I can’t believe I am blogging. I rolled my eyes and procrastinated every time a paper was assigned since the 3rd grade. I counted the minutes until graduation from college in order to escape written assignments FOREVER. I adjusted fonts, margins and spacing simply to meet the bare minimum of pages required by teachers. And now I willingly blog? It’s like the end of ‘The Trouble with Angels’ where Haley Mills becomes a nun behind her best friends back when they TOTALLY hated the nuns for the entire movie! I’m such a traitor.
The first time I ever read a blog or even knew what one was, was when my now-husband/then boyfriend went home for Thanksgiving about 6 months before we got married. We were going to be away from each other for over a week so he came up with the idea to blog about his hunting excursions during this time so I could follow and see what it was all about. I was very interested in what went on during these testosterone-filled hunting trips that he looked forward to so much. I didn’t have a lot of information, but I knew that it was a magical time of fire building and primitive living in ‘God’s country’ and I thought it sounded great! So far I had gotten only small glimpses when I asked (and I asked it a LOT) ‘but what do you DO when you are hunting? ‘. I got bits and pieces, for instance: there was a large hunk of meat that cooked all day in a pot while they were out in the woods, they rarely ever saw (let alone shot) any deer, and on the ride home from the woods, he and his brothers and dad had to go on potty-mouth detox, after several man-only days together, in order to keep their mother from going into shock when she heard them walk through the door.
Back to his blogging. I was excited to read about the hunting. What was it like to be man against nature? What fascinating fauna would he encounter as he hunkered down on the snowy ridges? What footprints and scrapes would he see during his tracking? What harsh and terrific weather would he encounter? It was with great excitement that I checked the blog and found his first entry!
Number of entries for the entire trip = 1
Main focus of this post = Bear Poop
Photos = 1
Subject of photo = Bear Poop
No, that isn’t your eyes deceiving you, he actually put a coin in there for context and it is in plastic because it travelled home with him. All my anticipation had been met with bear poop.
And so that was my first experience with a blog and pretty much my last. After this, I didn’t blog and didn’t read blogs and when the subject of blogs came up I went into my old lady mode thinking ‘Who really reads this crap?’ and ‘Don’t they have anything better to do?’. The word blog was filed in the back of my mind along with things like ‘bling’, ‘twerk’ and ‘tweet’ and vaulted. (Okay, I admit to using ‘bling’ in my vocab for a minute when J-Lo had that album out — the one with the denim jumpsuit/yellow gold jewelry on the cover AND the Wedding Planner movie simultaneously — you know you did too).
Fast forward to 2013 when Chad (now husband) suggests I blog and says he’ll set everything up for me. My first responses were: “But who will read that crap?’, ‘I can’t write’, ‘I don’t have time for that’ and ‘I have nothing to say’. In an effort to stop him hounding me about it, I wrote (hand written mind you – I didn’t want to get too technical here) a few paragraphs of what my first blog entry would be so he could see that I indeed had nothing to say and would hopefully leave me alone. I expected him to just stop talking about it and say something nice like ‘that’s good’ and ask me to play Miles Bournes or something to redirect attention. No dice — he liked it. He started saying more complex things like ‘Do you want me to buy that domain?’ and ‘blah blah blah WordPress’ and ‘blah blah blah Google Analytics’ and here we are in the middle of my first blog post.
Don’t get me wrong, if I really didn’t want to do it, I wouldn’t have. My self-aware side has looked at the possible reasons you are reading this now, and it is likely because of my attention seeking behavior. My husband has it too – ASB we call it. I want attention and I especially like attention that I can measure . I want Chad’s Google Analytics, or whatever the hell it is, to tell me 16 people came to the site in November, 2 left comments that it didn’t totally suck, and maybe, just maybe one of them will even be from Malta or somewhere really exotic. Then I will have made it. I win. ASB.
The Urban Dictionary (scholarly tome that it is) defines Pecked to Death by Chickens as: “A steady stream of small, seemingly inconsequential or minor nuisances, which build up over a prolonged period of time and which, eventually, take their toll and exact a heavy price.”
My mother inspired the title of this blog. During the years I have known her, chickens have pecked at her relentlessly. My sister and I ‘mommie’d’ her to death and Mom would say “It’s like being pecked to death by chickens!”. Her boss made guttural throat clearing noises every morning for years on end in his office just steps away from hers — “…pecked to death by chickens”. My father sighed every time she stepped foot on the new carpet sockless, for fear of foot oils seeping into the upgraded fibers — “…chickens”.
This blog is about annoyances, big and small, that chip away at you over time relentlessly. They don’t prevent you from living, but they are slowly and quietly sucking the life out of you. This is especially true if you are like me, someone who says nothing the first 37 times something bothers them in hopes of avoiding confrontation. Then, on time 38, you lose your shiz on the offending party and they think you are a nut job because there was no warning. Although most people would probably say that I am not a complainer, I am. I complain to the people closest to me a little, but I edit myself because I don’t want to be too much of a complainer. Most of all I complain to myself, in my head, with the only external clues being a few well placed eye rolls and sighs (sighs are courtesy of my dad).
This blog is where I will document my attempts to identify those annoyances that are pecking me to death and do something about them. Just as a constant complainer will surely annoy you at some point, I have annoyed MYSELF with my complaining enough that I am going to try and start being more proactive about fixing or at least improving those annoyances and hopefully reduce my internal and external complaints. When I used to manage people (and I hated it), it really grated at me when direct reports would come to me with a complaint but no proposed solution. I was happy (or at least less annoyed) to listen to complaints when someone had a proposed solution (even a crappy one). For example (and this is a snapshot of the kind of mission critical stuff I was dealing with on a day-to-day basis): “Sally keeps trying to talk to me about her love life when I am working, can you move my cube assignment so I am not sitting next to her?” was better than “Sally is annoying the hell out of me and I want to wire her mouth shut with paper clips. I hate my job”. I hated wasting time for employees to whine and vent with no suggestion (even a bad one) for how to fix the situation. So I am going to drink my own Koolaid here in an effort to start beheading some of the peskiest chickens — or just those who are giving me the stink eye and can be easily taken out.
Hopefully my blog doesn’t just turn out to be a steaming pile of bear poop.