Beyond Blue

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I have been sort of dreading this day … when Beyond Blue reader Doxieman got a life and wouldn’t need Beyond Blue or Group Beyond Blue so much. Darn it. This means my page views will surely be down in 2009. At any rate, I wanted to congratulate him on his very wonderful life right now and tell him publicly how how much I appreciate his service and dedication to Beyond Blue and to Beliefnet in general. You rock, Larry, and I’m so happy to see you so happy! Here is Doxieman’s newest blog post which explains his new year’s resolution: less Beyond Blue!

I referred to the Third Habit of Stephen Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” in my last post — “first things first.” Covey clarifies this by saying that you must avoid the danger of putting the urgent (the short-term) before the important (the long-term).

And I’ve realized, sadly, since I’ve been in Miami, I may be doing just that.

Beliefnet and Beyond Blue have been an incredible support arm for me for two years. Therese Borchard in particular is an amazing, amazing woman. And recently, longtime Bnet member Lapatosu reminded me she had first “met” me online during the floods in New Brunswick, New Jersey in early 2007.

We joke on the Beyond Blue social networking group about what’s going on in the group versus what’s going on “IRL” (in real life).

When online support groups help you deal with real life, they are engaging — indeed, a life-saver — lifting us at least temporarily out of crippling depression.

And I will resolve to do the same.

But when they intrude on real life — when real life is already bursting with activity and needs and wants, and the genuine enthusiasm you feel online nevertheless sometimes feels like a misplaced obligation compared to the joyous if hectic other obligations in your life — well, Covey’s admonition comes to mind.
And in the spirit of “first things first,” trying to get used to a new city, to living with a woman who like me is used to being without adult companionship, to finding a new job, and not least becoming a stepfather figure to two slightly skeptical teen-age boys, I have to make a sad but determined New Year’s Resolution — to reduce my involvement in Beliefnet, probably considerably.
Call it another cutback in the economy (LOL). But it probably means you’ll only get the Doxieman Blog twice a month instead of twice a week; that my pop-ins on Beyond Blue will be 20 minutes instead of two hours; and that in general I need to keep Ana and the boys foremost in my attentions.
Don’t get me wrong — if I need support, I’ll be there. I know where to go. And when I really have something to say, you’ll still see it on the Doxieman Blog.
But I realized how ridiculous the situation had become when I kept thinking of my goal of having 10,000 page hits for the 14 months from November 2007 to New Year’s Eve — and feeling a bit let down when the count petered out at 9,300 or so. I thought, how unhealthy is it to care about THAT?!?!
Yes, I know I’ve gotten blogging awards (which I hugely, enormously appreciate) both in and out of Beliefnet, but of course, I’m not getting paid for this (as even, albeit with a tiny sum, Therese is). Which doesn’t mean I can’t or don’t want to do it; it’s just that, in priority, I need to remember who will be paying me literally (my new job, from whence it may come) and emotionally (my new family). And they must come first.
They are the important ones.
Please don’t misunderstand. The people of Beliefnet are always important to me — very much so — but the process has increasingly become urgent, at least the way Covey defines the term.
And the number one rule we put on ourselves at Beyond Blue is to look out for our own mental health. Right now, I think this is what I need to do.
As for my SECOND New Year’s Resolution of 2009, in what will be a tough year for everyone due to the economy, I pray that all my beloved friends (and you are beloved, still and always) here on Beliefnet have the serenity to accept the things you cannot change, the courage to change the things you MUST, and the wisdom to know the difference.
We will miss you, Larry!
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