Why Don’t I Care About You More?

Guys, I don’t know what has happened, but it seems like there has been a huge shift in my life — and not only my life, but a lot of people around me, as well. In a nutshell, it seems like so many of us have become too busy to care anymore. Care about what, you might ask? I almost don’t know how to explain it. Each other, maybe? But that doesn’t sound quite right to me.

Here’s the thing. A few years ago, I used to consistently read over 150+ blogs. I’d read dozens of posts a day. I’d even COMMENT on 80 – 90% of them. I can’t fathom how much time I invested in that activity. And even crazier was that I felt like I knew so many of those bloggers — to the point I felt we could easily be friends if we ever met. Some of them I did meet, and we are still friends. Now, however, with my horrible memory as it is, I can’t even remember most of those people whose blogs I used to read so intently. And it makes me sad. I would start reading blogs again to try to fix this, but I can hardly find the time to read close friends’ blogs anymore, let alone comment anywhere. It seems like many of us aren’t actively blogging anymore, anyway. Aside from that, how did I have time back then and not now? I was not any busier. Truly, I wasn’t. I’ve shifted priorities, I guess. It’s the only answer. I devote more time to exercise, helping my daughter with her large amounts of homework, working a job outside of the house, keeping my marriage healthy and happy, etc.

But it’s not just me … I think. For instance, a friend — a close friend might announce his/her new book deal, and it seems like I don’t get as excited as I used to about such news. And others don’t seem to, either. I mean, I CARE. Of course I care! I think I even care more deeply than I used to. So maybe all of this is just a quiet approach now? But it seems like the excitement level all the way around has taken a huge dip, with everyone. Or am I seeing things that aren’t really there? And it’s not just book deals and happy news. I’ll hear about horrible things happening in the world and it’s like I just don’t have the energy to get worked up about it. I want to, but my energy is being funneled into so many personal things like family and simply surviving (financially, emotionally, physically) that by the time I hear news outside of those things, I have nothing left to give. I’ll meet someone amazing and think, “I need to make sure this person stays in my life — I should devote a lot of time to building and maintaining a friendship with them” only to end up not making much of an effort because I realize I’m hardly maintaining the friendships I already have.

I feel like I’ve simplified my life in the past few years, but at the same time I’m wondering if I have simplified too much? Am I not caring about the things and people I should be caring about, or is this what happens as you get older and everyone around you only has so much time to devote to people outside of their immediate families? I mean, I’m in that stage, you know? Where most everyone in my “circle” is married with multiple children who will be tweens and teens and/or graduating high school in under a decade. That’s an intense part of life that requires a lot of focus. So maybe that’s just how things are. Or maybe I’m turning into someone I don’t want to be — which is odd because, in general, I’m happier than I have been in a very long time. I honestly don’t know at this point. Sigh. Mid-thirties crisis over here.

Posted by Michelle D. Argyle

21 comments

I think it’s your depression flaring up. Holiday blah-blahs.

Michelle D. Argyle

Marina, you’re probably right. Holidays always get to me. I’m not a big fan of them … grinch here.

It’s a defense mechanism of some sort. Your body shuts down when it cannot handle any more yo-ho-ho. To me, the holidays are a time of loss and mourning and bad memories, so I just focus on making money and losing weight while others are splurging and getting fat 😉

Eric Stallsworth

I think you’re just feeling the usual things we all go through as children grow, families get busy, and we do our best to manage the chaos. I’ve felt that way quite a few times over the years. My world revolves around my family and as my kids get older (and about to leave in a few years potentially) I find myself choosing to spend MORE time with them and less time doing all those other things. It’s a hard choice sometimes because yes there are so many other experiences, people, etc that I’d like to be involved in but I don’t want to miss an instant of time with my boys and regret that later. Don’t be too hard on yourself. To me, this is a normal symptom of a caring family person who has her priorities straight. Take care and smile.

Michelle D. Argyle

Eric, thank you so much for your comment. I think you have a great point, and I do need to remember life moves in cycles. I try so hard to keep my priorities right, so I have to question where they are sometimes, is all.

Tiana Smith

I feel the same way. Who knows why. But I keep thinking about shutting down my blog, or Twitter, or everything that connects me to people all because I don’t want to hear about their news. For me, I think it’s because I care TOO MUCH. I don’t want to hear about their book deals, because it just hurts. If I hear about their bad news (they broke off with their agent, their book went on sub for two years and didn’t sell), that just hurts too. And it seems like lately, I keep hearing more bad news, which makes me wonder why on earth I’m pursuing publishing in the first place. I’ve been in a funk lately, and I think a lot of people are. Could be just because most of the people I “hang” out with online are in a similar stage as me though, so it’s the whole “we see what we want to see” problem. Sigh.

Michelle D. Argyle

Tiana … dude. I think you might have nailed it. I care TOO MUCH, or maybe I’m in that zone where I’m afraid if I care more than I am that it’ll get out of control and my priorities will shift to the wrong places. So I’m living in a sort of blind fear, I guess. Thanks for your comment. You’re one of those friends I really wish I had more time to hang out with and get to know more. Hopefully things will calm down as this year progresses. If not, I’ll be happy with the short bursts we get here and there. 🙂

I feel the same way. All my energy goes into work, writing, childcare, exercise, and regular life maintenance. I have very little energy left for anything else. *shrugs*

I do still care about people outside of my immediate circle but I seldom get to see them or spend time with them. They also have young children and jobs and crazy-making schedules. We mostly chat during work on Facebook.

Michelle D. Argyle

Cynthia, yep, that all sounds so familiar. I tend to keep up with people through texting and email, it seems. I’m gratefl for technology, even if it can be overwhelming. Thanks for stopping by here!

