I let this thought consume me.   I have held onto this like Archie covets a new bone.  The circuitous breeze in my head blows relentlessly and none too gently.  “Have I become saccharine?”  “What do I want this blog to reflect?”  “Is it honest” “Am I still thinking like Pollyanna?” (answer to this question is  – yes).  “Do I have anything new to say or have I become Mimi One-Note?”  “How much do I want to put out there”  Of course, the answers change direction depending on the time of day, the state of my hair, and whether I have eaten recently.  As of this writing, I’ve decided that I’ve got to let it go.  Must be time for lunch.

I began this blog with a thousand different ideas about what I wanted it to be like and then zeroed in on a year’s worth of entries that I could print out and give to my sons – a somewhat morbid, but well-intended gesture for them.  I’m now well into my second year and I can’t see giving them a flippin’ tome, so what am I doing now?  Honestly, I have no idea.  Given that I’m a big believer that certain answers come with time, I’m giving it time and just moving forward.  What I do know is that I’m as transparent as I feel I can be.

On Monday we were out to dinner with friends of ours who have had a really challenging year.   Her son was diagnosed with a serious illness, she was just laid off for the second time in less than a year.  The company he works for is on the brink of going under.  And yet, there we sat genuinely aware that we were all beyond lucky.  First and foremost, her son is much, much better – and that offers a perspective like nothing else.  We live in far better circumstances than most people in the world.  We laugh – a lot.  We know love.  We’re more aware that the concept of happiness is not something that is a given, rather more like snatches of sunlight between the cracks in a day.  The key is in noticing those spaces.  I’m trying to look for them, choosing to find them.  I don’t want to miss my chances, for the weather changes with little warning.

Lately, I’ve been acutely aware of time speeding past.  When the hell did I become 59 when I still hold on to such immaturity?   I’m not ready to age-out of life just yet and would prefer to be in the game with some well-preserved naiveté and faith in a whole bunch of things that are bigger than me (note to David Kanigan – no height comments here, pal).  I’d rather be acknowledging the spaces in-between and delight when I find them.  Pollyanna?  You betcha – though I don’t do braids.

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87 thoughts on “You’d Think I’d Know By Now

  1. Be Pollyanna! I am a lot happier and cheerful on the blog in real life. I find nothing wrong with that because I’m still being me, I’m still honest and true… I’m just a happier version because I weed out all the wrong during the day, because I already lived it once… why do it again?

  2. You may be sweet…but temper that with a WHOLE lot of common sense, a bucket load of wisdom (and NOT because of age), a heart the size of the whole outdoors….and YOU my SK are MY kind of sweet treat! xoxo

  3. Your blog is a journey through life…..all the ups and downs AND encouragements. And that is why I enjoy it so much. It is good to know we are in good company on these walks. You are the best of company. Thanks for being you! ♥ hugs

  4. Thank you for the reminder, Mimi. It really is about the “snatches of sunlight between the cracks in a day. The key is in noticing those spaces.” Your message couldn’t have been better timed!

  5. Yes…you have to let that go. You can’t please everyone, so just be yourself. Those who love what you write will continue to read and that is all that matters. This poor old weary world could absolutely use much more sweetness…so if someone sees your blog in that way, then good for you.

  6. Mimi,
    I think it all boils down to what one chooses to focus on. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the blogs that contain mostly whiny, complaining posts. I spend enough energy managing that in my own mind! And I wouldn’t classify your blog as “Sweet.” You’re wise, kind, and full of life and that reflects in your posts. And I believe you when you say you can be snarky, too. We all can. I just don’t usually choose to share the snark with the world. That’s probably why I would never be a good stand-up comedian, although my close friends do think I’m very funny!

