Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

It’s the little things

This is a bit of a ramble.  I’ve been staving off the downcycle for a little while now, reminding myself that holidays start tomorrow and my husband will be around, I’m having fun with my science blog and things are generally OK.  I got quite sick this week, but still managed to remain positive.

Then last night hit.  My littlest one doesn’t sleep, and at 2am everything is so much harder.  The world suddenly went from being an OK place to being monotone guilt.  And pointless guilt – everyone else’s kids seem to be doing about the same as mine (or better!), so why am I putting myself through this?  Why don’t I just stick a dummy in her mouth and shut the door?

This morning was playgroup day, which is generally good.  It added to the pointlessness, because everyone else seemed to be coping better than I do (I know, it’s just my perception, but when you’re in the downcycle everything piles on top), but several people thanked me for cutting up the fruit.   It’s just one of the normal jobs, but it was nice to be thanked.  Unfortunately this afternoon I was plunging deeper.  I knew it, but couldn’t do anything about it because everything I do is/has been worthless, so how could anything I tried now be any help?  My husband bought chocolate and listened, my toddler was worried in her own goldfish way, but by that point I just wanted to wallow. 

I couldn’t even look at writing a post because they were all so unrelentingly negative, which added to the guilt – one post a week is a tiny commitment and I can’t even do that.

What turned it around, unexpectedly, was Twitter.  There is a tradition called Follow Friday, where you put up the names of people whose updates you enjoy reading.  The idea is that your followers see these names, and think well if she thinks they’re worth following, maybe I’ll have a look at them too, and you might pick up some more followers.  A couple of people I don’t know other than through Twitter put my name up.  Even better, one of them has recently been voted as one of the top 100 science Tweets to follow, which is pretty important to me (given that I’m ScienceMum and all).  I was flattered enough that he started following me, but being put up for Follow Friday I took as a great honour.  He may not mean it that way, but it certainly boosted me. 

It makes you think.  My husband’s support did nothing – he’s my husband, he has to support me and worry about me (at least he’d better!).  I know several people who will worry when reading this, and while I appreciate it, they’re my friends so that’s sort of their job.  The playgroup Mums are another step removed, and I really did appreciate being thanked.  But when complete strangers say something nice it is so much more important.  I think because we know they have no ulterior motive – they’re definitely not saying it just to cheer you up, so you can trust that they are being honest.  So how much of an impact do we have on the people around us?  How many times have we said something that meant nothing to us but has been really important to somone we hardly even know? 

And more importantly, how often have we thought something but not said it?