Happy Blogiversary

The first week after my chemotherapy treatment is always really hard. My mind is active and racing and ready to write, and read, and do … but my body rebels and does not want to move. I am so grateful for the internet and the friends that I’ve found thereby. You.

I’m reposting the below essay (from August 14) in celebration of you, my blogfriends from the internet and from so many times in my life. We’re also celebrating my 1 year blogiversary, my 3 year old’s birthday, my 304th post, my 3360th comment (yes, I read and treasure every one!), and the 101,000th time someone stopped by to visit (I bet it was you!).

Oh, and the fact that the chemo is working. It’s stealing my words and sapping my energy this week, but it is working. Thank you all for coming by, for being here, and for leaving your words to keep me company and cheer me on as I ride this roller coaster that is a 3 week cycle of chemo and recovery, and then chemo again. 3 cycles down, 5 to go.

bon sparked a conversation over at BlogRhet about taking vacations and becoming unplugged, even just for a little while. Since I’ve been a vocal fan of raising babies without TV, and limiting it for toddlers and preschoolers, her words really struck a chord with me. Yes, I want my baby boys to live life, to learn to amuse themselves, to become the creative kid who makes up stories and ties string around a dowel and calls it a fishing pole, who builds their own fun and is completely satisfied without the latest gadget or toy or video game system. But yes, I also find myself in front of the computer at odd hours, blogging away during naptime or after the kids go to bed, and I doubt at this point I’d be able to stop cold turkey.

I wouldn’t want to try.

But I think — I think — that’s because I’ve found something of real value here, that I suspect many of you have found as well.

I’ve found a community.

I’m amazed and overwhelmed at the depth of this community, as I find new blogs every day (or you find me) that blow me away with their wisdom, their humor, their insights into the minutae of daily life that reveal our innermost selves. I feel as if I’ve stepped through the looking glass and found a treasure trove (to mix my metaphors) of womenfolk waiting, blogging, each of us at our own computers and during our own children’s naptime, or respite from housework, or spare moment at the office, to discuss, to banter, to reminisce, and to offer a hug when it is needed most.

It’s hard to explain my affection for blogging and blogfriends to those not intimately familiar with it, but I think it goes something like this.

I’ve always been sure to have a metaphorical and physical space for my own work. A place where I felt comfortable spreading out, reading, writing, and leaving things on the table when I’m done. The Room of One’s Own that Virginia Woolf described has been critical to my thinking and writing throughout the years.

But blogging. Blogging is even better. Blogging is the window in the room.

It’s as if one day last August I walked into my room, turned on the lamp, and suddenly noticed the window on the far wall, where none had been before. When I opened the curtains, the room was flooded with light and warmth, and I could hear a chorus of voices spilling through. I looked out, and discovered an amazing view — not the restful mountains or the popular beach — but a courtyard, filled with children of all ages, laughing, playing, crying, inventing, growing up together, and a sea of other windows — moms — each in a room of their own, writing their own lives, but pausing intermittently to check on the children and to be inspired by them and the women who love them. The windows are close enough that we can call to each other on the spring breezes when we are stuck, when we have something to celebrate, when we have something to mourn.

And it’s a beautiful way to live.

It means even more to me now, as I spend my days unplugged with my kids when I can (the hammock in my back yard is lovely this time of year), but retreat to my room and the view that my bloglines provide when I cannot. Although I haven’t really left the house since my last treatment, thanks to my blogfriends, I have been to Mauritania, to Singapore, to Israel, to an Ethiopian orphanage, to Australia, all over the U.S., Europe, and Canada, and to see a couple of my best friends nearly every day.

As I approach my first blogiversary, my 300th post, and my 3000th comment, I am once again overwhelmed with gratitude and love for you guys. Gals. Internets. Unplug? No way. If when I finally get to go on vacation again, you’re coming with me.

30 Responses to Happy Blogiversary

  1. Gidge says:

    Congrats Congrat Congrats!!!!
    We’re so glad you are here with us in the blogosphere!

  2. Luther says:

    Me? I was the 101,000th comment? That’s what I was trying for, I just never thought I could do it. I rock.

    Oh, and so do you. Happy Blogiversary!

  3. Luther says:

    Wait, crap, I wasn’t the 101,000th comment, I was the 101,000th visitor. Again, I fail. The naysayers were right after all.

  4. Linda Sue says:

    Ya know – I don’t need the trip to the desert spa so whoever else wants to get that for being 101,000th – feel free. I’m generous that way. You are a delight, a source of prayer material and laughter – not a bad combo? Rest – let God and those chemicals do their work. Re reading you is still better than much of what appears on the internet!

  5. So many milestones! And all good!

    Happy Blogiversary.

