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My Fifth Blogoversary (Part Two)

This is the second part of a two-part blog post.  As I said before, one post simply grew too long to contain everything I wanted to say.  The first part can be found here (containing Takes One, Two, and Three).

*******

Take Four:

Five years ago, I started this blog.  The twins were still babies.  I was so confident that we’d have another child.  I didn’t know how we’d pay the bills.  I wanted to be a writer, but the only thing I thought I knew how to do is be a teacher.  I had a small circle of friends.

The twins are turning seven this summer.  We don’t have that third child and I don’t know if we ever will.  I’m able to work out of the house and be a full-time parent.  I have two books published.  I miss teaching from time to time, but it doesn’t feel like the only thing I could do with myself.  I know people around the world and my friendship circles are like rings, many deep.

There is a saying in DC that if you don’t like the weather, wait ten minutes.

(Yes, I’m aware that other cities also have this saying, but it actually originated in The Washington Post on March 4, 1934.  So there.)

The same can be said about life.  Whether or not you like the figurative weather, it’s going to change.  That can be bittersweet when life is good.  And it can be a huge relief when things are bad.  It will not always be like this.

The same can be said about blogs, which is why I rarely unsubscribe from reading one.  Even if I don’t like the post I’m reading today, I may like the one the person writes tomorrow.  Chances are, if I took the time in the first place to subscribe to the blog, that more interesting things will percolate to the screen at some point in the future.

The same can be said about writing a blog — the stats of today, the comments of today, the readership of today — it will all be different tomorrow.  That can be a bad thing if you’re enjoying a creative period and the posts are flowing.  The readers are coming and the comments are being left.  Because that will dry up, sad to say.  It won’t dry up entirely, but we all have our good blogging days and our bad ones.

But it can also be a good thing if your blog or your readership or your comment levels aren’t where you want them to be today.  There is always the chance for a change in the future.

That is what makes life — and writing — interesting.

*******

Take Five:

Five years ago, I started this blog.  Every year on my blogoversary, I give myself a word to concentrate on for the year.

Year One (which ended up describing my first year of blogging): Connections
Year Two (set on my first blogoversary): Action
Year Three (set on my second blogoversary): Listening
Year Four (set on my third blogoversary): Tune
Year Five (set on my fourth blogoversary): Own

This year, I thought the word would have something to do with the Prompt-ly list since it is absolutely the project I’m concentrating on this year.

But I had to write a letter this week to someone who means a great deal to me to explain why she means a great deal to me.  I had to take this very emotional thing — love — and put it into words.

In trying to pinpoint it, the best way I could explain why she means a great deal to me is that she recognizes that the world is inadvertently a cold place.  That while we may do caring acts from time to time — helping an old lady cross the street or listening to a friend for an hour — our day is mostly spent in bubbles where we focus solely on ourselves even as we perform tasks for others.

We don’t mean to shut each other out, but we do it (and sociologists could probably explain why it’s actually necessary for humans to do this in order to survive and thrive).  Someone asks us for a favour, and we ignore them.  Someone admits they’re lonely, and we don’t reach out to let them know we’re listening.

So we shut each other out — albeit inadvertently (most likely due to the constraints of time).  At the same time, it is our relationships that make the difference in this world, that heat this cold world.  We notice those moments that people leave their bubble to enter our own because those moments are what makes the difference between people feeling supported and people feeling alone.

Humans are not meant to be alone.

Think about the emails you’ve saved because someone said something that meant the world for you to hear.  Or the times when we’ve gushed about how someone took the time to converse with us or read our blog.  We have such gratitude for human interactions — even the small ones.

Yet even knowing how good it makes us feel to have someone interact with us; to reach their hand into our life and let us know that we’re not alone, we don’t spend nearly enough time doing this.  Perhaps out of survival — we need to focus on ourselves in order to keep moving forward — though I can’t help but think this is counterintuitive.  Wouldn’t we go so much farther if we all spent more time focused on interacting with others since it could come full circle and have people interact with us.  Don’t we accomplish more together than we ever do on our own?

So, my word for this year, for year six (on my fifth blogoversary):

Pop.

As in, I’m going to take this year to try to pop my bubble each day.  To be conscious of reaching out to others and making that connection count.  To engage in conversations.  To help where I can help.