    I can see how a comment like that would sting, but I simply don’t agree with the comment. Besides, you’re the only person I know on the blogosphere who has been Freshly Pressed for a post about stinkbugs! 🙂
    All the best, my friend,
    Cathy

    • Laughing…Oh Cathy, yes, my claim to fame – the stinkbugs!! I forgot that ode (though I remain forever changed by their intrusion in my life..:-)). I share your view that sharing my snarkiness with the world is not my preference. There’s enough of it to go round. The trick I think is to make happiness less of a forced perception and gratitude less of a cliche. Thank you so much…hugs, m

  7. I have let someone who really shouldn’t bother me, bother me– but don’t let that comment make you rethink the way you do things–you are wise, funny, warm and intelligent and that is why I read you. I do not need any armchair cynics, or people who think that they are uber intelligent and think the rest of us do not make the grade because we do not make our opinions (I have strong ones and so do you) known. You are one of my favourite writers, and now good friend–and remember – Pollyanna had a bit of a crappy life, and if you really look at her, you will note that she was a pragmatist — she knew how to survive. Anyway, I could go on and on but I will not take up anymore of your time–other than to say- Mimi–keep being Mimi!

    • Ah LouAnn, how do I be anyone other than who I am…well, I was into musical theater in a former life, but I never struggled with assuming that persona as my own..;-) I laughed when I read your comment about our strong opinions (yes we do!!!). ANd at the end of the day, look at what this forum as given me – some friends who ‘get’ me and who I have truly come to love. And whether you show me your whole hand or only part – that which I see, is what I love…xoxox

  8. Mimi, maybe the individual that made the comment is actually not ready for the positive aspects of living. This isn’t really your issue to figure out, but his. Some are happy living in the shadows and not the light.

    • Maybe there is a lesson in there for this person Bill – but that isn’t mine to decide. I processed it with my characteristic neurotic insecurity and got to where I’m ok with it. I don’t think I can or want to change my approach to life…:-)

  9. Mimi–your posts inspire me–even as you yourself, do. You seem to have a formula that works very well for life–you are very interesting and intelligent, and I enjoy your posts as much as any favorite blog to visit–it never feels an obligation–if not THE most.

    I wish I could be so positive! And yes, our blogs are our shiniest, most idealistic side, often, but that’s good. That is positive energy flowing out into the world. I know i feel odd when I post a a darker post–and then think: maybe I should start a blog that’s a little less glossy–for those swearing moments, those grr moments.

    I always read your posts completely–something i can’t say about all those i visit, simply due to time constraints–but i always know I will read something to ponder here.

    • As I read your posts and marvel at your phenomenal talent and shake my head with awe…Thank you for the encouragement – but more importantly for feeling that I touch you in a way that parallels the way I am inspired by you..

  10. Wait… ‘sweet’ is a negative thing now? The sweeter the blog/blogger the MORE likely I am to read their posts. I say don’t do anything different! Just be you. If you’re sweet, then 999,999/1,000,000 people are going to love you. That one outcast just happened to find you and speak up. I have only just read a few of your posts, but so far I think your site is magnificent! Just do your thing. 😉

  11. To see life through your eyes these past two years has been and continues to be like unwrapping birthday presents every day. Happiness is a choice. Certainly it is easier for some to choose it than others. Happiness and/or optimism becomes brighter when coupled with the acknowledgement of luck and the counting of ones blessings. I believe the roads the Karma Truck travels down bring all of you; the optimist, the pessimist -rarely, the snarky one( that’s a stretch), your wit and your comic timing, I could go on. Sweet yes. Happy yes. Real and genuine, yes. Sad moments, I’m sure there’ve been a few. And why not? At this point in time you’ve learned the life lessons and, being of the same age, finding the glass half full is so much more appealing. PS. I can do braids. 🙂
    To the moon and back

  12. Hurrah for Pollyanna thinking in a world that has become far to pessimistic. I believe, like you, that joy is a choice not bound by present circumstances. If we look, we can find the glint of good in every situation. Problems, difficulties, and trials of life can become life lessons that help us through the next wave that will come crashing in on us if we will let life teach us. We can become a great surfer and learn to ride the waves choose to drown in them. Thanks for lifting spirits every day to help others see the waves can be ridden.

