You can’t please everyone so you gotta please yourself.

Chair. Window.

Thank you for that quote, Ricky Nelson.

“You can’t please everyone so you gotta please yourself.”

I suppose some of you don’t like that headline, right?  Some of you think it’s too “pop culture”, don’t you?   Some of you think it’s not creative enough, right?  Some of you think it’s too flashy.  Some of you think it’s the best darn headline you’ve ever heard in your nine months of blogging and you give it four STARS!  Others of you couldn’t care less.

Sigh.

That’s what we’re talking about today, dear readers.  How–no matter what you say–no matter what you do–you are bound to get an infinite number of opinions about how (a) wonderful, (b) terrible or (c) so-so you did.  Or other people won’t say anything at all and leave you imagining.

I shall provide examples just in case you doubters don’t believe that previous statement.

Artwork. Chair.

Take blogging.  It’s pretty simple, right?  You write a blog and share it with the world.  The world looks at your blog and offers an opinion.  (Or they don’t offer an opinion, which I would argue is the same as offering an opinion.)

You might think that everyone would agree on your blog.  Especially if it’s a neutral blog.  But NO!  We, as a human species, do not really agree on Things.  We all have Opinions which are usually the opposite of the opinion we just heard.
 
I am going to share Blogging Opinions (about my blogs) which I have heard or intuited during the past three years.  Sit down and enjoy the ride!  And–furthermore–do not be dismayed when someone expresses an opinion about your blog which You Do Not Like.  Just wait five minutes.  Someone will come along with the opposite opinion.

Window, artwork, chair.

Person #1:  I love your blog!

Good friend/family member #2:  Sorry, don’t read your blog.

Person #3:  I read your blog, but don’t read it any more.  Sorry.

Blog Reader:  I love your photographs!  They are great!

Next Reader:  If you keep taking pictures, you’ll improve.

Next Reader:  You should write a book with your stories and photos!

Next Reader:  Here’s what you need to remember:  Focus, focus, focus!

Next Reader:  I really like your stories best.

Next Reader:  Your photos are amazing!  All of your talent is in photography. 

Next Day:  Keep trying.  Maybe you need a new camera?

Bottles. Window.

Commenter:  I love your stories!

Friend:  Sorry, I don’t read any of your blogs.  You know how stories bore me.

Commenter:  Don’t worry, Kathy, I like your photos AND stories.

Next Day:  Friend Unsubscribes.  Basically says:  Why would anyone read a blog about PERSONAL STORIES?  Boring.

Next Hour:  Your stories are amazing!  They help me see myself more clearly.  Thank you.

Next Day:  Another Friend:  “It is basically ‘unspiritual’ to write in the first person.  What self are you referring to?”

And then:  I liked your spiritual blogs better than these recent ones.

“No, no, your nature blogs were best.  Please write about nature.  Please.”

I like the pictures of the Upper Peninsula and Lake Superior.  (After having posted personal stories for a week.  Sigh.)

“Why do you respond to every comment?  That is just stupid!”

“THANK you for responding to all the comments–it makes it feel so personal.  Like we’re all together.”

“Comments?  Oh no, I don’t read any comments.”

Chairs. Snow.

“Why don’t you post smaller pictures?”

Next day:  “I LOVE the big photo format!  Keep it up!”

“Why don’t you just post every few days when you’re truly inspired?”

“Please post every day!  I LOVE reading every day!  You make my day!”

“Can’t you just post quality blogs?  I mean, instead of posting so many.”

“I like thoughtful blogs best.”

“I like your funny blogs!  That’s why I read!”

“Why can’t you write more spiritual blogs?”

“I love how I learn so much spiritually from your blogs…”

Last night: (I swear this happened):  “That is a TERRIBLE fish picture!  Don’t you remember how to focus?”

Within an hour:  I love the fish photo and That is the happiest fish I’ve ever seen!! He/She loved getting its picture taken and seems to be smiling and dancing for that lady it sees so often.

Sigh.  It goes ’round and ’round.  A different opinion every hour.

When we reach our middle years–our wise years, shall we say?–shouldn’t we have figured out that we can’t please everyone?  We must blog from our heart.  From our spirit.  From the writing muse which grabs hold and tells us which direction to pursue next.

My new year’s resolution (Would anyone like to join me?) is to continue to be True to Myself.  Not to gauge what should or shouldn’t be written or said or blogged by the Outside Opinion. 

Yes, I will listen to the Outside Opinion.  Yes, I will see if the outside advice fits.  If it’s valuable.  But if it’s not–What You See is What You Get. 

