|Public domain photo, University of Houston Library Archive|
This very first blogiversary for On the Doorstep seems a lot like the birthday of the child in the photo above. Modest, but happy. The wee girl is one up on me though, because she got a cake almost as big as her for the special day. I'm not whiny, though. I've got leftover Thanksgiving pie.
This is how it all started, just last year:
"It took me a long time to be standing here, on this door, on my welcome mat. MY welcome mat. In the course of just a few years, I moved back to the midwestern college town I'd done most of my growing up in, became a writer, left a marriage that was no longer an equal partnership, and then lived a few wickedly confused years divorcing, living with mom (eek!), living in an apartment, and struggling to find a place to call my own. That's a run-on sentence I know, but that was how my life was. I lived a run-on life."
In just a short year I came a long way from that run-on life. Now there is a solid place for my life to unfold with this little Cape Cod. She needs a lot of attention, but I feel I understand her. I did a lot of neglecting of myself, my emotions, and my true nature over the last decade. She's been neglected too. It seems we belong to each other in that sense, and the year and a half we've spent together is the beginning, I'm sure, of a longer and even better story.
The blog itself is a different tale to tell. I started it without having a single clue what I was doing, and to a certain degree it still shows. My traffic is still very modest, and on busy weeks I struggle not only to write content, but to have subject matter for the content. While I'd never want a blog so big and busy that it runs me instead of the other way around, I'd love for this little endeavor to grow a bit. That means paying more attention to my online "baby" too.
I tend to dream big plans but execute closely aligned to reality. That sure as hell was true about this first blogiversary. I had plans to revamp the design with the help of a graphics person, launch a few new features, maybe even host a giveaway.
None of that came even close to happening. The second new job did great things for my income and for my career, but what it meant for the house is that I spent a few too many days painting a small section of wall while still wearing office casual. And what it meant for the blog was fewer entries per week, let alone redesigns or giveaways. All I can say is: maybe next year.
The best thing about blogging really hasn't been about the blog itself, though. I've been able to keep family and friends updated on my new life here. I believe some self-reflection about home ownership, family life, and priorities has kept me honest and somewhat sane and grounded about what needs to happen next. Sometimes that answer is going to be very different from one day to the next, but I've learned that checking items off a pre-set list doesn't really suit my style, and sometime isn't even the best way to make progress.
I'll be back this week with more First Blogiversary posts. One, a list of the top five posts by web traffic numbers, with links and brief reviews. Next, a post of my personal favorite posts/things about the blog for its first year. Thanks for coming along for the ride this first year, and I welcome you to stick around for the second.