This morning I made chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. Yep, you read that right. And yet I have kept my New Year’s resolution to lose weight! I took an existing pancake recipe, substituted unsweetened applesauce for butter and a soy/quinoa flour mix for the white flour. I added a few scoops of protein powder, and tried chocolate low-fat soy milk in lieu of regular milk. I included a quarter cup of organic chocolate chips. Each pancake has about 67 calories, or two Weight Watchers points, and the protein/carb/fat ratio adds up pretty darn close to The Zone diet. Needless to say, I’m quite pleased with myself. Now, the test will be if the breakfast stays with me all morning, but it should with that combo. I’m not a fan of syrup, so I eat them plain, and they’re tasty as is, but hubby added some pure maple syrup and pronounced that good, too. It’s just not as low-cal!
Speaking of those pesky resolutions, I have one more that I haven’t told anyone about. So far I’ve kept it, but I figure it’s a good idea to ‘fess up before I fall short. I have tried and failed before.
No, I’m not talking about my Diet Coke jones, though I probably should. That’s an ongoing on the wagon, off the wagon problem. Not good for a resolution — it’s an addiction that I struggle with quite a bit. But I digress.
I’m talking about my penchant for writing snarky comments on The Huffington Post.
I tempt myself every time I start reading what people have to say about various articles. One recent article, for example, was about how people weren’t going to the movies as much, and Hollywood was reporting a large drop in ticket sales. A few commenters announced that they didn’t go to movies anymore because they didn’t want to support the liberal Hollywood agenda.
I felt compelled to tell these people that if they went to the movies now and then, they wouldn’t be so cranky. That’ll teach ’em, right? I also believe that Al Quaeda wouldn’t need to blow up buildings if they’d let go of some of their sexual hang-ups. But they don’t care what I think, either.
Sometimes I would fall off the wagon by commenting on an article written by someone I know in the blogosphere. Just this once, I would tell myself, I will comment to support the person writing the article. Of course, one
beer comment leads to another, and before I know it, I have pissed away time that I will never get back.
Truth is, I will never change anyone’s mind. No matter how brilliant my comeback, no conservative commenter will agree with what I have to say. I’m sure some of them feel the same frustration about me. So why do it?
Part of it is ego. If you comment enough, you get fans. And badges. Lots of bright, shiny objects in an ADD world. Hey, look at me, people like me, they really like me. We all have our Sally Field moments, after all!
The other part of it, I think, is frustration. I’m a Democrat living in Texas. Need I say more? Well, no, but I will anyway. I worked in the energy field for many years. I had to learn to keep my mouth shut — a lot — especially when it came time for the company to solicit PAC money. We’re nonpartisan, they said, we just support candidates that will represent our business interests. I smiled, nodded my head, and held on to my pocketbook. All I had to do was look at the “nonpartisan” candidate list, nearly all Republican.
So now I’ve had my therapy on The Huffington Post, with months of trading insults with those whose beliefs don’t match mine. It feels good. It’s just not good for me. It’s time to move on.
This is not to say I haven’t learned anything along the way. Some commenters make sincere arguments that educate me. I am guessing that if we sat down together with open minds, we would find that we have more in common than we think. We would find that each side has valid points worth looking at.
Unfortunately, this is not how our world works these days. We can’t disagree without being insulting. I’ve tried to stay above the fray. I even went to the Rally to Restore Sanity. But I get sucked in, over and over again, into arguments that have no end. Some of these folks even earn income by writing comments that rile people up.
And oh, by the way, I’ve also figured out that some of the articles themselves are set up to appeal to our base emotions. I read about some proposed legislation that hasn’t passed and most likely never will, but the author writes as though it’s already happened. Cue the indignant comments and shouting on both sides, even though it’s totally unnecessary. Is that how I want to spend my time? I don’t think so.
I suspect that as this election year progresses, I’ll have a thing or two to say here on the blog about things. I may get some snarky comments as karma for my past misdeeds. I’ll do my best not to be snarky back. In the words of yoga teacher Beryl Bender Birch, “I will save my breath to cool my porridge.” I hope.
Anyone out there get sucked in like I have to HuffPo or some other time-waster? I’d love to not feel like the only one! 🙂