Thursday, May 17, 2012

Six Years

Hmmm. Yesterday marked my six-year blogiversary. I find that pretty hard to believe, but here's the evidence. That first blog post is also proof that I really did begin this blog with the intent of writing about telecommuting and connecting with other telecommuters. Somehow, I ended up connecting with all kinds of great book lovers instead (probably a far more fun and lively crowd). Actually, I know perfectly well how that happened. I found very few fellow telecommuters who were out there blogging like I was, so I began reading blogs that interested me, which were those that focused on books, and I started commenting on them. Soon, people (much to my surprise) were led to my blog through my comments.

I need to complete the 7 x 7 award meme, for which litlove tagged me ages ago, and which I thought I'd save for my blogiversary, but, as you can see, I don't seem to be doing it to mark the occasion. In providing the two links I've thus far provided in this blog post, I'm reminded that when I first started blogging, I didn't know how to link. I also didn't know what a meme was. Funny, how I eventually became the Queen o' Memes, thus dubbed by Hobs, who became a real life friend, but who abandoned his blog long ago (way too prematurely, as far as I'm concerned, but he had better things to do, I suppose).

That's my problem with both the 7 x 7 meme and celebrating the fact that I've been blogging for six years now. It's all so bittersweet for me. On the one hand, I've loved meeting and getting to know the people I never would have known if I hadn't started blogging, but it's been sad to see some disappear from the blogosphere altogether. I've also loved getting to know real life friends better through their blogs. However, I get this sad sort of ache when I think back on the days when I first began. Think about it: I was still living in Connecticut. Bob had just graduated from seminary. His father was still alive. We had no idea where we might be headed. I was yet to be laid off from a job I loved (I was all into math, remember?). I was yet to take a job at another company only to be laid off again.  On the one hand, six years isn't all that long. On the other hand, it's been a lifetime.

When I'm in a particularly melancholic frame of mind, I like to go back and reread blog posts from the early days (and even from the middle days). I'm often amazed at how much I've forgotten (and at my -- periodic -- ability to write really, really well. That bit always surprises me). I'm really glad I have this record. Then again, there are days when I ask myself "why?" Why am I glad to have this record? To tell you the truth, I don't have an answer to that question, except to say that some days it's less sad and more fun to reminisce, and I'm glad to have a tool that helps me do so.

I blog so seldom these days. I started 2012 with all kinds of plans to spend more time here, but they haven't materialized. It isn't because I don't want to blog. It's just that so many other things I want to do get in the way. Ironically, just when you'd think I'd have more time to spend with my blog, would want to spend time online, since I can do what I want instead of what I'm getting paid to do, now that I no longer telecommute, spending hours and hours a day working at the computer, I find I'm less inclined to go online. I'm reading more. I'm writing offline. I'm taking better care of my home. I'm loving a part-time job at my local library, and I'm spending more time exploring this place where I live, not to mention spending more time doing things at Bob's church. It's not bad, I suppose, just different from where I was 6 years ago. And, really, I suppose I should be thankful that I've moved on from 6 years ago. That's what we all want to do as we travel this road called Life, right? Doesn't mean, though, that as happy as I might be now, it isn't sometimes a bit sad to wade through the old posts and remember where I once was.

What about you? How does it feel when you look back over your blogging life?


Courtney said...

I am planning on writing "an evolution of everythinginbetween" very very soon which will address your final question here but in the meantime, I know if I didn't work at a computer as often as I do I wouldn't be motivated to blog as often, either, I don't think. Your lifestyle sounds absolutely lovely right now and if I had the opportunity I would pursue my time much the way you are pursuing yours - it sounds so much more balanced and enjoyable!

Stefanie said...

Happy blogiversary! I am altenately amused, impressed, and horrified when I look back at all my years of blogging.

Bob said...

Beautify and perceptively put, Emily. Face it, blogging takes away time from other things (you have to get to your "real" writing). I haven't been doing it as long as you (four plus years) but I feel the same way. So many other interests and so little time. But when I look back, I'm reminded what I was thinking about or how I felt during those four years. And when I've written about books I've read -- it has become a means to really remember their contents. Now that I retroactively labeled my blog entries, I can actually find what I'm looking for, a veritable mini-encyclopedia of my more recent life, and a place to recollect earlier times (not that the world cares, but I do).

In any case, keep it up when you find time, and happy 6th blogiversary!


Happy 6 blogaversary. I rarely look back at what I've written, but when I do, I'm frequently surprised -- about what I wrote, how I wrote, etc. It was difficult to get back to after my 2 year hiatus, but now that I am not working, I find it gives me a little structure to say that I'm going to spend x amount of time on my blog. Often I just take the lazy approach and post a photograph, but that is where a lot of my passion and energy lies right now. I wish I could write better posts, but I don't seem to have the motivation to do so.

A lot has happened since I wrote that first post 6.5 years ago. Wow! I hardly recognize that writer! Like you, there are many that use to follow who no longer blog and others that I just no longer follow for one reason or another. A little bittersweet, but I still like blogging and the people that I meet -- online & IRL -- doing so. After all, I wouldn't have met you if I hadn't written that first post and then somehow, a few months later, stumbled onto your blog.

I owe you a very long letter, too, don't I? Maybe after mid-June. :-)

litlove said...

I understand just how you feel. There were real golden years for us, when we were part of such a fabulous group of blogging friends and all together on What We Said. I miss the Hobgoblin, and that goddess Bloglily, too. Plus, whatever we move on to, however good it is, there's always other things that have to be given up and that's sad. But I agree with Courtney that your life sounds wonderful, and I'm really pleased to know that you are writing outside the blog. That's what I find tricky - it's hard to blog and write seriously too. But I'm very happy that you do still find the time to write here occasionally. It would be dreadful if you gave up altogether!

Emily Barton said...

Courtney, looking forward to reading your post on the evolution of your blog. You've had even more big changes in your life than I have since we first "met." My life doesn't always seem more balanced and enjoyable, but if I compare it to six years ago, it most certainly is. (I'll have to keep that in mind next time I'm pulling my hair out thinking, "But I don't WANT to be a minister's wife anymore!)

Stef, thanks! I see nothing horrific at all about your blog (but I can certainly identify with those feelings when I look back at my own blog).

Bob, thanks. And keep up your blog, too, please. You're one of those "real life" friends I've loved getting to know better through his blog.

Cam, oh, yea! A long letter from you awaits my mailbox some day (to tell you the truth, I have no idea who owns whom letters at this point. One thing I've learned from blogging: I'm a terrible pen pal). One of the most fun things ever that came out of blogging was the great blogger meetup in New York, a day I'll never forget (and not only because I blogged about it).

Litlove, it was a golden age, wasn't it? And yes, it's very hard to blog and to write seriously at the same time. I wish I could find a balance. It seems I'm either blogging all the time or writing other stuff all the time, but never doing what I'd like to do, which is to spend most of my time writing off line and to spend a little time every day blogging (which, for me, is a completely different kind of writing).