Looks like you already got most or all of the really good insight in previous comments. Glad to see that!

Still, I connected with enough of this post to add my 2 cents, too. For me, I think my passion for the bigger world (meaning everything outside my home) has dimmed because in the process of downsizing to make room for the best priorities, I’ve also let go of some things that were “only good” which I was passionate about. I’m strongly leaning towards gaining some of it back. It may clutter my life a bit more than my personal ideal, but I’m sure I will love feeling excited over a non-essential again.

Michelle D. Argyle

Thanks for commenting, anyway, Alicia! Feeling excited over non-essentials is often what helps me get through just the day-to-day living, so I understand you that all the way!

In addition to the awesome things already said, I’ve also noticed that whenever I’m going through big transitions or struggles I have to pull back in for awhile. I don’t blog, I don’t pay as much attention to social media and I don’t even get out and do things or talk to other people because all of my energy is going to just keeping my head above water while I figure things out. You’ve gone through A LOT of transitions this year, so maybe once you feel comfortable in your new phase you’ll have more energy for connections. Miss you!

Michelle D. Argyle

Estee, it’s true. I’ve had a lot of major changes in my life the past year, some of which were just recent and very personal. I really need to let myself stay backed off and enjoy the quiet time, even if it makes me feel guilty for ignoring the world and people I care about. To everything there is a season. I miss you too, my friend!

Jenn Hubbard

The golden age of blogging coincided with my debut novel, which also coincided with a time when people were just discovering book blogging and book giveaways. That was indeed a heady time, for me personally as well as, it seemed, online book lovers generally. I think those of us who debuted then are now trying to promote and write multiple books, or struggling to stay published at all, in an ever-changing environment. I’ve noticed that debut authors still seem to have that sparkle and enthusiasm in their turn–which is wonderful. They should enjoy that special time.

As for the online book community, it fragmented–among blogs, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, and probably other places I’ve never heard of. Also I think some reviewers became a little burned out, when the pace of new releases exceeded their ability to keep up, and/or they read so many books they became choosier.

As for the other areas of life, I don’t know. I do notice as I get older that I have less energy to spread among multiple activities. I can’t believe now that I worked full time while I went to grad school. I could never do that these days!

Hope you’re finding what you need.

Michelle D. Argyle

Jennifer, I never realized that was the time your book came out — the golden age of blogging — but you’re right. I also have a feeling that some of this is just my age. I think we definitely do slow down as we get older.

As a person in a very different life situation from you, I feel this too. I think it’s just the writing blogosphere is dying down. It flared up 4-6 years ago. 2011, it started to decline…

We got all the knowledge we need, and that was cool. That’s done. We met a lot of writers, and that was cool, but that didn’t really help us with the actual writing so we didn’t maintain it. And as far as blogging and sharing ourselves, that’s gone to Facebook.

That’s my theory.

‘Course I still follow the people I feel some connection with, like you, but you’re like, what, 1 of 3? And I have a good writing friend that I email often, whom I met through the blogosphere.

I think it was just a thing that’s over, like the roaring 20s.

Michelle D. Argyle

Jaimie, you hit that on the head about it not really helping us with the actual writing. So true. I think your theory is pretty accurate. I still follow a lot of blogs, and I’ll scan over stuff, but a lot of it just glossed over. I do star posts I want to read slowly and really take in. I just starred one of yours today, but I haven’t read it yet. I will get there. 🙂

The first thing I thought when I read this was “depression,” like the first commenter. It can numb you to things.

But blogging well is also exhausting. It’s not just writing posts–it’s responding to comments and visiting the blogs of people who leave comments for you and commenting on THEIR posts.

I used to want a popular blog SO badly. And it’s still disappointing when I write an amazing post about something I feel is important and two people respond. But it’s also a lot of work when people DO respond. And just because someone loves your blog doesn’t mean you’ll love theirs. I’m in some groups where reciprocal commenting is encouraged, and it can be tough if you have no frame of reference for what they’re talking about. I’m starting to understand why people who get 30 or more comments per day don’t reach out anymore. It could easily take over their lives if they weren’t careful.

That said, I hope you remember me and I do miss you on my blog. But I’m glad to hear you’re happy. 🙂

Michelle D. Argyle

Holli, I have missed you! I do read a lot of posts, and just never comment. But maybe that makes it easier for everyone all the way around. Still, comments are so nice when you get them. Like yours here is lovely! It’s nice to hear from you. 🙂

It’s always nice to hear from you. And I’m always here, whether I comment or not. I missed the opportunity to comment on the last post.

Dear Michelle,
I’ll be 50 next year, so if someone might have a midlife crisis, that’s me, not you! 😉
Just kidding. I know exactly what you mean- with the “circle” married with multiple children. I’m still NOT married and don’t plan to in the near future. At least you have a daughter, so your life is more similar to the others than mine.
I blog less, but I still blog – because I still enjoy it. But it’s true, I don’t read as many blogs anymore, because most of my blogger friends have stopped doing it. Sigh.
Anyway, it’s okay to be too busy. As long as you’re happy, don’t worry too much. I hope eventually you’ll go back to writing. Since I don’t have anything better to do in my old spinter’s life, I’ll just keep writing – but I might stop publishing at some point. I will write until the day I die because I love it and it’s fun and hopefully one day I’ll be able to quit my day job, but maybe it won’t be because I “made it” in publishing (meaning I earn enough from my writing to pay the bills. Not happening yet, after 4 years. Might take 10. and then I might give up. Maybe).
Best wishes and keep smiling! 🙂
Barb