Sunday, 25 October 2009

What is your sell by date?


...and l don't mean the dates by which we are told we must eat our food stuffs by, best before, consume before, eat by etc... I'm wondering if most things in our lives, relationships, blogs, friendships have a best before date wired into their psyche?
(Isn't there a saying something about eggs and friends go off after a time?)

Acquaintances come and go and we don't fret or fear their passing through our lives, good friends sometimes hit a stumbling block, be it a point of principle or disagreement, or a case of being separated by the miles or continents. Even parents and children, brothers and sisters, the marrieds and the partners fall by the wayside, however sad we think it is. The trials and traumas, tribulations and feuds fuel petty resentments and serious issues. Most often I'll bet that the cause is forgotten, long before the bitterness wanes. In the scheme of things, the rights and wrongs, with the precariousness of life and death, it all seems trivial. Nonsensical. It is said Blood is thicker than water! and Friends are the family one chooses for oneself.
So then naturally does everything have its own best before date?

Lately it seems to me that many blog land friends have retired or taken a sabbatical, for personal reasons of one sort or the other. Blog land holds it's breath in case another pin falls in this bowling alley of posts and lucky strikes. Do we fall foul of our own expectations? As in life there are some certainties. A few finites. We make our own choices. Day by day. Moment by moment. We choose. And then everything will end.

We cling to hope. Friendships. Family relationships. Age and experience brings us the truths. The sudden understanding of the workings of the dynamics of relating. We aspire to do things better. To do things right. Of securing relationships over time. Like our blogging beginnings we post in hate, as in love. We wait for judgement. For sustanance. For recognition. We find our own pace and settle into the flow of the lifeblood of new relationships. We post less regularly. Think more. Write less. Less is more.

We've said farewell to David, we've seen other friends take time off. To heal. To find answers. To relocate physically. To maintain the non-virtual daily postings that make up their lives. We miss them. Their posts. Their visits to our shores. And as in all our lives. Endings are a certainty. We know not when it will come. The only thing we know is that it will happen.

The question of whether our own blogs have a sell by date... well this is our choice. Are we here to live, to breathe and to feel and question? We make our own choices. We set our own sell by dates.

40 comments:

  1. Very poignant.
    The oddity about blog friendships is that the access is so intimate -- and then when it's withdrawn, it is so complete. I mean, you aren't going to run into the person at the grocery store, are you?

    I always wondered how David could sustain posting three times a day. I hope to keep posting intermittently -- but for the long-haul.

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  2. What a philosophical question. I suppose the answer is our sell by date is when our ideas dry up, not necessarilly how old we are. Sometimes our ideas dry up for a while then fresh ones come to mind as in the case of Suldog recently but he is going strong again thank goodness. Of course our blogging relationships are very important and the larger our followings become the harder it is to visit all of them. This sometimes leads to bad feelings but most bloggers would understand the difficulties.
    I too could never understand how David did it all - even the Sunday Roast takes a fair time to organise and that is just one of many balls he juggled continuously. Interesting questuin is this ~ Eddie

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  3. I blog one day at a time. I quit my blog once. For three whole days. It didn't make me happy. So back I am.

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  4. Yes its odd when a blog you like just suddenly stops :-(

    Quite sad when you do not know why...

    Wizz :-)

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  5. I understand why people stop blogging. It takes time. But, I try to keep up, not always everyday, but regularly. I love it!

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  6. I am pleasantly addicted and yet often think of retiring. Just when I think my date may be here to retire, an idea will come, and I write again. It is the company in Blogland that keeps me going! Still, I miss those who have gone!

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  7. Friends come and go and usually it is caused by moving away. it is easy to say you'll keep in touch, but usually it is just the occasional Christmas card or email.

    Families have always had the occasional feud or sulk but there is always the possibility of getting back together again and usually you know where these people are.

    Blogging is an entirely different thing! I have had some *really good blogging pals* that have just disappeared with never a trace and two have died. Some, like David, have quit suddenly and left a hole.It seems once they are gone, that is that.
    I hope I'll go on for ever but I guess I too, have a sell by date. Until then........

    Nuts in May

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  8. Oh my, I was just thinking the same thing, though I hadn't quite given much thought besides moaning the departure of David. I too have been feeling worn out, bruised even.