  6. Ally says:

    I’m glad you reposted this one since it captures so well what so many of us feel about this little community we have here. I hope your week improves and you get your strength back. I’m thinking of you, each day.

  7. Binky says:

    Damn, I don’t even know how to keep track of all those blog stats. But congrats on all of yours. And many more!

  8. … and within this community, you are giving us power. You have empowered us with such strength and mountainous courage, and you are teaching us unity, to rise up and form a circle around you. One that will uplift you in prayer and see you through until you are healed.

    Tanya

  9. BetteJo says:

    Joy. Sweet and simple joy. Wishing you much of it!

  10. Kate says:

    I already don’t know how I found your site, I bookmarked it a few days ago, and have been reading your archives. Breast cancer runs in my family, if you will. My grandmother survived, my mom has had a scare, and is on preventative medicines. After reading your blog, it has made me determined to talk to my mom and Grandma to see which type of breast cancer they had/are fighting. It has made me pay more attention to myself, to keep an eye out for other symptoms besides lumps. Thank you for that.

    I also wanted to say that I’m in awe at the amount of support you have. It’s amazing! You are one incredibly brave, strong woman. I know you will beat this. I’ll be thinking of you, and checking on you frequently.

  11. Arkie Mama says:

    Congrats!

    (and way to go, chemo)

  12. deb says:

    Happy blogiversary and I’m so happy to hear the chemo is working.

  13. christine says:

    i tis a happy day! happy bloggy birthday.

  14. Bon says:

    happy birthday, Widget, and happy birthday, Whymommy’s blog.

    rest and keep kicking.

    so proud. so glad you’re in this community.

  15. What a beautiful commentary on blogging! I began blogging nearly two years ago when my son went off to Iraq. He blogged too. It was our family connection. He told us about daily life & the weather and posted pictures of Kurdish & Iraqi children. He didn’t speak of things that would break a mother’s heart. My blog was his connection to home & family, the coming and going of visitors, and wildlife sightings.

    You named it well: windows into each other’s world. Wonderful imagery. Thanks for opening your window!

  16. PunditMom says:

    Happy Anniversary. It is a good community!

  17. clifford says:

    Hmmm. How to get the Cranium Super Fort into my office without the boss seeing…

    Thanks for the tip, YM. 😀

  18. Susan K says:

    WOW. Impressive stats and an amazing journey.

    Another question of a different ilk-related to these incredible numbers. How do you track your comments? Specifically, if I read an “old” post and feel compelled to comment, will you notice it (is there a trigger of some sort for you)? Or should I post on something more recent and be ‘out of context’? Or simply not bother? There’ve been a couple of times I thought of something to say, but the ‘current’ posting has moved on by several topics…

  19. ~JJ! says:

    Happy Blogiversary!

    Send you my love…

    I do adore this community. It’s better than family some days!

  20. Paige says:

    When someone asked me what is blogging or why I blog..you put it into words beautifully! Hope you are having a happy blessed day!

  21. Jenn says:

    That is one of the most beautiful posts I’ve read about this wonderful community.

    And I’m so glad that you’re tired and weary if it means the chemo is working.

    So glad.

  22. naseehac says:

    Happy Blogiversary!!!

  23. whymommy says:

    Susan, people have different settings — I get all my comments copied to my email, so I wouldn’t miss any comments on old posts (besides autofiltered spam. Although it does crowd my in-box!) I’ve also got this neat widget over to the left side of the page that shows the 15 most recent comments, so I’ll usually see it right away. In general, bloggers check on comments on recent posts (within the last week or so), recognizing that few of us read or write everyday.

    I just happen to have some time in front of my laptop right now, so I’ll never miss a comment. And all are appreciated — each one helps me feel less alone.

  24. Kathy says:

    Hello and happy blogoversary! I was browsing Zone Family and learned about you – decided to send you a cyber-hug of support. Hang in there!!

  25. NoMommy says:

    I am so happy for all of your wonderful milestones. Most of all that the chemo is working!!!

    Stay strong.

  26. ohamanda says:

    Wow. What a beautiful post. You hit it on the head. Blogging fascinates me every day!

  27. 5 to go! Yippa!!! Glad you have your game face on!🙂

  28. Leeanthro says:

    I, too have found community. It kept me in touch when I was on maternity leave and was yearning for adult conversation.

    I may not always post comments on all the blog entries I read, but I am a regular reader and I truely care about what the women I read have to say. Even if I don’t always agree with the writers of the various blogs I read, I value the opinions and commentary that I read.

    And you have been very inspiring to me, as a fellow new mom I can appreciate all that you are going through, even if I am not walking in your shoes.

  29. Ana says:

    I can read this piece over and over!

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