Even if I only increase my time outside by bubble by five minutes a day, that’s amounts to 1825 or over 30 hours of time each year that I am engaged in community by actively interacting.

Will I be able to always pop my bubble for everyone else who needs me to pop my bubble and focus on them?  Of course not.  I’m a human being who needs to practice guitar for at least a half hour each night, do my job and volunteer work, and spend countless hours trying to come up with new and interesting ways to annoy Josh and the twins (please, that takes A LOT of brain power).  So in advance, I’m sorry if you slip through the cracks and my bubble doesn’t pop.  It isn’t on purpose, though I know that’s cold comfort.

*******

Five takes for my fifth blogoversary.  Five years ago, I started this blog.  And I am so happy that I did.  And so grateful that you are here.

And you better not leave this post bare of comments just because you used up your blogoversary wishes on this first one!  Pop that bubble!

59 comments

1 St. Elsewhere { 06.22.11 at 7:24 am }

Pop!

Happy Happy Blogoversary. I nodded heartily on the statement you said about saving mails that mean a lot. Yes, we are not meant to be alone.

Again reminding you gently, that you are awesome.

2 jodifur { 06.22.11 at 7:36 am }

Happy Blogiversary, sweet Melissa. Many more!

3 Becky { 06.22.11 at 8:11 am }

Pop! Happy Blogiversary!! YOU are awesome, too :)

4 Valery { 06.22.11 at 8:20 am }

pwop… (my bubble is a bit sloppy sometimes) reading and listening, reaching out sometimes.
Thank you for being you.

5 Meredith { 06.22.11 at 8:30 am }

Happy fifth blogoversary Mel! I love this post! As a community, if we could follow your example, it’s exciting to imagine all the warmth we could create.

6 April { 06.22.11 at 8:38 am }

Happy Blogiversary!

7 Ellen K. { 06.22.11 at 8:47 am }

Happy blogoversary!

8 Gail { 06.22.11 at 9:08 am }

Happy 5 years! So exciting!! Congratulations and enjoy your popping year.

9 It Is What It Is { 06.22.11 at 9:11 am }

Ironically, I have saved many angry and hurtful emails from people who are no longer a friend to remind myself of how things can and do change and to try to not find myself there again.

Our human relationships are THE most important aspect of our lives, hands down. They are our other heart, sustaining us.

Happy blogoversary you trailblazer!

10 HereWeGoAJen { 06.22.11 at 9:15 am }

That is exactly what I have been thinking about lately. I leave a lot of comments on blogs, but they tend to be the same ones in my same circle. I’ve been trying to branch out a little lately.

11 S { 06.22.11 at 9:32 am }

Mel, I bless the day you started this blog.

12 serenity { 06.22.11 at 9:39 am }

I love you, you know that?

How did you know I needed a post like this?

xoxo

13 Delenn { 06.22.11 at 9:42 am }

Love your thoughts on human connection. Also can totally relate with the feelings of how phases of life work, how you think your life is one way; years later it is so different.

Thank you for blogging! Happy Blogoversary! And here’s to many more!

14 Pie { 06.22.11 at 10:07 am }

Happy blogoversary, Mel! Here’s to five (and more!) more years!

15 magpie { 06.22.11 at 10:12 am }

Pop? That’s my father.

Happy 5th to you.

16 Pam/Wordgirl { 06.22.11 at 10:42 am }

Wonderful post, as always Mel — so much to think about here. I know I tend to withdraw — but I love the call to action here.

I want to say here — in your public space — what I think so many people feel. Without this blog — and specifically — without YOU — I don’t believe that Z would have come into being. I may have found another road somehow, or arrived eventually at the same place — but being supported by this community, by having a virtual hub that answered my questions, allayed my fears, cheered me on when I was ready to quit — (because I did not did not did not want to do IVF) — brought me to Z. My gratitude is beyond words — in many ways you are like a virtual doula for the dreams of this community — abiding with people through joy and grief. It’s quite amazing.

Thank you doesn’t seem enough,

Love,

Pam

17 a { 06.22.11 at 10:49 am }

Wow! Pam up there pops with style!

Happy Blogoversary!

(And I feel compelled to tell you – the phrase “full-time parent” annoys my coworkers beyond all reason. They go on riffs about that for hours! “What am I? A part time parent because I have a job?”)