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  9. I see it much like a real life relationship. Usually, but not always, there are warning signs - the writing on the wall. Fewer posts, less substance, waning return visits, lackluster in comment replies. Maybe they're seeing another blog. Maybe they're writing under another name. Perhaps we just don't make their reader go ding anymore. Who is to say what causes a blogger to move on. Just keep one thing in mind. It's not us.. it's them. ;)

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  10. Interesting analogy. I've noticed lack of posts and/or substance among my own short list of blogging friends. I'm sure there as many reasons as there are pebbles on the beach. I'm hoping one of my favorites, in particular, is simply overwhelmed with her hectic life at the moment and will return to blogging in the near future.
    Awe is the first word that comes to mind to describe what I feel for those who post every day or more often. With a family, full time job, and two hour commute every day, I find it difficult to post even twice weekly!

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  11. I guess it is one reason I follow quite a lot of blogs... more to keep me from noticing the ones who don;t write as regularly, and I also make sure I get notified when they post so I am not looking fruitlessly all the time lol...
    Blogging is likely to lead to burnout if you feel driven to post too often, or to the standard of a mini novel... some days, just acknowledging the world, the battles you face, something that you liked or found funny or sad, is enough.
    All lives also go through peaks and troughs, and writing in a peak can be manic, but when in a trough, it is not for everyone, baring their worries and doubts for all to read, family included!
    I guess blogging is a skill - because it requires some thought, a pinch of inspiration, some writing skills and it has to create some pleasure to warrant continuing.
    I guess one day the pieces don't fit anymore for people...

    My best to Moannie - I miss her :)
    and my apologies for any aspersions to Bijou in my latest post on little white dogs! ....

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  12. I, for one, have been blogging less since Lorne came back into my life. Having a partner allows me less time to think about life in general and philosophical theories, etc. But I do keep up with Denise's ABC Wednesday as it makes me think to come up with something original. But now she's going to retire from hosting that! As with blogging friends, real life friends come and go, too. Some are meant to be in your life for a reason or a season and that's it. Remember the good times and just forget about the bad and the sadness of losing them.

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  13. I'm still on that manic high (or that's what I call it anyway) with the embroidery and wanting to do other crafts as well as even go back to reading books again. All of which are really time consuming as is, sadly, blogging a good deal of the time too! I've been trying to strike a balance but as yet, none has been reached. This results in frustration and a whole lot of brain dead days too when I can't think of anything interesting to write. Sometimes -like tonight now -I may have allowed my tiredness and exasperations with somethings about life -in general as well as some specifics -to run a bit wild though and I maybe shouldn't have hit the publish button on a comment I made to a fellow blogger. But I debated and decided that I could no longer bite my tongue. I'm thinking that move may just put me well over the expiration date and needing to be tossed because the fruits of my mind have gone rotten!
    Excellent post, my dear! Some very good points indeed.

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  14. I started blogging nearly 3 years ago and the little core group of 6 I met in the begining has now dispersed, 3 gone completely, 1 so sporadic, 1 gone into more formal advice page thing and 1 left and returned. I do miss them though.

    ps word veri is unthin, even blogger mocks my expanding waistline

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  15. it's a strange circle of 'friends' of blogs I read. It almost reminds me of group therapy I went to years ago. So intimate in the sessions but no contact or relationship outside of it, so when someone left they were gone from your life forever. Now I have left I will never see or know of them again. Its different to a 'normal' relationship and if you feel close to someone in blog-land then to see them go is a conplete exit in your life in a way that only death seems to extract people from life in the normal world. hmmmm - not sure I'm expressing well what I am trying to say - probably just "I agree and good post - thanks"

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  16. A beautifully wrought piece, my Saz, deeply thought-provoking. Perhaps it is the nature of some bloggers, who go on to be passionate about something else, or whose lives just become too much for them for a while.

    I hope that you will always find sustenance and succour here, as I do with you... Hugs from my sick-bed of Keats-like, wracking coughs :) xxx

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  17. I hope you are not thinking about your own. I would miss you very much.

    I often regret losing touch with old school friends and workmates from the past, but I think you are right, some friendships only have a short shelf life and others longer. Take care of yourself Saz

    Sx

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  18. true, true. i've been here 4 years and it's been a strange thing to see how many have come and gone in that period of time.

