Dear Readers for April 30, 2009

I guess it had to happen. I can rant and rave and declare all I want that “I don’t do guilt,” but the fact is, I do. I was only Catholic for the first six years of my life, but I seemed to have gotten a good handle on the guilt part.

I’ve had mom guilt, daughter guilt, sister guilt, daughter-in-law guilt, employee guilt, boss guilt and friend guilt. I have felt guilty over doing too much, doing too little, staying home too long, going out too often, eating too much, not eating enough, forgetting to take my vitamins, taking too many aspirin, not exercising, doing the wrong exercises, driving too fast, visiting my relatives too seldom, writing too few letters, having a messy house, not letting the kids play in the living room, spending thousands to keep a 16-year-old cat alive, not spending thousands to treat a stray cat and on and on.

Now, of all things, I’m developing a heavy dose of Facebook guilt.

As I have written here before, I became a Facebook fan after my children forced me to sign up, and I discovered tons of new friends, old friends, do-I-know-you? friends and really began to enjoy it.

Keeping up with it, however, was an entirely different story.

First, there’s the whole “writer” problem. Writers have a problem being brief. The one time someone asked me to “Blog,” they were horrified at the length of my postings. Same thing with Facebook. I couldn’t just tell my “friends” the answer to “Sherri is…” was “happy” or “busy” or “mad.” Surely they wanted to know why or how come? An essay followed.

Then Facebook made it even more difficult by asking “What’s on your mind?” Well about a million things, including work and family and… okay, you see what I mean about brevity?

Second, there’s the email issue. I get way to many. And not enough of them are spam. Most of them need to be dealt with in one way or another -- printed for file, passed on, assigned, called about, studied, cursed or celebrated. Then I started getting Facebook emails, which I pretty much ignored, figuring I would catch up when I signed on.

But the phone would ring, or a meeting would begin or someone would go crazy, and, before I knew it, the Facebook alert that I wanted to look at was from two hours ago and there were three pages of posting from two minutes ago to get through first. Needless to say, I rarely got through them.

So, here comes the Facebook Guilt. I’m finally signing on and begin scrolling through, reading how everyone’s day has been. Suddenly there is a posting from one friend that says “thank you all for your prayers” and from another friend, “my Facebook friends have been so nice during this difficult time,” and from another “I’m so lucky to have had her for as long as I did.”

What? I suddenly felt like I am reading a book with every-other chapter missing. Now I am not only neglecting my in-town friends, I’m neglecting a whole universe of friends. The guilt is just too much! The days must simply get longer, or I must get more organized or something. I am now scrolling back through days of postings to see if I can unravel the different mysteries of what’s going on with my friends and figure out how I missed so much in a week.

I’ve always wanted a personal assistant. That’s my FIRST hire when I win the lottery. I need one to help me keep my desk clear, my calendar up-to-date, send flowers to my friends, bake cookies for my children, write Thank You notes to all those people who are so good to me and follow through with 100 other good intentions. Now I also need one to monitor my Facebook page and tell me when my friends need a prayer, a phone call or a happy birthday.

Furthermore, I’m convinced that some of these celebrity Facebook friends have someone else doing their postings. Lane Kiffin can’t possibly be taking the time to tell me he’s taking his administrative assistant to lunch and enjoying a beautiful day in Knoxville, can he?

Until the lottery win, I guess all I can do is try to do better.

I am making one executive decision, however. To all of you who are trying to get me to Twitter, forget it. I can’t handle the guilt.

© 2009 blounttoday.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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