18 Tara (TIMO) { 06.22.11 at 11:11 am }

Happy Fifth Blogoversary!

19 Sarang { 06.22.11 at 11:48 am }

Pop! Happy 5th Blogoversary!

This made me think of performing small, random acts of kindness (tho I know it’s not limited to just that). I like your word for this year.

20 Marissa { 06.22.11 at 12:32 pm }

Congratulations!

And thank you for your blog. From the bottom of my heart.

21 Ann { 06.22.11 at 12:59 pm }

Mel, I found your blog almost 3 years ago, before I had an inkling that conception would not be easy for me. It’s like I somehow knew that this particular life milestone was not going to be so automatic for me as it was for others. And as time went by and it became evident that something was wrong (although who knows what, as we were always unexplained IF), your blog and the other blogs you led me to were such a source of comfort. And even now, after the birth of my miracle baby who was conceived on vacation the very month we announced to friends and family that we were starting the adopting process (we fulfill every freakin’ cliche that people love to throw at the infertile), I come back almost daily to read your words. To remind myself of where I was. And that there are so very many wonderful people who are still battling IF. And that it is unfair. And that it is important to be kind. And to ask how people are doing and really listen. Because you don’t know what battles people are facing behind closed doors. So in short, thank you. I would not consider myself someone who has made a significant connection with you (after all, I don’t even have a blog). Yet you have made a very big difference in my life. Congratulations on five years.

22 Chickenpig { 06.22.11 at 1:06 pm }

Poppity pop pop.

And you’re so wrong about that quote ;) Mark Twain said it about New England weather, CT specifically, in the 1860’s, so there.

Do you still have any plans to continue building your family? Or have you closed the door completely?

23 Lori Lavender Luz { 06.22.11 at 1:42 pm }

I love that you do your years in themes. And Pop is a wonderful theme, a wonderfully fizzy, rising, unifying theme.

In fact, I think it’s underpinned your intentions and efforts of the previous 5 years. Maybe even more.

Happy blogoversary, my dear friend. The day you started blogging was momentous for me, even though I didn’t know it at the time. You have changed me. For good. (as they say in Wicked.)

24 Mina { 06.22.11 at 2:18 pm }

I love take four of your fifth blogoversary. Love, love, love it! Things always change. I was ten years old when I realised that we live in a dual universe, with bad and good, love and hate, day and night. And it helped me a lot eversince, because after rain comes sunshines, and sunshine is almost always worth the wait, even when we’re impacient.

And I too strugled with popping my bubble. But now I am more in need of me-time, because I share my bubble with my son who rarely notices it and constantly pops it. But I am not really complaining. Bubbles are nice both when they float in the sun and when they are popped.

25 Lut C. { 06.22.11 at 3:12 pm }

Happy bloggiversary!

26 Aramelle @ One Wheeler's World { 06.22.11 at 3:13 pm }

Happy Blogoversary, again. :)

I love that you have had a theme each year. And Pop seems like an awesome one for this upcoming year! :)

27 Bionic Baby Mama { 06.22.11 at 3:30 pm }

how did you know i was thinking of weeding out my reader? point taken. some of those weeds might well bloom. thank you.

28 Betty M { 06.22.11 at 3:31 pm }

I love the way you are always here. Constant in the world of the IFand loss blogs where people moving on to other stages is so common and probably inevitable. A vital hub for our community. Thank you.

29 DAK13 { 06.22.11 at 3:55 pm }

Happy Fifth Blogoversary!
I have been reading you for years and should comment more often on how much I love your posts!
Have a great day!

30 Heather { 06.22.11 at 5:26 pm }

Popping that bubble to tell you that you are awesome! Great post!

31 StacieT { 06.22.11 at 7:40 pm }

Happy 5th Blogoversary, Mel! You definitely have made my world a better place for years now.

I love the theme for this year…we all need to do some popping. :-)

32 missohkay { 06.22.11 at 8:40 pm }

Happy Fifth! Take 4 is my favorite, but they’re all lovely as usual. Thanks for all you do.

33 coffeegrl { 06.22.11 at 8:55 pm }

Happy blogoversary! You seem to embrace the theme of Pop regularly. I’m sure you’ll excel at doing even more this year!

