My Sixth Blogoversary
Six, with massive apologies to A.A.Milne
When it was one,
My blog had just begun.
When it was two,
Each topic was still quite new.
When it was three
It was hardly just about me.
When it was four,
It was not much more.
When it was five,
It felt barely alive.
But my blog is now six,
(though it’s rarely that clever,)
I think I’ll keep writing for ever and ever.
My blog turned six today. Six years ago, I lay on the sofa and allowed Josh to set the whole thing up. At the time, he said that he was going to write it with me. But I don’t think there has ever been a post by Josh on here.
There are over 2000 posts. I write pretty much every single day. I post about 90% of what I write. I write when I don’t have any time to write. I construct the post in my head while I’m showering, and then I quickly scrawl it out in moments throughout the day. I’ll write a paragraph and then need to leave to do something. And then I’ll email myself two sentences from the yoga mat before I turn off my phone. And finally, I’ll finish off the post and leave it for a few hours to marinate. Sometimes I’ll think of something to add in the middle of the night (it takes me a long time to fall asleep), and I’ll add that before hitting publish in the morning.
I go through stages where I need this space like water, and other times when I can take it or leave it, and other times still when I don’t want it at all. In the past, I’ve thought about walking away from it, creating a ghost blog, more than I’ve thought about hitting delete. This is a post about why I haven’t, and why I don’t really even think that anymore.
Writing here every day used to feel like something. I. had. to. do. Like weeding a garden. You can’t expect to have a garden if you’re not going to maintain it, and you can’t expect to have your blog read if you’re not going to maintain it. When I thought like that, I sometimes went through periods of stress where I scrambled to think of what to write. Or I’d be going somewhere and I felt like I needed to post something really good to carry the blog until I got back (and if I couldn’t write something amazing, became stressed about that). I spent a lot of time feeling like my space owned me more than I owned my space, which I think is true of some houses as well. There are some houses that seem to own the owners, that are constantly intruding on the owner’s personal time and causing the owners undo stress. This blog at times was like that sort of house instead of being a harbour, a cozy space where I could curl up and talk.
At some point, I don’t even remember when, I stopped the constant tugging at my blog and owned it instead of allowing it to own me. When I sit down to write, it is with a different mentality. I remind my blog that it is here for me, that I own it and not the other way around. It is a place I like to visit, that makes me happy. It’s a place where I can have a conversation. Where I can have my say.
Actually, I think I know when it changed.
My friend’s father, before he died, used to get coffee every morning with a bunch of other men at this water ice store near his home. We went to the same water ice store at night sometimes with the kids, so I could totally picture the scene as he described it. The men would come every morning to get coffee that they could have brewed at home; nothing special — just hot coffee from a press thermos served in styrofoam cups. And they’d sit at the table and talk for a while before they all went off in different directions to start their day. They called their group something like the Coffee Club.
I loved the idea of that coffee group and wished I had something like it. I’m sure sometimes it was stressful to get there in time, and sometimes he probably had other things he wanted to do more but felt the social pressure to show up, and sometimes he was sick and missed his group. It wasn’t perfect, after all, it was reality. Reality is messy. It’s hard and wonderful and it’s a timesuck and a harbour. I don’t know if the group still meets now that he’s gone; I can’t imagine that if they do, it’s the same without him.
After he died a few years ago, I stopped allowing this space to own me and I started to see it as such a gift, a place to have a cup of coffee and talk in the morning. Or, it was more accurately an ever-shifting coffee club that could be formed whenever I needed it to form. I usually prefer it in the morning as a way to start off my day (I probably publish at least 75% of posts in the morning). It’s this touchstone before I set off in a multitude of directions.
It’s never wasted time, it’s rarely stressful time. There are times when the blogosphere affects my mood — how could it not? — but the drawbacks are infrequent and the company is warm and engaging. You all make think. You push me sometimes to look at why I think something or why I do something. Sometimes you change my mind. Sometimes you make me dig my heels in harder. You are my coffee club.
So I will keep writing here.
Sometimes I need this space — as I said — like I need water. But more accurately, I need it like I need a vitamin. Sometimes I don’t really need a vitamin at all depending on what I eat, and sometimes I need it very much, but I always take it nonetheless because I believe that it might stave off problems in the future. I write something every day because it exercises my brain. Because it makes me look at myself and really see myself. Because I may catch a problem within myself while it’s still small and easily fixable. I write here because humans need a coffee club. We need to connect and be with one another. We need to know that if we slip away, we’ll be missed.
Thank you, for six wonderful years, for being my coffee club.