    • Hi Richard – thank you. Coming from one as proficient with surfing as you, I still have much to learn. I honestly don’t think I can change who I am at this point, nor particularly want to. As long as I could respond to the question of honesty in the affirmative, it’s the best I can do..

  13. Echoing what others have said – yes, please just keep right on Mimi-ing around here as much as you’d like, and we will all keep reading. Your kindness, thoughtfulness and perspective light up this little corner of the internet, my friend. 🙂

  14. Mimi-above all else, you are a gifted writer. Honestly, you could write a farm report and I’d still read it just for your turn of a phrase, mental imagery, texture. But as it turns out the content is great too! For what it’s worth, I love you with all my heart and think many nice things about you, but “sweet” is not an adjective I would use to describe your writing. Keep on keepin’ on!

  15. i am with donnanddiablo on this, but i will mention two things
    a i have always loved pollyanna, seriously you ask my kids who run from the room whenever i threaten to put it on
    b i am the same and not only will i take to heart any comment give my blog a full autopsy each time but worse is when i write a post of which i am proud i always check as in refresh every thirty seconds checking to see if my fave people have read and liked it means more to me than anything and i am heartbroken if they don’t, mortally wounded
    c yup i can’t count ^_^ i love you mims and your blog so don’t go changing nothing unless you want to of course ^_^
    love n hugs mims xx

  16. Good for you! All of you, the said and unsaid! Okay to what he said, but so what? Not everything will appeal to everyone and this is a great example that some folks are not turned on by things that others deem good, sweet, up, positive, and happen to LOVE… okay, so to each his own. I second that last hug. Paulette

  17. don’t let that bother you for one more second, keep using your energy to find those sunny spots in life, there are far too many that are dark – keep on writing, we love your blog just the way it is ) beth

  18. Too sweet………some one can be too sweet…………….damn I didn’t know that, I wonder if I am too sweet or have a touch of Pollyanna syndrome………….maybe not…………..although I am sweet and something just ask anyone who doesn’t know me very well and they will tell you I am sweet……..are you sweet………….hmmmmmmmm………..yeah ya are………….and guess what I like that, do I think you are always sweet nope you may have a nasty streak when you are awoken at 2am by a barking dog that you want to get a gun and shut up…………..oh hang on that is me……………lol

    • Laughing…it was that shooting the barking dog at 2AM that gave you away Joanne – understandable though it may be!! And perhaps one can be too sweet – I don’t know – I think one can be if it seems disingenuous or forced. But I’m just going to go with the notion that I’ll keep on keeping on..

  19. It is much, much better to find sweet, love, and happiness in the cracks and spaces of life than not.

    I read your blog because first, you have a wonderful way with words – sometimes they melt and dance and other times they are heavy and thick, second because you do enjoy and comment on the small and ordinary in life – and really what is life but a stringing together of those moments, and third (although I suppose I could list more but the dinner is about 10 minutes from coming out of the oven and the boys are in the front yard mostly naked playing with water in the fading sunlight) you are honest and personable. You simply sound like a good friend.

    • I too think of you as a friend and a person with whom I would happily spend time just talking with…I appreciate greatly that you and I ‘found’ each other’s blogs – similar in that they are different snippets of life – whether with small boys, school, husband, pets – or later in life. I hope you let the boys play a little longer..the whole visual of summer light fading, little boys laughing and a watchful mom keeping her eye on them just resonated so..

    • David, really – don’t you know by now that if you hit your computer with a hammer it will not respond kindly to your future gestures? 😉 Happy you liked it – so happy you liked it. Though you did call me ‘shorty’ and I gave you specific instructions. Clearly I will have to be even more explicit when I speak to you in future posts. 🙂

  20. I understand it. I get your fixation. But your recent experience reminded me of what my grandpa used to tell me; if everyone is taking potshots at what you were doing and what you stood for, you were probably onto something good. Rock on. Dan

    • Hi Dan – thank you..I like your grandpa’s thinking!! Again, I don’t think this person was taking potshots – I think he was expressing his feelings and I respect that. I just was mad at myself for ‘fixating’ – I’m just going to take your advice and rock the hell on.

