2017 has already been a little challenging for me.
Honestly, nothing earth-shattering. But when you get to a certain point in your life, like a new age group, the process of filtering out the noise continues.
It's process of what to keep and what to discard in my life. Maybe "set aside" is a better definition.
In doing so, my world is eerily quiet.
As I've stated before, as an introvert, I tend to withdraw when situations present too much stimulation.
I'm a simple person. Being respected by people that others think well of is the greatest compliment that I ever receive.
So beyond that, I sometime question people's motives and reasons for what they do.
And it leads me to this "Why are people doing what they're doing?" phase/analysis and applying it to my life.
After a race last Sunday, I was talking with a quality friend of mine as we were helping the event producers clean every thing up in the park area where the start and finish lines were.
We had communicated earlier in the week that we both had either unfriended or unfollowed particular individuals on social media for the harshness of their comments and opinions during the recent election.
I decided to take it a step further in that I have nearly unfollowed everybody on Facebook.
What I've found is that there's a lot of stuff that I waste precious time on that I shouldn't.
If I'm not able to meet with somebody in person and I want to know what they're doing, I can simply go to their page and catchup.
And if they feel the need to do the same with me, fantastic too.
I don't post and share things to get likes.
In fact, they've probably gone down recently because I've limited what I post and I believe that the algorithms from Facebook push people's posts away if you've unfollowed them (but still remain friends).
I share because there are things in my life that I enjoy or simply think that they might be enjoyable or useful to others.
The other day I shared - for the first time since I can easily remember - a meme on Facebook. It was regarding Lebron James and the Dallas Cowboys.
I got a good chuckle out of it - as well as a few of my good-natured, yet die-hard Cowboys fans.
But back to why people share some of the things they do and what does it mean.
I've seen one athlete who just recently acquired a video recording device - maybe used, but new to them - and they are posting pictures of themselves working out.
And these are things that aren't just off the cuff photographs. Meaning that they've put some time in to creating the image to share.
And I am baffled as to why.
The individual is a beautiful person to look at and by all accounts is pretty intelligent, but while I don't get the impression that they're an ugly person inside you're left to wonder about what is going on in their soul.
Again, I'm simple.
Like my Mom.
My Mom grew up fairly poor and was one of 10 children. Her father passed away when she was in the second grade and her mother when she was in the tenth grade.
I can't even imagine. But she's the only one that can understand what my two nieces are with the passing of my sister, their Mom.
My Mom's birthday is coming up in a few days and she doesn't even look close to her age -- probably because she's lived her life pretty simply.
Nothing real fancy. She's loved as best as she's known how to - and has done so with all of her heart.
And given what I've dealt with during my life, and the lack of love, I'm so thankful for her love towards me - as well as that of my daughter.
Back to the withdrawing part.
I've just noticed that in the last few weeks I've taken myself out of situations - even though I can talk on a microphone with a couple of thousand people around - that are easy and simple for others.
The event producers of the race that I helped out at last Sunday are notable for their orphan Thanksgiving and Christmas - meaning that they literally open their doors for their friends who might not either have family in the area (or family period).
Not that I fit into either of those categories, thankfully, I was still invited to drop by on Christmas.
After I left my parents and came home that afternoon, I thought about it, but because I didn't know who else might be there - and what idle chit-chat that I might have been forced to get into - I didn't go.
A week later, I was on my way to a training group's year-end holiday party.
I didn't spend quite the time that I needed to thoroughly research the address where the party was being held (at a good friend's home) and when I got out to that area (and one I hadn't been before), I basically got lost.
Yes, I could have inconvenienced the host by calling and asking for them to guide me there; however, it was easier just to say, "Thank you for inviting me", and to go home.
And probably the reason why I wrote this this evening, there was another function that I've always been generally invited to.
I really wanted to go as there are two people in the running community that are going to be leaving the immediate area in February and May, respectively.
When I pulled into the parking lot, though, a little early even, I was able to quickly discern that it was going to be a smaller function than maybe what I thought it was going to be.
I didn't want to be in a position to either feel like conversation was forced or that it was had with me out of pity because I didn't know a lot of other people.
Again, I left, found a place to get something to eat and then drove 40-45 minutes home.
I'm not distressed over any of these things, but it is all just interesting to note.
I'm just trying to understand and figure it all out.