34 RenovationGirl { 06.22.11 at 9:30 pm }

Well, congratulations on five years!!! And thank you for the reminder that things will not always be like this…it is exactly what I needed to hear as I wait for yet another miscarriage. You are a blessing indeed. (and just finished Life from Scratch…bravo!)

35 TasIVFer { 06.22.11 at 10:00 pm }

Popping the bubble has been harder and harder for me in the past few months, but I’ve been trying. It’s strange – there are time when you’re feeling particularly vulnerable or scared that you feel you need to reach out more and other times when you just want to hide in your bubble!

36 Justine { 06.22.11 at 10:13 pm }

Happy 5th! You’ve been such an inspiration to me … particularly because of the way you use your blog to connect people. Mine feel so navel-gazey … and yet, what are we writing in this medium for, if not to connect? Thanks for being out there, Mel, and for making a commitment to pop not only your own bubble but other people’s, too.

37 Jamie { 06.22.11 at 10:59 pm }

And I’ve been here reading since the very beginning! Happy Blogoversary!

38 Pix { 06.22.11 at 11:02 pm }

Thanks for always giving me food for thought. I love that about your blog. It takes me on a journey to a new place in my brain! Happy Blogoversary and here’s to your 5th year!

39 slowmamma { 06.23.11 at 3:08 am }

Happy Blogoversary!
Having just begun blogging (and still working out a good explanation of exactly what I’m doing here), 5 years seems like a very long time indeed.
I reminded myself today, however, that I first found your blog nearly 3 years ago after the loss of my first pregnancy. That discovery made all the difference between moving on and who-knows-what-kind-of-unsavory-existence. It’s pretty amazing to think about what a difference a little website has made for A LOT of people in a 5 year span.
Thank you!
And congratulations!

40 md { 06.23.11 at 3:09 am }

having already wished you a happy blogoversary on your part one post, i really wasn’t planning to leave another comment (nothing new to say..). but you are such an awesome writer, with so much bubble and warmth, that i was compelled :P

am so glad to have found your blog, and look forward to much happy reading in the future!

41 gingerandlime { 06.23.11 at 6:04 am }

Pop!

This is exactly what I needed to read today. I spend way too much time in my bubble — sometimes I just don’t have the emotional energy to get outside of it. But if people don’t feel they can rely on me because I’m always spending all my emotional energy on myself, what the hell good am I? I really feel strongly that we’re all here to help each other out and to leave the world better than we found it — and we can’t do that from inside our bubbles. Thank you for putting this into words (better yet, word, singular). I can remind myself to “pop” when I’m getting stuck in that bubble too much.

I read your blog daily with such gratitude. I rarely comment here because I figure you don’t need to hear from li’l old me … but that’s dumb and I am going to stop that.

Pop!

42 JJ { 06.23.11 at 1:05 pm }

Love POP!

Such a good reminder DAILY. Actively interacting!

43 MommyOdyssey { 06.23.11 at 2:33 pm }

Well how could I not comment after being called out like that? :-)
Take two: happy blogoversary!

44 Seriously?! { 06.23.11 at 3:02 pm }

Happy Number 5!!!!

POP! So cool. Love it.

45 Anna { 06.23.11 at 3:04 pm }

Congratulations and thank you. Looking at the comments here and considering the great support I’ve gathered from just coming here I would say that you have a pretty amazing popping record so far. I look forward to reading about how the popping goes across the year and thanks again, it is a wonderful thing to know that you are here.

46 Maria { 06.23.11 at 3:25 pm }

happy blogoversary to you!! wow, 5 years! it must feel absolutely amazing…and to be able to look back on all the life and love packed into those years…all painted throughout this blog, for you to have and hold forever. i just started my blog 2 and a half months ago. little did i know what a great healer and impact it would have on my life, struggles and heart. you are right, we all do need to reach out more. and not to reach out in hopes for attention…but to help others who are hurtin’, lovin’ and needin’ just as we are. it is such a feeling of satisfaction to be able to hear someone knows exactly what you’re going through. where we never wish the struggles of loss and/or infertility on anybody, to hear you’re not alone…is a great comfort.
wishing you a wonderful, year of “POP” and joy!!
thank you for all you do and share!
<3
maria

47 Ms. C { 06.23.11 at 7:10 pm }

Happy Blogaversary Mel!
I’ve been reading from the beginning and still visit often, even thoough my comments are more rare.
Mazel tov on 5 years and wishing you much love and success into the sixth!