  21. hey, Mimi–your post has me thinking! Lots of thoughts and, unfortunately for you, I am going to go through them all in this comment 😉

    Firstly, wondering why the commentor felt the need to write in with something that could be construed as negative. You have every right to feel miffed. I haven’t been a part of the blogging community much longer than you, but I’ve found a blog-ettiquete of sorts where folks say supportive things or they don’t say anything at all. S’ok to have “constructive criticism” with those you know well, but what’s the sense of picking on near-strangers?

    Also, I don’t see the sweet thing. (Disclaimer: there was a girl in high school who did not like me because I was too positive. She had folks calling me Rose because I saw everything through rose-colored glasses. So I may not be the best to make this call.) To describe your blog, I’d use the words genuine, heartfelt, kind, generous, joyful (!), hilarious, transparent, curious, grateful. (though you could be an ax murderer for all I know 😉 ) But none of those mean the same thing as “sweet.” Not saying you aren’t sweet–just that that’s not what your blog conveys to me.

    And then echoing what everyone else has already said: Even if this commentor is right on with the “sweet” thing, you’re right on to keep on keeping on. Your job–the same job of anyone who is writing anything personal–is to put yourself out there. Any writer worth her salt gets negative reviews (not that a single comment would be considered that). That means you’re doing your job and making people think 🙂

    So glad to know you, Mimi!!! Your boys are so lucky to have a mom who loves them so much she leave pieces of her heart for them in writing.

    • I think you and I share a bias towards each other which I will do absolutely nothing to adjust (and I have to assure you I have no criminal record – other than getting high in college and shoplifting a tube of Bonne Bell lip gloss in jr high, I have led a remarkably legal life 🙂 )…I appreciate your thoughtful comments Liz/Rose and have a hunch I would have leapt to your defense in high school – for how many adolescents are even able to see the upside of life while they are in hormone and growing up hell?

      I really didn’t see the comment as a criticism though – I accept that this is his opinion. What I couldn’t stop doing was letting it run in a tape in my head instead of just doing the healthy thing – accept it as an opinion, and let it go. Ah lifetime neuroses is such a comfort in one’s renaissance – not.

      And I will keep on doing what I do – to whatever end. And at the outset it was all about those boys – it’s the way it always has been. What this blog becomes – well, it’s called the karma truck, so I guess I’m in gear without a GPS. So what else is new? I was never good with directions anyway. But I know for sure that I was very fortunate when our paths crossed..

  22. Hi Mimi

    As you know I love your blog, it represents many things that are true, pure, honest, funny, touching and yes… Sweet.

    Don’t change a thing unless it is the real Mimi that is changing because she wants to.

    So, when does the new fur baby arrive?

  23. Who doesn’t love Pollyanna? You are so much more than sweet and Mr. Whoever he is, has put up road blocks in his life by rejecting “sweet”. He is missing out on your intelligent, thought provoking inspiration. Your transparency is warm and is what makes us feel like good friends.
    What’s wrong with being sweet? My Aunt Kitty calls me that all the time and she means it as a loving compliment.
    I am happy that you let go of any doubt his comment provoked and that you shared it so we can all confirm that your blog is fresh, fabulous and even feisty and something to look forward to. You have many talents and writing and being sweet are only two of them. Here, here for being sweet! Xo Fran

    • If I’m in your league of ‘sweet’ Fran than I take that appellation with pride. I appreciate your comments as I always do. And I appreciated his candor also. At the end of the day, I am sure that I’m not everyone’s cup of tea – and I can delight fully with those with whom I share a similar perspective and bent. And if it’s sweet again – I’ll take that with a mega-thank you!! xox

