Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Endings: Point of Contemplation

Last week, I found myself saying goodbye to an assortment of web sites I own-- and have owned-- for a long time. A couple of them for close to twenty years, which is practically "the history of the world," in terms of the Internet.

In a purely practical sense, my reasoning was simple enough-- faced with a hosting and domain service bill for $329, I realized I simply couldn't afford-- nor justify-- to keep these things running anymore. My inner dialogue was centered around the core reality that "they cost money to keep and take my time, but don't help me pay my bills, so they have to go."

The whole process of dumping these sites that had been part of my life for many years-- as well as part of my efforts to familiarize the world with the concept "HSP"-- made me pause to consider this world we live in. And it made me pause to think about the numerous HS people I know who are eternally "living on the edge" of barely making it.

We want to make a difference, and we want to have fun, and we want to make the world a better place but find ourselves living a world that demands 110% of our energy, focus and bandwidth merely to stay alive.

I suppose I am a bit of an idealist and I am trying to swallow the (somewhat bitter?) pill that my inner sense of how an ideal world could be seems to be perpetually at odds with the reality around me.

Although I have never really been someone who's "motivated by money," I am-- to some degree-- motivated by the idea of reciprocity. Not in the "giving to get" sense, but in the sense that it's nice to see one's efforts rewarded to the extent that continuing them seems worthwhile; at least to the extent that "doing right" is minimally self-sustaining... not just an expense.

I realize it's not just about me. It's about the world. The lady who has the shop next to our art gallery gets organic farm fresh eggs from her auntie. They cost $5 a dozen. I know as well as the next person that supporting local organic farmers is the "right thing" to do. I also have a coupon from the local supermarket for eggs at 79 cents per dozen. $5.00 vs. 79 cents. In so many cases, our choices are made for us, because we only (metaphorically speaking) have two dollars to spend.

As I pondered-- with a bit of sadness-- the demise of my long-time projects, my mind drifted back to earlier times when I was writing and trying to get articles published. And how often I was met with statements like "We'd love to include your article, but we're not able to pay contributors at this time... but it'll look great on your resumé!"

I used to believe that something good would come from persevering, anyway... so I did. These days I am more cynical, knowing that the supermarket doesn't accept "great looking resumés," they accept money. And I like to eat... at least occasionally.

Back when Sarah still had her radio program (another attempt at "doing right" that cost money, rather than made money), one of the things said by one of her guests on the program was "It's hard to change the world when you're always broke." As I thought about that, I realize that most people wanting to change the world are broke... because when you're doing well, odds are you're interested in keeping the system that led to your success.

In a strange turn of events, I was looking for a (re-) starting point for HSP Notes... and it became this story about endings. Funny, how that sometimes works out.


  1. Love receiving your HSP notes email appear in my inbox. Some of my emails remain in there unopened for some time but not yours. Love your thoughts, musings and beautiful photography. Great work Peter, hope you will continue with them.

    1. Thanks for your kind words. At this point, I plan to continue HSP Notes and will probably add the most relevant content from the now gone other sites.

    2. I always wondered how you managed to maintain so many sites. I was rather impressed with that you had done so for so long. It makes sense to let most of them go and concentrate your efforts on HSP Notes.

      I've noticed that older sites tend to go dormant over time and they never really start up again. The site I run is no different and it's hard to let go of because it's a tremendous archive of information and insight. I'm considering letting it go too, but haven't quite gotten there yet. So your article is timely.

    3. Sadly, the decision was purely financially based-- if it doesn't help me pay my bills, I don't have time to give it. A lot of my pastimes and interests are under the gun, these days... sign of the times, I suppose...

  2. I was just thinking/writing about change. Yes, endings and beginnings. Thank you, Peter.

  3. Hi Mr. Messerschmidt,
    Let me BEGIN with a thank you. I just stumbled upon an article you wrote " HSP Topics: The Challenge of Friendships". I googled "Highly sensitive people and friendships" and your article popped right up. It was a wonderful piece that filled me with the most unbelievable sense of peace. Of course, from one HSP to another, you understand how impactful peace of mind is for us. Anyways, I googled your name and came across this website. The first note I read of course is your story about endings. I am so happy to hear you are continuing with the notes. I have decided to reach out into cyber space and delve beyond Elaine (she's my bible of course) because I need the support and information to understand why the f*** I am the way that I am. But I wanted to write this so in your endings of things, you will know there is girl out in cyberspace that you brought a world of peace too. So, let me END with a thank you as well. I sincerely hope you stick with notes. Can't wait to read what you've got next. #keeponkeepingon

  4. Entiendo muy poco de ingles y lo único que tengo claro es que aquí la gente parece rara como encuentro a nadie que me entienda y puedo tener tanta empatía por algo que hasta me duele. Es difícil hablar con gente que no entiende casi nada de lo que te pasa. Supongo que con alguien de aquí podría hablarlo si supiera inglé perderé la esperanza aunque con mis 46 años no haya conocido a quien no le parezca una rara.


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