(And if you think that is trite, that’s OK.  The next person will think it is the wisest thing they’ve ever heard.  I can guarantee it.)

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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62 Responses to You can’t please everyone so you gotta please yourself.

  1. Robin says:

    Great post on the ways of blogging and commenting. It’s a lot like how the wind blows. Hot one day. Cold the next. Calm, blustery, a breath or fresh air, a nice breeze, howling winds, and everything in between.

    I enjoyed the words and the photos. I’m so glad you are going to be true to yourself. It’s the only way to be, I think. 🙂

    And yes, I’ll be glad to join you in that resolution. I will continue to be True to Myself. Thank you. 😀

    • Kathy says:

      I am glad you like it, Robin, that you can relate! I think–now that I’m thinking about it–that I am always trying to be true to myself. But it’s interesting how “little” things can move us away from balance, from center. It’s perhaps always a re-membering, a re-stocking, a moving back to where we know our truth lies.

      • Robin says:

        Funny you mention balance. I posted a little about that yesterday. You might like this quote:

        “Balance is not something you achieve and hold on to. It’s more ephemeral; it’s a string of temporary successes, held momentarily, lost, and then discovered again.” ~ Carmel Wroth, “Cold Play,” Yoga Journal, December 2010

        It was that quote that had me thinking about balance. Well, that and learning to cross-country ski. 🙂

  2. Karma says:

    You’ve got me wondering just what sort of things rambled through your head during your hibernation, Kathy!
    The blogosphere is a strange and wonderful place isn’t it? People we likely never would have met in real life swoop in and drop their opinions on your personal thoughts and art (whether it be writing, photography, cooking or otherwise), but I suppose that is what we’ve opened ourselves up to by putting it out there. I see our blogs as the parts of ourselves that we wish to share with the world, and hopefully have interaction, positive or otherwise. We may hope to please others with what we post, but if we don’t, does it ultimately matter? I’ve received some fairly strong criticism of some photos I’ve posted recently. Was I disappointed this person didn’t think they were all that great? Sure. I will learn from it and move on, and continue to post the photos I like. You will continue to post what pleases you – and we, your readers, will be happy you did.

    • Kathy says:

      You wouldn’t believe what went through this head during two weeks, Karen! lol…I am wondering if some of us (those of us who are more open, perhaps? Or something?) attract more opinions than others. I remember reading some critique of your wonderful photos over the last year and thinking: Yikes! But maybe in some ways we ask for it because we really want to grow? Or something. Just thoughts this morning…

  3. holessence says:

    Kathy – Reading this post provided me with the best laugh I’ve had all day. I loved the polar opposite comments you’ve received. They’re hysterical. So here’s MY opinion:

    The ONLY thing I don’t care for about your blog, is when you go into hibernation. I want my daily fix, thank you very much 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Wasn’t it funny, Laurie? I laughed too! I acutally laughed much of the time during the past three years when the opposite viewpoints would express themselves. They are HYSTERICALLY funny! Just when you want to claim something is true…the Universe hits you on the back with its opposite! (And, yes, I think some of us “ask for it” because it helps us grow…or something…) And now I’m smiling thinking of all the opposite opinions about why one SHOULD go into hibernation.

  4. Lona says:

    I hesitate to post anything, but *dang* that song is now stuck in my head…

    (Love the blog.)

  5. P.j. grath says:

    What is called “trite” is called that because it’s so often said, not because it isn’t true, true, TRUE! If you’re at all like me, Kathy (and haven’t we already suspected that there’s more than a little similarity?), you reach these true conclusions and then, after a while, lose sight of them and have to slog your way back to the truth again. I laughed a lot at this post. You may laugh when I tell you that the most contradictory opinions I sometimes get are my husband’s! Some of my favorite photos, the ones where I feel I’ve really succeeded, he receives with a shrug. He has a great appreciation for rapier wit–hardly my style. But there are other times when he can’t stop raving about something I’ve written or a photograph I’ve taken. I figure if I can live with his opinions and hold my own, what the rest of the world thinks is no reason to sweat.

    By the way, I loved your headline. I’ll be humming Ricky Nelson all evening, and that’s a good thing. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Oh yes, Pamela, again and again! I can’t tell you how many times I reach a true conclusion like this one (1,000? 1,000,000?) and then forget it…and then slog my way back. And, yes, I think husbands/wives are really good at giving contradictory opinions! Aren’t we? Barry actually loves this blog more than I do at times, I swear, but he also never hesitates to offer his opinion… Humming along with you today!

