That’s What It’s All About

Life is funny.

When I went to bed last Friday night, I had no idea that ten hours later, I would give up the old website. My daughter Miss SBG was tired and I laid down with her and darn it if I wasn't tired, too and even though it was 7:30 PM, I fell asleep. By 11:30, though, I was back awake and I knew it was going to be a long night. I tried to fall asleep, but I couldn't. I suppose if I had taken a sleeping pill, I would have soon drifted back off to sleep and things would have been just fine. But, I didn't and I had one of those dreaded nights -- awake, alone, and contemplating all that could go wrong with my life.

Living so far from work does take its toll. I spend time away from my wife and that little finkle dinkle of ours and while the arrangement does have its good points, I'd be lying if I said it was easy. It's not. It requires that I be very good with my time and that I be able to deal with the strain it puts on everyone. I like the job. It's a good fit for me. I am good at the job. It provides well for my family. My family (including me) likes to live here. Maybe some day there will be a different resolution, but for right now, we are where we are.

So anyway, I'm trying to figure out some things in my head early Saturday morning and it became clear to me that one thing I had to do was give up the site. I certainly enjoyed the site over the years, but I had come to a place where I didn't enjoy it anymore. And in the dark last Saturday morning, I could only think of one thing: it had to go. So, I went down to the basement and wrote "The End".

Looking back on it, the right way to do things would have been to reach out through the back channels before I wrote that and affected some orderly transition. I apologize for not doing that. I should have talked to brianS and some of the other folks and said, "Look. The site has to be transferred." In the middle of the night, sometimes we don't see everything clearly. I was right to end the old site. But, yeesh, is that how I handle things at work or with the family? I'd like to think not.

Anyhow, the one thing I wanted to make clear was that I didn't want the community to end. Knowing this community, I knew something would happen. And what happened was terrific. spookymilk picked up the reins, despite the fact that I knew that he had no idea how to set up a site like this. sean, however, did know what to do and he pitched in. In a couple of hours, the place was up and running and hoo boy, the new site is so much better than the old site. It's fast! I love it! So, just for the website performance alone, the new site is better. That's not the only thing that's better.

I'm better. I feel better about things. I wasn't spending that much time on the site anymore -- hell, I hardly wrote anything, but I was so tired. I just let everything that happened here get to me. The best thing about the site and the community was free flowing ideas and a certain camaraderie. But, I had gotten to the point where more and more, things that people said were making me mad. I would be pissed off about things, and that was just not the right attitude at all. What was that xkcd cartoon? The guy couldn't go to bed because someone was WRONG on the Internet. Heh. All of the great things that I had gotten from people at the site was being obscured by my growing sense that I needed to engage in every disagreement. I knew that I didn't want to do it. But, you know, I got into these moods where I couldn't let people say these things AT MY WEB SITE and not respond. After all, IT WAS MY WEBSITE. It was my website.

It ceased being my website a long time ago.

It was our website. It wasn't mine. The creative energy was coming from somewhere else, not me. When I got mad here, I began to feel like a troll and my negative energy was keeping the site down. Honestly, who gives a [redacted] about some of the stuff that I was arguing about? The "I'm right and you're wrong" attitude is what makes so many things in life less enjoyable, websites included. I owed it to everyone else to solve that negativity problem. I had to go for my sake and the site's.

My dad used to say when I was a kid that someday when we were older, he was going to come to our houses and trash them, just like we were doing to his. Even when I was a kid, I thought that was pretty funny: the idea that Dad would track into my house or break things, or whatever seemed ludicrous, but I understand his frustration now. So, I'm kind of like my Dad, who didn't follow through with that threat. I'm not going to trash the place. Oh sure, I might step in and make a pot of coffee every now and again, but this is not my site, thank God for that. This new site is better. Plus, since it's not mine, I don't feel like I have to argue or get worked up. I can just enjoy it. This is supposed to be fun and it is for me again.

Thanks to all of you for all the positive things that you gave me over the last seven years. You cannot know how much I have appreciated all of it. I have laughed so much because of the old place. I have laughed because of the new place. I may fade away from time to time and enjoy it, but I'll come back as long as this place is around. Thanks to spooky and sean and everyone else who is working together to keep this place going.