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  19. Like everything if it’s not tended it retrogresses and fades.
    Relationships even with our self have to be worked on .We loose touch because we choose to, lazy maybe, sell by date could be.
    Sell by is there to ensure we don’t eat anything that will harm us and to protect the seller. May be blogs work the same way.
    Sometimes reflecting and stepping back does that for us; so we don’t get stale or blog rubbish etc.

    I think blogging should be a joy not a chore. If it becomes a chore, time out is good.
    Blogs are not static and need to evolve I think

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  20. Deep, Saz. Great questions. I wish I had the definitive answers!

    I suppose, sometimes, we just hit a wall. Some of us try to climb over it, while others dig under it. The folks who try to go straight through it end up the worse for wear and have to quit for their health.

    Whenever one of the folks I really like to visit drops from sight, it saddens me tremendously. At those times, I wish I really knew them, so I could go to actually visit them and make sure all is well.

    And, Eddie? Thank you!

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  21. Seems your readers have covered it off pretty well.

    I think the quote is about FISH and weekend house guests but I cant find it.. so this one will have to do:

    “A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked”

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  22. My own dear, deep, clever girl. You are coming up with some stonking brain teasers.

    I've hit a bit of a wall again, but that isn't surprising with all that is going on in my usually dull life at the mo.

    David's departure hit me so badly, and as someone here has said it is almost like mourning as 'gone from here is gone'...no bumping into him in the supermarket. I discovered him very early on and his advice and encouragement and, even his admiration kept my nose to the keyboard. Bear Naked had to go too and I loved her and the chuckles her work gave me, then the shock when it seemed that Jim might quit. Dear Halo too. It was as if my close friends were leaving me...this artificial yet extrememly sincere closeness I feel with my circle.

    A blogging 'sell by date' comes when writing a post is an effort, when our uncertainty at the value of the post needs reassurance. Maybe then it is time to go right back to the beginning when we wrote our first piece and sent it out into the void, not knowing who, if anyone was going to find it.

    As for my own sell by date...think I have a good few more years yet if the bod holds up.

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  23. It's all a river, Saz. It's all flowing, eternal movement. And along the way there are always choices, no matter what you're talking about, love, life, work, blogging. I'm trying to juggle but finding many balls at my feet. Just have to make sure my children aren't two of them. All of the rest is flow, beautiful river flow.

    I think of you often.
    I look forward to your upcoming poem and I left a question regarding your comment over my way, if you've a minute.
    xo
    erin

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  24. Just catching up with your posts written while I was away. This is a good one. I miss blogland when i am unable to post or read others' posts. I guess we all have a sell-by-date both in blogland and in terms of our own mortality. Maybe blogging mirrors life. Had to laugh at your flase eyelash post though! The picture I conjured up was hilarious.Naughty friends for not telling you.

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  25. Anyone missing good blogs is more than welcome to stop by at mine.

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  26. Saz, I have noticed this loss, too, with some of my best blog friends. And I miss them so much. There is a void that they leave behind in their wake. David being one of the largest.

    Funny that you should post this because I was just having this same discussion with my husband tonight. It seems that over the last few months, the blog world for me, at least, has taken on a whole new complexion, and at times that world seems a little alien.

    There is also a push from some quarters to commercialize the blogs. I had three links for friends of mine in Floridawho have businesses and whom I KNOW personally, and I made the point clear that I wasn't being compensated because these were my friends. Let's face it, there are tons of tourists visiting Florida, and I'm often asked where I shop, where to stay, etc. Then suddenly, I found myself beseiged by people across the world wanting me to put commercial links on my blog which I politely declined. I can't figure out how they even know about my blog since I have that privacy thing enabled for Google.

    That factor aside, the water temp just seems different to me. I have been blogging less and less over the last several months due to events in my life outside the blog sphere, and I'm starting to wonder if it's me who has changed or the blogging community. But for me, there appears to be a different dynamic at work out there. Not sure if it's a phase, or if this is the lay of the land. It could be that Facebook, Twitter, and the other communication vehicles are just easier and less time consuming, but I'm not enamored of telling people what my hair looked like that morning or who I saw at the dry cleaners. I don't get it. I do, however, get blogging... or I did. Hopefully, still do. :-)

    Thanks for addressing this issue. I will be interested to read everyone's comments.