  6. KathUsitalo says:

    Grinning throughout.
    Thick skin is in.
    Be true to you
    (and, for a little pop reference, Be True To Your School).
    Love it.
    Cheers, and carry on!
    Kath

    • Kathy says:

      Grinning back, Kath! I actually have laughed a LOT over the past three years when one of these contradictory opinions have presented themselves. (OK, maybe I cried once or twice. But not often.)

  7. nicely put Kathy – staying true to yourself and writing/blogging/doing anything creative should always be that way I think. There will always be the 20-60-20 ratio (20% love it 60% are on the fence and 20% hate it)… just the way of things. The way to share seems to always be to be true to yourself, be authentic, sincere and genuine, and that 60% in the middle will start leaning towards the 20% who love it.

    in the end though, you are the only one who needs to find the connection with what you are writing and sharing.

    and for the record – I have read all your posts and even though I don’t post comments very often at all, I truly appreciate your view of the world.

    🙂
    xo

    Leigh

    • Kathy says:

      Leigh-Anne, you know why I sometimes think I am too attached to whether people read my blog? Because I got SO EXCITED and HAPPY to know that you read ALL (really, ALL?) my posts. I never ever once thought you were still reading. (Maybe this shouldn’t make me so very happy? Maybe I shouldn’t care so much?)

      But back to what you said. I love your 20%, 60%, 20% ratio. And how the 60% in the middle start leaning toward the 20% that love it. What a great statistic to remember!!

      • hehehe yeah, it’s a funny thing – a lesson maybe in non-attachment, trusting in yourself and what you are being called to share – that it is enough and that people are reading and appreciating even if they don’t comment very often or at all…. I’m not sure, but I understand why you care and why it makes you happy too. Why not? It is reassuring to know that people appreciate what you share – validating to know that your photos and words are reaching someone, in ways that you may never be able to anticipate. I think also, there is the element of not wanting to take anything for granted… Whatever the case is – I think it’s all ok. Good to want to share, good to want to know who is interested, getting something positive out of it, and also good to know who isn’t, but NONE of that should be a deciding factor in whether your share or not, or even what you share. Instead, that should just come from you, from your heart, from your humble beautiful self. I have always felt that from your posts, your photographs… and it’s why I have read every post 🙂

        • Kathy says:

          That trust–that non-attachment is a big one for many of us, Leigh Anne. I like so much what you’ve said here. It’s so good… Bless you for sharing it! 🙂

  8. Susan D says:

    Honoring your continued resolution to be true to yourself … period.

  9. Elisa's Spot says:

    Kathy, I come here to see who expresses on a moment to moment basis, and to feel a little brighter about expressing me…even if it’s not right back or in a way that seems to others to be related to the post.

    Your words had me laughing and thinking of a poem that I wrote quite some time ago that expresses all of those opinions, what they can do, and what I think about them. On Femininity

    As to the chair images, and what can happen when I choose to ‘set up’ shots like that…My own always feel or seem flat and false to me. Though, while reading what you wrote here, I thought about how I feel and WHY I choose, what I show in them, or more, what I leave out. The context that is so obvious or not to me, that while some might be looking at a chair, they are so fixed in what a chair should be, they miss the color of the sky.

    • Kathy says:

      Hmmm, I thought I responded to this earlier today before work. Guess not! I love your poem, Elisa. Describes it perfectly. Interesting that you focused on the chairs. I never thought of having an opinion about what a chair should be! lol…a new set of opinions to consider.

  10. Martha Bergin says:

    I like your photos, and I like your blogs, but I think you should include more about

    • Kathy says:

      I love that this sentence doesn’t end, Martha. It leaves it wide open! Including more about– and the author is left with a million possibilities. 🙂

  11. photobyholly says:

    Great post! I know that not everyone will like every single post from every blogger… some connect more with one kind of reader, when other types of posts will attract a different sort of reader. I do enjoy a good variety, but there’s something to be said for consistency, too. Basically, you’re doing exactly what you should be doing – blogging about what YOU want to blog about!! That’s why it’s YOUR blog!! 🙂 I got a good chuckle out of all the conflicting opinions, it’s amazing how different people can see the exact same thing in so many different ways!

    • Kathy says:

      It’s really amazing, Holly. I do think I attract a lot of opposite opinions–probably because I am always looking at things from 6,000 different angles. I think someone who might have a photography blog, or a nature blog, or a one-themed blog would get less of this kind of opinion. But maybe not?