48 Nancy { 06.23.11 at 7:45 pm }

Congratulations on 5 years of laughs, tears and especially inspiration.

49 Tracey(thefertilitydaily) { 06.23.11 at 8:21 pm }

I’ve been enjoying your blog for 3 years, long after my own 7 fresh IVFs saga had its happy end. And long before I started blogging for my old RE as a way to “give back” to those still on thier journeys. Happy blogoversary. You are helping thousands. My RE likes to give back too, so if you think any of your readers could benefit from winning a free micro-ivf cycle, we’re holding a fun, free, easy contest thru this sunday (and another in Aug) where we have some cool prizes in addition to being eligible for the free micro-ivf prize. I’m trying to spread the word to as many women as possible. Thanks again for your impact. Tracey ICLW #118

50 Vee { 06.23.11 at 8:44 pm }

Pop! I love.
Happy Blogiversary Mel! Mine must be just around the corner or perhaps it’s passed, not sure. I certainly know you were one of my first followers and that meant the world to me and still does. xx

51 Queenie { 06.24.11 at 1:40 am }

You have had so many different projects over the years, and helped so many people. It’s truly impressive, what you’ve done. Back when LFCA was daily, it was a lifeline for me in the middle of the night, when insomnia would hit me (after sleeping normally for the first part of the night). That’s always when the fears and stressors are the worst, but by reading LFCA, I was able to feel less alone, and see that we would make it through. It makes me a little sad that it’s not daily any more. I haven’t had insomnia like that since having my daughter, but what will I read if it ever comes back?

52 Corinne Rodrigues { 06.24.11 at 9:13 am }

Happy Blogoversary, Mel. You surely have loads to celebrate. You’ve got so much going on and you seem to handle it all with great panache!

Over from ICLW and loving it!

53 loribeth { 06.24.11 at 10:18 am }

Happy blogoversary! (again, lol) “It will not always be like this.” I totally agree. I’ve been having a rough week at work, feeling sorry for myself. Lots of changes, & I’m not a person who does well with change. Or so I tell myself. I thought back to all the other changes I’ve been through in my 25 years with this company. And then I realized that, hey, I may think I don’t do well with change, but I must be doing something right — because I’m still here, unlike every one of the other people I started working with. I wouldn’t advocate staying in a truly awful job situation (or marriage, for that matter) — but I do think it’s true that sometimes people might jump ship a little too quickly. If you hang in there, the sun WILL come out… maybe not tomorrow, but eventually!

I rarely unsubscribe from blogs, unless the blog has gone totally kaput & isn’t there anymore. I just move them into an “Inactive” folder. Every now & then a new post will pop up in that folder, & sometimes the blogger resumes blogging regularly again. That makes me happy. : )

54 Keiko { 06.24.11 at 1:45 pm }

It’s amazing everything that happens and how we can grow in a time period as short as 5 years. Mazel tov again on your blogoversary. I look forward to seeing how Pop plays out this year!

55 Dee { 06.25.11 at 12:37 am }

Hey Mel–just popped over to wish you a happy blogoversary after visiting the LFCA! I can’t believe it’s been 5 years already–my how the time flies :)

And, in ‘killing two birds with one stone’ news (and responding to your most recent post–the one after this one), I’m currently at my heaviest ever (just recently passed the high of my pregnancies) and that. is. just. sad. I seem to be in a rut following some injuries this past year but working on getting me sorted out mentally and physically. Like you, I’m my own bully and I need to stop already but…easier said than done :)

56 quiet dreams { 06.26.11 at 11:13 am }

You constantly inspire and challenge me. I’m taking a step closer to regular clogging again.

57 Kristin { 06.26.11 at 2:41 pm }

Happy Blogoversary my beautiful friend. You inspire me in more ways than I can even explain. Don’t forget about the BlogHer serenade.

58 Bean { 06.29.11 at 3:45 pm }

5 years – if I could write thank you 5 million times I would. I hardly post on my blog anymore and I’m slow in reading, but I’m around and I’m still so incredibly grateful for you and your blog and all the other people I’ve connected with thanks to you. So, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!

59 Billy { 07.13.11 at 2:30 pm }

Happy blogaversary!!

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