I have this one reader that is always telling me my life is miserable. I write about how much fun I had at the Yankees game and she tells me that I couldn’t possibly be happy sitting in the cheap seats and eating hot dogs. I write about my travel adventures swapping lovely homes with very nice people, and she tells me how I couldn’t possibly be happy sleeping in other people’s beds. I write about how I am surprised to see how much less my retirement is costing me, and she tells me I couldn’t possibly be happy living on what I’m living on.
The thing I love about blogging is the conversational aspect of it. It feels great when I’ve connected with a reader that says, “Oh my gosh I experienced that exact same thing!” I also enjoy when someone says, “I get what you’re saying, but have you considered this?” I often get a new perspective on something based on what one of you has added to the conversation. Or even “I could never do that, that wouldn’t make me happy.” Each of us is different, I have come to appreciate that, in part from my experience blogging.
Even some of the hard-to-take commenters, whom I’ve made angry because of something I’ve written, can be helpful. Back during the presidential campaign season, I shared a number of my political observations. One reader told me she didn’t come here to hear me spout my political opinions. I initially thought, “my blog, my content”. But she was right. This is a blog about retirement and that’s what I want to keep it about. Writing about my retirement experiences, both the joys and the struggles, that’s what I want to share, and that’s what I want others to share with me.
But I do find it frustrating when a reader tells me I feel something that I do not feel. Not so much because I totally disagree, but because it makes me feel like my writing hasn’t been clear. If someone tells me they can’t take “advice” from me because I won’t share my finances, I wonder why they even thought I was giving advice in the first place? And when someone admonishes me by saying that there are no short-cuts, no get-rich-quick schemes, no easy ways out, I wonder what I wrote that makes them think I disagree?
“Afterward, he wondered how often he nudged people for good things and worried about when he may have nudged them negatively. A remark here, a raised eyebrow there, and before you know it you may have affected someone’s life.”
I recently left a comment on a blog post about health savings accounts, not really a controversial subject. After reading my comment again (after I hit the button), I realized my “nudge” was in a negative direction. It may feel like an anonymous environment, this whole blogosphere, but I clearly offended the blogger with my tone. I regret that. I’m going to make sure my nudges are for good things in the future.
This is an article from Retirement: A Full-Time Job