I have done a hard thing recently.

I have stopped watching my numbers.

Many have encouraged me to stop doing so - especially the female readers who seem to have a healthier view of blogging.  For me, reading these numbers has become an obsession.  I see who visits, where they are from, where I have been mentioned, and who has linked to me.  I see which of my posts are commented on elsewhere.  The better I have done in these respects, the more obsessed I became with the numbers.  With recent posts in grand rounds, peds grand rounds, and things I have said picked up by Kevin, MD, I have had all the more compulsion to see the effect they had on my numbers.

Why become so obsessed?  Why is it that these things become such a compulsion to some of us?  As I have said in the past, some of it comes from my "class clown" personality.  You do something and then look around to see how your audience responds.  It is simply in my nature to play to a crowd.  I like to perform.  I give talks in front of people and I perform music in front of people.  A good performer is always aware of his/her audience.  Yet the stat tracker makes this become obsessive.

But that stops here.  I took the stat tracker off of the bookmarks on my browser (although I don't have the strength to take it totally off of the blog).  I took the Technorati shortcut off of my bookmarks as well.  I will stop checking them.  I will do my best to simply put out good enough stuff that people will read it and comment.  The comments are the main barometer I will still use to stay aware of my readers.  I will do my best to not go back to stat tracker.

I am wearing my patch.

I am chewing my gum.

I call upon my higher power (sorry Clark).

Flea, do you think that it was Thimerosal exposure as a child that has done this to me?

Sweating...heart racing...doc, can I get some Librium??

******

I know what people may say of the above section:  "Rob, don't be so hard on yourself!"

I am not being hard on myself.  I don't think I am bad to be the way I am.  I am just being honest about my own shortcomings.  I have an obsessive side to me that I need to keep at bay.  One of the best ways to deal with this is to be honest about it (and laughing at it).  Obsessions are best dealt with in the open, not in private.  Maybe sharing my silly little struggle with stat trackers will help others with more serious obsessions.

We are all the same in many ways.  Making fun of myself is my way of talking about  a serious thing in a less serious way.

******

Make sure you go on over to Unintelligent Design and submit your ideas for greeting cards.  Judging will commence shortly and I think Clark has gotten some sort of cash prize for whoever wins.  Either that or some sort of stat tracker button for your blog.

There have been some fantastic submissions.

******

Don't forget to get your Pediatric Grand Rounds submissions in!!!