    XO,

    Sheila

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  27. How philosophical and a question that I am sure I will find myself giving it some thought. I hope we don't but as I look back over some people in my life there was a use by date. My question is once the use by date has passed should we try to extend it without having serious spoilage? Jeanne

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  28. Life put so poignantly!

    Sell by dates and blogging? I try to blog as much as poss but life, naturally, gets in the way. I left, returned (after a year) and it was nice to see a few welcoming me back. But others just gave up! I suppose I comment more than I actually receive but that's cool, although sometimes an occasional visit from a blog I comment on a lot wouldn't go amiss. It'd boost my confidence a bit more.

    As long as my blog list mates don't delete, then I don't really care how out-of-date the goods are! Unless they're at the back of the fridge or under a bed!!

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  29. Hi. Moannie sent me, and I am very glad that she did, as several blogs that I enjoyed have vanished, including authorblog (I didn't know him well enough to be on a first name basis). There are times when blogworld feels more real than the "real" world, and I almost expect to run into another blogger in the grocery store. As for a sell by date, I suppose we all have one; certainly every post has one...we just never know when that will be. Thank you for the thoughts you have provoked. It's a good thing.

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  30. Interesting post. I'm never sure about blogging as a way to spend time. Seems strangely insular in some ways whilst maintaining a patina of closeness. There are many bloggers whom I think I would like if I met them, yet rarely have the gumption to suggest it. Interesting about the 'sell by' date. I think blogs can lose their spark at any time.

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  31. Very interesting anaology. I've been blogging for less than a year, and have already dropped back to posting one day a week. Maybe I'm slower than most, but to me, it's the time it takes from other commitments, some of which I simply cannot ignore.
    Congrats on POTW!!

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  32. great post and intriguing analogy and question...almost like TV shows jumping the shark...if i ever do it for more than telling the stories and making the friends, i have probably hit my sell by date...its healthy to take breaks periodically or switch it up a bit...sometimes i do wonder though about the blog friends that have disappeared in the wind....congrats on the POTW!

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  33. Hi, I'm stopping by via Hilary's POTW and I'm so glad that I did. This was a great topic, and one that I have thought about lately. I think it is an ebb and flow. I have times when my fingers fly, and I have much to talk about, other times when I am elsewhere in my mind. I think it's really okay to have people come and go. I miss a couple of my favorites that have just disappeared, but I always find another one - like you! I almost think it is kinder than real life. When we get tired of the voice - we can just slip away, ditto for our own readers. Not taking offense, and not feeling hurt is the key. But then that is the key in real world realtionships, too, I think. Everything has an expiration date.

    Great post. I'll be back!

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  34. Also here from Hilary's. Most poignant post. The blogging world is most fascinating - the energy, then waning energy, the addictions, then falls, the sharing. I tend to look at all as real people. People I have a stake in their lives. Some better than others as in life. I'm rambling. Enjoyed it and the thoughts you evoke.

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  35. It's worth thinking about all right!

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  36. What a great post --- and very interesting comments. Congrats on the POTW Award!!

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  37. I too hope to be blogging for a long time, but life happens, so you never know when your "sell by date will be."

    Great thought provoking post.

    Gill in Canada

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  38. Wonderful post and wonderful comments. I think about this a lot from time to time and then I pull up my chair and blunder on.
    I think what I would miss is the writing - writing makes me think things out - but also the commenting friends. I too have lost a couple of good ones lately and have another one who is questioning going on.
    Loved Hilary's comment; she sounds like a charter member of the Race who Knows Joseph.

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  39. If I were still actively working as a forensic nurse, I probably wouldn't have started blogging - with carrying a pager 24/7 and responding to the emergency room for child and adult sexual assault cases and trying to catch minutes of sleep in between, there seemed so little time for anything else. With retirement forced by the massive budget cuts to San Francisco's Dept of Public Health, blogging has sustained me and given me an avenue to meet people from all over the world and to introduce me to long held interests and io provide an avenue for my poetry and writing.

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  40. 'Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days' - Benjamin Franklin

    Interesting and thought-provoking post. I think we all set our own agendas, and some will move on quicker than others, depending on people's staying power and the way their lives go.

    I plan to be around for a while yet, though, and I hope you will be, too!

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Thanks for stopping by!

Take the weight of your feet, draw up a chair and pour yourself a cuppa. Leave your troubles at the door and together we shall ride out the storms.
I will walk a while in your shoes...

Saz x