  12. Susan Derozier says:

    Kathy = I love this. If you think its disconcerting to get opposite comments on your blog, write a book. I published my book a year and a half ago and what threw me most was NO COMMENTS from some who had read it. At least you are stirring the pot and getting opinions. I say just keep doing what you are doing and hooray for all the reactions you invite!

    • Kathy says:

      Oh my! I would have thought that writing a book might remove one a bit from the opposite-syndrome. I can understand, though, about people not commenting after reading. On this blog I have a pretty high comment to readership ratio. But it’s really only 5-6% of total readership. Your book was about journaling, right? (I might be wrong?) It sounds like it would be a fascinating read! You would think people that liked journaling would like commenting. Sigh.

      • Susan Derozier says:

        Kathy – I’m completely surprised that you knew the book was about journaling. I must have commented on it at one time but still…..what an amazing memory. It was called “Therapeutic Journaling: A Road to Healing. It was a self therapy that I used to teach through the university system (7 different colleges) in Wisconsin. Any plugs you can give to folks would be appreciated as I’ve done nothing to promote it. By the way, I just saw your dogs on a roof and loved it!

        • Kathy says:

          Susan, I just plugged your book on my Facebook page–right now. Some of us were having a conversation about journaling. I will also try to remember to mention it if/when a conversation about journaling comes up here. So proud of you for publishing it!

  13. Yes, leave the hibernation to the bears!!)Ou gogirl…and go and go and go.

    Love and look forward to your stories!
    Its like waiting for the next installment of a novel series-

    Anticipation is making me wait!!! Its making me wait wait….pop song?

    • Kathy says:

      Kim, you are funny. You are makin’ me laugh, girlfriend. You sound like someone who likes BOTH stories AND photos. (I know what you think about those Lake Superior photos…and guess what? I am gonna bring that camera out and take more pics of it! Maybe this weekend?)

  14. barb says:

    My Husband and I were just discussing this very thing. (About differences of opinion about basically the same thing.) I’m with you.

  15. Dawn says:

    Well…I read your blog, I thought all of it…and all the comments that are there when I first read and I don’t remember most of these. Of course I am old and the memory is failing. But I digress…this is a very timely post as I’ve been thinking I had nothing remotely important to write about today, and that I should only write when I have something to say…but maybe I should just write what I feel like….be true to myself…so to speak.

    • Kathy says:

      Dawn, I’m going to jump in and answer your comment FIRST–before my cup of coffee, before meditation, before saying six words to Barry. No, most of these opinions were not expressed in the comments! Some of them were…but many of them were actually expressed in person. Via phone, personal contact, etc. So your memory isn’t failing. (And I hope I made it clear in writing this that I think this is funny! Although when a person first says something slightly disagreeing, it often takes one back.)

  16. The way I see it, Kathy, is that your blog is your home, so to speak. I wouldn’t come into your home, invited or not, and begin to critisise your decor, arrangement of furniture or colour schemes you have chosen to live with. That would be rude. ‘Coz it’s your home, your choice.If someone reads what you have written and doesn’t like it, they don’t have to keep coming back, do they. And I’m sure you’d prefer they didn’t.

    I’ve reached my “wise years” too Kathy and yes, I will definitely be joining you in being true to myself. I wouldn’t want you to be anything else either. Keep on doing what you do, Kathy. Look at how many friends you have, including myself, who come here to read what you have written because they love your writing. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Joanne, so many of these comments (well the more “negative” ones, anyway) didn’t come from regular readers. They came from friends who–I guess–were just trying to be honest about their opinions. You regular readers/commenters are gems! Jewels! Precious metals! lol…part of the reason I write these–even though they often make me feel vulnerable afterward–is because I know other people are feeling some of same feelings. If we realize this is just the way it is, we’ll be lighter and easier on ourselves and others when this happens.

  17. john says:

    Kathy, at least two, maybe three times I’ve just left the words “Thank You”. It is because I really don’t have anything to say that hasn’t already been expressed, but I want you to know A) I was here, B) I was grateful that you were here on that day. From time to time I will still just leave “Thank You”, but to give you a translation of what I am trying to express is:

    I am grateful for your thoughts,

    I am grateful for your words and pictures that express those thoughts,

    I am grateful that you chose to share them with us,

    And now I am grateful that you are back.

    So with that said,

    Thank You.

    • Kathy says:

      John, you always say the most lovely things. You always say more than “thank you”, I swear. Your family must think you are a treasure! I am grateful for YOU. thank YOU.

  18. Emma says:

    Kathy…what the heck?? I’m surprised there are so many picky people voicing their opinions about your excellent blogs.