  24. I am so jumping on this bandwagon, and say, What Rhonda said, What Paula said, what EJ said, what Amb said, What Tina said, what everyone said. That said. [see what I did there?!] your posts are so full of layers, and filled with depth, and wisdom.and an honest look at what so many of us feel but can’t quite find the words for. I cry often [and that is a compliment] so, hardly do I see you as Pollyana. Every now and then looking under the hood and check to see if everything is running correctly, and guess what, your engine is purring! 🙂 xoxo

    • Laughing…I think I could use a little motor oil…Whether or not these posts are full of wisdom, my friends are full of generosity and love. And if that’s the response to the blog – I’ll take it any day of the week – with immense gratitude…xoxox

  25. I am actually a little bit of a sticky-beak and so looked back to find the comment. I could not believe that this person not only found your posts supposedly too ‘sweet’ but also too ‘positive’.

    Let me think about that one.

    When I am feeling down a bit, what posts do I turn to to cheer me up – positive ones.
    When I am feeling Ok, what posts do I click onto to make me smile – positive ones.
    When I am feeling happy, what posts do I click on to help me dance – positive ones.

    Yes, it was his opinion. And it my opinion too. Your posts ARE positive and that is why I like them, love them. And that is why I get so much inspiration from them and you have made my day on so many occasions.

    Don’t let what he said bother you. Read the comment above from Todd Lohenry about using quotes and remember what I said about those quotes already contained within your pages. It is true.

  26. I SO loved Pollyanna when I was young.

    You’re not too sweet! You’re blogging about what you want to. I know, I know – you said this isn’t a referendum on whether the commenter is right, but it really is a strange reason to not read a blog. How bizarre! The only ones I don’t get into is cooking, cooking, cooking & nil else.

    • We all have our thing – and perhaps something that one perceives as too sweet – or saccharine is a turn-off. I get that. And perhaps this reader’s perception is that I’m just sickeningly sweet. To each his own. I am old enough to learn that I’m not going to be everyone’s cup of tea and not obsess about that. I just have to keep reminding myself that I can let it go. 😉

  27. I hate to know that you wasted an ounce of energy on being defined as “too sweet.” Why? Because I would have done the same exact thing…ugh. Someone at work once told me I was “too perky” on Mondays. I can’t explain how much that bothered me (sad, but true). After a long fight with myself I decided I wasn’t going to change my ways and pretend to be unhappy because it’s Monday….who really cares?

    • You’re right…this tendency to take each perspective so much to heart serves little purpose. Accept it and move on…(and I’ve been called ‘perky’ my whole life – I totally get it)..

  28. Good way to let someone know the real you! Of course, he could come over to my posts, too, and say the same thing! I like to be happy and positive. I find other posts, like yours, to make me “feel good all over! Thank you for doing this for us all!” I wrote my byline, “Relationships reveal our hearts.” I feel that you and your husband have a wonderful life, but I am sure it has had its pitfalls, setbacks, etc. You have to have mood swings and other cranky times, we all do! I enjoyed this and hope for the best for your friends’ son continued health upswing, also job circumstances, too. Everyone has to lighten up, sorry someone’s criticism said in nice terms, though, saying you are “too sweet” should not get you worried, dear!

    • Thank you so much…I think it was really indicative of how I let things get to me – even when that isn’t the intent. And I know I’m not alone with that!! As for your blog – it is terrific, and I enjoy every post I read – because it too makes me smile and feel good. And can one feel too good in this world? I don’t think so!!!

  29. This was quite a lovely compliment, thank you! I find the way you share so much, I am also a worrier, that I find commonalities between us. The nice part is the hopefulness you give to us. Since I have hopes of maybe a shorter time span shared with a special future someone, but I like having inspiration like you and your husband’s relationship to shine the light on the possibilities…

  30. I completely know where you’re coming from on this one. If I’ve got darker/meaner/snarkier thoughts running in my brain– I don’t want to turn that into a blog post. There’s already plenty of negativity out there — I’m not going to contribute to that page. Your writing truly inspires, and that’s the stuff we need more of!

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