Food For Thought: Life After Death (a.k.a. blogging is just a hobby)

Food For Thought

A lot of shit has gone down in the blogging world over the past month. I am not going to rehash it here. The key people in the main scandal know how I feel and where I stand. Suffice it to say, heated feelings reached an apex this past weekend, and Twitter blew up with finger-pointing, the blame game, and spawned some awesome discussions about the ongoing Superwoman complex that pressures women into feeling like they have to do it all.

The thing is that I just spent the last week saying good-bye to my father-in-law multiple times over. Funerals have a nasty habit of putting things into perspective in a rather abrupt manner. After four viewings, one funeral mass, and one chapel ceremony, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking and observing and thinking some more. Here’s what hit me with the brute force of a truck – all of this world is temporary. Whether you believe in God, Allah, Yahweh, reincarnation, the Greek gods, or nothing at all, life on this earth is fleeting. What matters most in this short, short life of ours is how others remember us.

You see, no one is going to remember that you wrote reviews for every single book you read. They are not going to care about how often you posted or even what you had to say on any given day. Really, the fact that you may have plagiarized a bit or didn’t finish everything you said you were going to do will never even cross one’s mind when it is all said and done. People will remember the actions rather than the words. How did you express your love of life? Of your family? Of your friends? Of your job? It will be in the random thoughtful notes you send or the selfless acts of kindness that mean nothing to you but everything to someone else that make the biggest and most long-lasting impression. It will be in the pictures you leave for posterity showing your joie de vivre. It will be in your tweets and texts and status updates on your good fortune and positive outlook. It will be in the legacy of strong values you pass down to future generations. This is how others will remember us, and this is all that matters.

I say this as a reminder not only to others but also to me that in the grand scheme of things, blogging is just a hobby. I have always espoused this idea, but I realize now that I never really lived by it. I never succumbed to pressure or felt I had to write reviews; I would let the website go silent if I had nothing to say. However, for over six years, I have never skipped writing a review for a book read. I have stopped reading the books I own in favor of the review copies I do still request (too often for comfort) and receive (just as often). I am not complaining. I loved every minute of it, right up until the point where I no longer do.

The perpetual blogging scandals have, quite frankly, gotten old. I dislike being associated with a community that cries foul loudly over every single “infraction”. In fact, I dislike this whole trend so much I cringe having to write or say the word blog. Frankly, I’m embarrassed to be considered a blogger. There are no rules to this hobby of ours, so why people feel the need to be the blogging police is beyond me. I love my website and I love what I do, but I do not love the blogging community as a whole right now.

Then there is the little issue of censorship. It seems that there are some people from my place of employment who not only read this little website of mine but have taken it upon themselves to complain about some of the things I’ve written to upper management. The last time I checked, there is such a thing as freedom of speech. I have never once published where I work, what we do, or any other identifying features. I may have expressed frustrations about certain situations, but I have never maligned the company. Yet, this is exactly what is being said to upper management. The latest is that I appear unhappy about work in general, and oh, I shouldn’t be allowed to listen to audiobooks at work because it sets a bad example for other employees. Frankly, I am shocked and very upset that someone would take my words out of context and try to get me into trouble – so hurt and upset in fact that I seriously considered quitting. Life, after all, is way too short for this, and if I can’t be myself and share my thoughts and feelings to my friends online, then why do it?

However, I am not going to quit. I am just going to take a few more weeks or so to collect my thoughts, recover from the past few weeks and start fresh. Most of the books I’ve read recently I will never review. I will send my thoughts to the publishers and may post them on Goodreads, but that’s about it. When I come back – and I will come back – hopefully all of this scandal will have blown over, and I will have recovered from my own grief and shock. Right now, I am just so very weary.

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – 23 February 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? Button

Hosted by Sheila from Book Journey, this is a weekly event to share what we’ve read in the past week and what we hope to read, plus whatever else comes to mind. To learn more about each book, just click on the book cover! Finished Last Week: Did Not Finish: So far, so good. Currently…

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – 16 February 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? Button

Hosted by Sheila from Book Journey, this is a weekly event to share what we’ve read in the past week and what we hope to read, plus whatever else comes to mind. To learn more about each book, just click on the book cover! Finished Last Week: Kate Alcott’s latest makes me want to watch…

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Sunday Reflections – 15 February 2015

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  There is sadness in the Shannon household this week, as Jim’s father took a turn for the worse and passed away early on Friday morning. For those who don’t know, my father-in-law was diagnosed with lewy body disease several years ago. Similar to alzheimer’s but not the same, rather than affecting one’s memory LBD attacks one’s grasp…

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Audiobook Review – Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie McGuire

Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie McGuire

Title: Beautiful Oblivion Author: Jamie McGuire Narrator: Phoebe Strole ISBN: 9781442374249 Audiobook Length: 8 hours, 13 minutes Genre: Romance; New Adult Origins: Mine. All mine. Release Date: 1 July 2014 Bottom Line: Nope. Synopsis: “Fiercely independent Camille “Cami” Camlin gladly moved on from her childhood before it was over. She has held down a job since…

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Book Review – My Sunshine Away by M. O. Walsh

My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh

Title: My Sunshine Away Author: M. O. Walsh ISBN: 9780399169526 No. of Pages: 320 Genre: Literary Fiction Origins: Putnam Adult Release Date: 10 February 2015 Bottom Line: Stunning debut; this will go down as one of my favorite books of the year. Synopsis: “My Sunshine Away unfolds in a Baton Rouge neighborhood best known for…

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Book Review – Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Title: Red Queen Author: Victoria Aveyard ISBN: 9780062310637 No. of Pages: 400 Genre: Young Adult; Fantasy Origins: HarperTeen Release Date: 10 February 2015 Bottom Line: Exciting and fun Synopsis: “Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silver-blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping…

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Audiobook Review – The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian by Andy Weir

Title: The Martian Author: Andy Weir Narrator: R. C. Bray ISBN: B00B5HO5XA Audiobook Length: 10 hours, 53 minutes Genre: Science Fiction Origins: Mine. All mine. Release Date: 13 February 2014 Bottom Line: This one is moving into my top ten all-time favorite novels. Synopsis: “Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first…

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – 9 February 2015

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Hosted by Sheila from Book Journey, this is a weekly event to share what we’ve read in the past week and what we hope to read, plus whatever else comes to mind. To learn more about each book, just click on the book cover! Finished Last Week:   Excellent. Stupid. Interesting. That sums up my…

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Sunday Reflections – 8 February 2015

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It has been quite the week – long hours, cold weather. Thankfully, we have one more week until the auditors arrive. There is an end in sight. I hope. The kids are settling into this semester nicely. Homework, practices, more homework, more practices. It keeps them busy. It keeps us busy. It was a rough…

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