I’m noticing a trend around here of folks apologizing for not being as active on the Spark People site as they usually are. My buddies (and others) feel terrible because they have had to deal with real world issues and have not been reading as many blogs, posting on the message boards, or interacting on personal pages.
“I feel so terrible about not being here very much this week, but…”
Or, “Forgive me, friends, you haven’t seen me here because I…”
Or, “I’m a terrible buddy, I know, and I’m so sorry about being gone…”
People, this is a website community that is supposed to help you on your journey, not add to your guilt or shame. Your presence here is a gift, not an obligation.
Stop it. Stop apologizing. Enough with feeling bad for taking a little time for yourself. If Spark People has taught me anything, it’s that it is okay to tend to our own needs.
We are all in similar situations. We have so much to do and limited time to do it all. That means that, sometimes, our visits to Spark People may be shorter than we prefer. We may only have a few minutes to log in, update our status, track food or exercise, or read an article that caught our attention. And that’s okay. We shouldn’t feel guilty because we were not able to interact with every buddy or post to every team.
You know why this concerns me so much? It’s not just that people are feeling bad when they shouldn’t. It’s worse. I worry that people will start to avoid Spark People because they feel like they have let their Spark Buddies down. I’ve seen it happen.
“What happened? I never see you on Spark People, anymore.”
“Oh, I just got so busy that I started missing days there, and then I felt like I had disappointed my friends and just couldn’t face them. Coming back was too embarrassing.”
It isn’t true, people. No one is disappointed in you… except, perhaps, yourself. The rest of us understand that people are busy, lives are complicated, and we don’t all have the same amount of time to devote to this community. Even those of us who love everything about Spark People have days when just logging on here is an accomplishment. And that’s okay.
Come when you can. Use this site to help you on your journey. Make time for yourself and your physical and mental health. But don’t add a serving of guilt to your already full plate.