A Happy Anniversary

It wasn’t until  sat down to write this week’s post that I realized this month is my blog’s four-year anniversary.  (I’m embarrassed to admit that I actually thought it was my blog’s fifth anniversary until I did the math one more time.  Some of us just weren’t cut out for working with numbers….)  Anyway, I’m happy to say that the blog I started with much hope and trepidation four years ago is still going strong and that the experience has turned out to be a very good one.

It’s impossible to do something for four years straight and not learn a few things along the way.  Prior to starting my blog, I had harbored a deep distrust of the internet, and couldn’t even buy something on line without panicking at the thought of actually putting my credit card number out there in cyberspace.  The thought of putting my writing on the internet for all the world to see (and comment on) was the biggest hurdle I had to overcome before I could summon up the nerve to publish my first post.  One of the first things my blog taught me is that the using the internet isn’t quite as dangerous as I had believed.

Yes, there are hackers galore, and there are also lots of folks out there who spend their days making nasty online comments to perfect strangers just because they can.  But there are far more good people who are willing to offer encouragement, advice and kindness to the people they meet online.  One of the best things about writing a blog post is getting comments on it that expand and improve on the point I was trying to make, and that happens a lot.  I feel very lucky to have readers who are both smart and generous with their knowledge.

I’ve also learned that we humans have much more in common than I ever realized.  My intended audience was middle-aged women, mostly because that’s who I was (yes, I know at sixty I’m stretching the definition of middle age a bit) and I figured those were the people who would relate to what I had to say.  But I have regular readers who are male, and regular readers who are either younger or older than I am.  It turns out, most of the issues I struggle with aren’t restricted to middle-aged woman at all.  They’re human issues that most of us can relate to just fine, no matter what our age, sex, belief system, or nationality happens to be.  The blogging community can represent diversity at its best.

Finally, I’ve learned how important it is not to let my fears, both the reasonable and the not-so-reasonable ones, stop me from doing the things I really want to do.  I love writing and I love writing this blog, yet if I hadn’t managed to overcome my fears of “putting myself out there” on the internet, I would not have spent the past four years writing this particular blog.  And that would have been a real shame, because I would missed out on all the gifts this blog has given me:  the chance to grow as a writer, to connect with terrific people from all over the world, and the hope that (with a little luck and a lot of work) I may make it to my actual five year blogging anniversary.

128 thoughts on “A Happy Anniversary

  1. I love your blog, Ann. It was one of the first ones I subscribed to when I first started blogging myself about two years ago, and I have been reading and enjoying your writing ever since. I think there is something about first blog encounters that lasts, especially with those that are such worthwhile as yours. Happy blogging anniversary! And many more happy returns!

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  2. Ann, your writing is a joy and a blessing. I value my blogger friends as much as my in-person friends. Truthfully, I know some of you more intimately from your writing then I know the people I see everyday. Keep it up and, Ann, we don’t ever have to go beyond middle-aged.

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    • I like the way you think, Larry! We are middle aged forever….
      And thanks for your kind words. You are right, we may not see each other in person, but we do know our blogging friends very well in terms of what they think and how they feel about things. It’s a gift that I’m so glad I discovered. And thank you for being one of those precious friends!

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  3. Congrats, Ann! I, for one, am enriched by your topics and insight. I find myself often saying, “Hey, Ann has gone through that, as well.”. Thank you for putting yourself out there for the rest of us. God’s grip to you. -Alan

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    • Thank you Alan! I think two of the biggest benefits of writing and reading are 1) to discover another person’s point of view in a very real way and 2) to realize that others often feel and think exactly the same way we do. It makes us feel so much less alone. And your blog does the same thing for those of us who are lucky enough to read it!

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  4. Happy Anniversary Ann! I’m so glad you made the step 4 years ago to blog so that I could enjoy the friendship we have established. I start four years ago in May – just a few months before you. What a fun journey it has been.

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    • Thanks, Kate! The wonderful thing about blogging friends is how we encourage and support each other. I’m very grateful for your friendship and for the time you featured me on your “get to know the bloggers” page. (I probably got the exact name wrong, but you know what I mean.) That was an incredible gift to give to others, and I hope you know how much it was appreciated!

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      • thank you for saying so Ann .. I have neglected “Meet the Bloggers” lately, maybe you’ve inspired me to get back to it … which ever way it is there for others to read, maybe forever 🙂

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  5. Congratulations Ann! I have to say that I love your blog and I’m so glad I found it. I relate to everything you write about and, whenever I see an email that you have posted, I look forward to hopping over and reading what you have to say. Getting to know other bloggers is indeed the greatest part about blogging. Here’s to another 5 years and we’ll keep going and going!

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    • Thank you so much! I hope we are both around for another five years….I love reading your reviews and you have introduced all of us to so many to many amazing books and authors. Your blog is a gift to all of us!

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    • Thanks Neil! Your words are exactly what I would say to you, too. Your blog is funny and insightful, and you also never fail to leave an encouraging comment on my blog. I hope you know how much that is appreciated!

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  6. Ann- Congratulations on 4 years. You are gracious in your support of your blog community as I often get comments from you on my content. On those days when maybe I feel my blog is not really what “I” felt it should be, you or other bloggers add comments that make me think my content is connecting. Thanks! Keep up your wonderful work and support.

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    • Thank you for letting me know that! I enjoy your blog very much, and am happy to comment on it as often as I can. One of the perks of blogging is that we get to tell the writers that their post did connect with us!