    Oh, just keep doing what you want to do and it’ll be great. There – that’s my opinion to add to your list. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Emma, I do like your opinion. Some of the other opinions have taken some “getting used to” as they say. Other opinions have been magnificent. The main lesson learned has been: it’s just an opinion. Don’t take it all too seriously! (OK, maybe that lesson isn’t FULLY learned. But it keeps being learned more every day!)

  19. sonali says:

    Aha.. different people, different opinions. and whats life without variety?? but, greatness lies when you are’nt hit by any of the negative comments and continue doing what YOU like. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      I think so many of us have this as a goal, Sonali. To hear negative comments and to just watch them dissolve through our understanding and love. (I’m working on it…it’s a lifetime venture, it seems. Some days fully able to hear ANYTHING with love. Not all days.)

  20. I see another blog from you that is surprising. Actually most interesting AND all the comments are included in that observation. Blogging is a cathartic experience of memories, ponderings, and thoughts. It is interesting to see what transpires in the reader after they have read the blog. We should all be different in some way, unbelieveable as that sounds.

    • Kathy says:

      Jane, are you still surprised by my blogs? lol! They do go all over the place, don’t they? Up, down and around! Who knows what will be next? I agree with so much of what you say here. And I think our difference IS that we’re each a shining facet of God.

  21. flandrumhill says:

    To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man. ~ William Shakespeare

    Kathy, if we all tried like you to be true to ourselves, it seems to me that the world would be a more honest place for everyone.

  22. Tammy McLeod says:

    And how lucky for you that you have the talent to excite people enough to leave all of those comments!!

  23. Colleen says:

    Kathy, I’m sorry….all I can do is smile and smile and then smile again at this. And then say that I’m just SO darn glad you’re back and shaking up the world in your own wonderful way 🙂

    And yes, I join you. To be continued………

    • Kathy says:

      Do you think I shake up the world, Colleen? lol! I shake myself up all the time…yikes! Smiling back atcha. And smiling again! To be continued…

      • Colleen says:

        Kathy….yes, I really think that you do!! But in the most wonderful way. With a gentle and open heart. With such generosity of spirit. With kindness and with great wisdom…….

        Shaking maybe isn’t the best choice of words but I’ve been somewhat….actually, VERY “word” challenged lately. Bless you for being able to read between the lines!!

  24. Marianne says:

    Great post, Kathy! It was fun to read all the comments one after another like that.

    I will join you in your new year’s resolution to continue to be True to Myself.

    • Kathy says:

      Wasn’t it fun, Marianne? I KNOW you will be 100% behind that committment to Be True. Aren’t we lucky that we want this to be our resolution?

  25. Carol says:

    This is something I’ve thought about – and concluded basically what you’ve said. If I’m going to blog, it needs to be to please myself and if I get comments, so much the better. But I don’t think you should take no comment as a negative; sometimes I don’t comment on blogs I read regularly only because there is not enough time to do it all. By the same token, you’ll never ever please everyone – so you’ve got to please yourself!

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Carol! I am glad that you’ve thought about this too. It’s good when we come to this conclusion. I don’t necessarily think that when a person doesn’t comment that it’s negative–perhaps I said that wrong. But a “no comment” from certain people (especially people that you know) tends to reveal different things about them. Lots of time it’s that they think they have nothing to say, or that they’re too busy, or that everyone else has said everything. Silence can speak just as loud as words. (And at other times I have no idea what silence is saying.)

  26. Barbara says:

    One thing I’ve learned from doing genealogical research, is that people have been squabbling with each other since the dawn of time, and I suspect that they always will be. Without records of disagreements there would be so many fewer documents for genealogists to pore over. They give us precious insight into the character of those who have come before us.

    (I LOVE “Bottles. Window.” and “Chairs. Snow.”)

    I’ll join you and resolve to continue to be true to myself, and to try to remain humble (and not be rude) while doing so! I love your wonderful self just the way you are, Kathy! And just the way you will be as your inner self continues to unfold.

    • Kathy says:

      Barbara, I thought about this endless squabbling (from the dawn of time) when writing the post yesterday about great-grandmas and grandpas. Interesting how disagreements actually have positive effects, too. I am reading a spiritual book now that says it is all about our ability to transform tension. Fascinating. Trying to remain humble and positive along with you, dear friend.

      • Elisa's Spot says:

        Laughing as I read this comment for the …who knows how manyeth time…

        I wonder if beginning with tension at all is a good thing? If having nothing more important to do, than to notice tension and talk about it, make it into an idol, in order to have something to rail against is a good thing…

        giggling at what I just did!

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