I'll leave you with this last little story. Yesterday, we had a minor emergency come up, the kind of thing that happens from time to time. I went off to deal with it and my wife and Miss SBG met up with me later. It was getting late and we needed to eat. Miss SBG had said that she wanted to go to Red Lobster before, so I said, "Okay, we can go out to Red Lobster." Well, it was kind of late and a long wait took its toll on our almost four year old. She was misbehaving and not listening. We got through our meal, but it wasn't particularly enjoyable primarily because our tired little girl wasn't about to make it enjoyable and who's fault was that? Mine, probably, for suggesting we go to a place like that, where I knew there would be a line. Any of you ever been in that spot?

Since we had come in different cars, I told my wife to take her home. I got the waiter to bring the bill and we left. Her mother wasn't happy and I wasn't, either. I got home and Miss SBG was roaring around. It was late and she needed to get to bed and she can be difficult about bedtime sometimes and good grief, she was all wound up. I said, come downstairs and we'll watch a movie. That was the right answer as she crawled up on my lap and settled right down. Pretty soon, she was ready for bed. I took her to bed and she gave me a big hug and said, "Daddy, I like to give big hugs, because that's what it's all about." Yes, dear, that's what it's all about.

7 thoughts on “That’s What It’s All About”

  1. Very good writing.

    One thing I will note with the transition is that it now feels that the rest of us have more ownership here. Less taking things for granted. Not that things were bad, but that things have improved to a higher level. Even more sense of community and a wish to be cordial.

    I've been meaning to write some sort of a tribute to your efforts over the years, and I doubt I'll ever get to it. That the website you created could go this long with these few flame wars and trollings, that Milt and Bootsy could coexist, that the place could be shut down at one domain and recreated at another domain by the members within 12 or so hours with the exact same concepts, is a credit to you. We followed your lead.

    I wrote like three years ago that this place became my home on my internet, and that's still true. It's the local pub but with mostly self-selected and without having to buy beers or leave my family for . And yes, I consider this to still be the same place.

    We got through our meal, but it wasn't particularly enjoyable primarily because our tired little girl wasn't about to make it enjoyable and who's fault was that? Mine, probably, for suggesting we go to a place like that, where I knew there would be a line. Any of you ever been in that spot?

    Yes. Sometimes, McD's or JJ's is the best choice. For HPR and CER, a quick suggestion of one of those two will change their minds from someplace sit-down.

  2. Musings! Great stuff, SBG.

    All in all, what happened could appear to be a tiny change on the aurface, but I'm glad it's brought you the peace you needed.

  3. I know what you mean about the site, SBG. I went through the same thing with my blog back when I still did it. Of course, it didn't help that I started my blog right at the same time the Wolves started to go south. I was thrilled, of course, when you invited me to come over here. It was nice to know I had a place to write if I wanted to, but didn't feel the pressure of trying to keep it going myself.

    The new site is amazing, not so much because it's so much better than the old one, but just because it feels like a rebirth or revitalization of the old one. To think of the site being gone made me realize how much I would have missed it. Now that it's back, it makes me appreciate it all the more. Having been distracted with real life stuff for a while now, I've probably thought about the site more in the past week than I have in the previous 6 months. I even had a dream about it last night! We were all meeting in some house and I got to meet a bunch of you for the first time. Then, somehow the room got filled with toxic gas and I had to hold my breath and jump out of a window. That was kind of a bummer.

  4. re: Working somewhere where your spouse / family doesn't live. Man, I feel you there. This year has taken a toll on my relationship. That's not to say that either of us are worried about the long term health of our marriage, but spending the majority of a year apart (with the distinct possibility that we won't be living together next year, too) has been one of the most difficult experiences I've even gone through.

    1. Yeesh, meat, I need to get you a package post haste. Shoot me the address you can best be reached at.

    2. I was away from the Milkmaid and my daughters for 35 days when they moved out here and I stayed back to tie up loose ends. I can't imagine a more prolonged separation. It was hell.

  5. I agree that the transition has been good for everyone; the introspection has been good for all us in that we aren't taking all the work behind the scenes for granted. I know I'm not.

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