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  7. I think you make such a good point here, Ann, about the positive engagement from other people far outweighing the negative. I’m sure lots of of us, like you (and me!), initially feel vulnerable about putting our thoughts out there so it’s gratifying to realise that most people are, as you say, encouraging and kind, and help to expand our words and carry the conversation forward. Many congratulations on your anniversary.

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    • Thanks! And yes, sometimes we can get the impression that the world is full mostly of horrible people, only too willing to spread the hate. But once we actually start connection with others, I think we find that the opposite is true…there are far more good people out there than we had ever imagined. It’s good to know that, I think.

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    • Yes, the blogging friendships we develop are a real gift (and one I didn’t expect, which makes it just that much nicer.) Thanks for being one of my blogging friends, and for sharing your blog with the rest of us. I always enjoy your posts!

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  8. Congrats on your blogoversary. Four years is a good amount of time to devote to anything so for that alone I applaud you. I agree with your assessment of how the internet really works and how blog followers are a varied group. So happy that I recently found your blog. Here’s to four more years, eh?

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    • Yes, here’s hoping for four more years of blogging and the friendships that result! There are few other places where we can interact so positively with such a diverse group of people. I’m so glad I found your blog too!

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  9. Congratulations on 4 years…and here’s to many more I hope! I couldn’t agree more with everything you’ve said in this post. I had the same fears, but have been bowled over by how supportive the blogging community is! I always enjoy reading your posts, they are very relatable, so I look forward to many more to come!

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  10. Happy Blogiversary! I’ve very much enjoyed hearing your take on life, being of the middle age variety myself, 😉 but I agree, people are people no matter age or hometown, we all have something in common. That is one of the wonderful gifts of blogging.

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    • It really is, Nancy! When I look back at my earliest posts, before I even had an idea of how to tag them or understood much of what blogging was really all about, I noticed that you were one of my very first readers. Thank you for that!

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  11. I got goosebumps reading this. You articulate so well what I have found through blogging. I also had the same fear when I began and the same pleasant surprise as I’ve met so many people of both sexes and of all ages and races as we share our posts. Congrats on your four years! Here’s to four more and many more.

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    • Thank you! I think what I have experienced is common to most bloggers, or at least the ones who take it seriously. It’s so hard to start a blog and keep going through those first few months, but if we do, the reward is so worth it. It makes us realize that people, and the world, are a lot better than we have been led to believe. I wish you many more happy years of blogging as well….and your blog is terrific!

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  12. You love writing and it shows in everything you post. I’m glad you overcame your fear, allowing you to put your interesting viewpoints and writing skills out there for others to enjoy. You’re one of my favorites here on WordPress and I always look forward to your posts. Congratulations Ann!

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  13. Happy Anniversary, Ann! God always sends us blessings and sometimes they are unexpected – your blog is one such example for me. Reading your posts is like coming home to a warm and loving home, filled with cheer, honesty and gentleness. The ‘world’ you’ve built here in your blog is not an imaginary world where everything is pink and perfect. It’s real, we don’t always agree with everything everyone says, but that doesn’t matter one bit – because there’s genuine respect and caring, a lot of kindness and a sincere willingness to see the world from another’s point of view.

    That’s home to me and that’s what your blog feels like!

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    • You have no idea how much your comment means to me, because that is exactly what I was trying to create with my blog. I don’t want it to be fake, but I do want it to be a positive place where all people and (almost) all ideas are welcome as long as they presented in a civil manner. There is too much anger and venting going on already, and I didn’t think the world needed another blog like that. We don’t have to agree with each other in order to get along. Thanks again for taking the time to write such an affirming comment. It made my day!

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  14. Happy Anniversary, Ann! I seem to measure time by your anniversary date..:) I think we started just a couple of months apart and yours was one of the first I started following. So glad I did. You always have a way of expressing true feelings in a way that is honest and relatable to everyone who reads your words. You’re right about the people you meet on here and the gifts they show us through their words and support. So many lessons learned. It’s been a real gift getting to know you through this crazy form of technology. You should be proud of your success on here and the words of those who take thew time to listen and comment. It says something about you. Keep doing what you’re doing. Congratulations again..:)

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    • Thank you so much, George! Yes, you (and Jodi) were one of my first blogging friends. I still remember the post you wrote about your grandson’s battle with cancer. It was so good, I had my husband read it too, and he’s not a blogger. I feel so blessed to have made good blogging friends who support me on my blog and just in life in general. I know you were an inspiration to me to write openly and honestly about what is going on in my life, and I’ll always be grateful for that. Here’s hoping we are still around to celebrate our ten year blogging anniversary too!

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  15. A belated congratulations to you Ann. As you know I love your blog and can always relate to what you write. WP is a such an encouraging positive space and I’m so grateful to be part of it. Happy blogging into the future. xx 🙂

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    • Thank you, Miriam! Your honesty and eloquence have been an inspiration to me since I first found your blog, and you are one of the blogging friends I truly value. Please keep sharing your journey with us, at least until I am lucky enough to make it to Australia where we can finally share that cup of coffee!!

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  16. Ann, you are SUCH AN INSPIRATION! Years ago when I first fired up my blog, you stopped by, looked around, and gave me generous and kind words of encouragement. Then I just…. “moved on,” that is, quit. But not you! You are the Little Engine That Could, Did and Does! And now? You get to reap the many rewards of your consistency and courage. Now, with the big 6-0 looming, (ak!) I’m back, and plan on sticking around one day at a time, as they say in recovery, and you are my inspiration.

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  17. Hi Ann. A little behind in my reading. I’m glad I checked into your blog because I wouldn’t want to miss a chance to wish your a happy anniversary. Your posts are always very thoughtful, well written and lively, and I look forward to reading what you have to say. Keep it up kid.

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