Randall did his State of the Blog message back on the 13th. I guess that should’ve clued me in. But it wasn’t until I was trying to fall asleep last night that I remembered that I started my blog in the month of May when Luke was only a few months old. That makes it five years this month. Actually, five years as of May 13th.
It wasn’t much, and it revealed my extreme computer-illiteracy, but that’s how it began. And I think, for the most-part, blogging has been a good thing for me. It has put my life memories down in a new format. Madeline had about 20 hours of home video for the first two years of her life and thousands and thousands of pictures developed. Olivia has the major parts (I hope!) of her life documented on video (still on the little cassettes that need to be put on dvd) and I haven’t developed pictures of her (or any of us) since she was six months old, which is, unfortunately 2.5 years ago. I need to get on that.
I have two major memories of starting this blog. I remember being in the bathroom of our first house and Marc being in there with me and mentioning that maybe I’d like to start a blog like he had, and he said, “sure” and that he figured I’d last at it for two months max. I think I made a comment about it lasting longer and ending up with more readers than him. And, at least in the latter, I have succeeded. But Marc hasn’t had the benefit of three particular aids that can help in a blog’s popularity: 1) having your header be a picture of yourself in a bikini, 2) the anticipation of pushing a baby out of your vagina, and 3) the solidarity of the mommy bloggers. I know two of those things he physically can’t do. But, really, I’d love to see Marc in a bikini at the top of his blog! I’m sure readership would go up for a few days, before people started avoiding the site/sight altogether.
Mostly this blog has been a good learning experience for me. I’m a pretty self-conscious person. I don’t like being misunderstood. But I also like spinning the frustrations of the day into something better or funny or, if nothing else, something to learn from. It’s taken a lot of time for me not to be affected by what people say on here — for my sense of self-worth not to be built up or struck down by what some random stranger commented. And I think for the most part I’m good with that all now.
Of course, now I don’t write nearly as many controversial things as I used to. I don’t write nearly as much, period. I don’t know why. Sometimes I’m tired of hearing my own voice. A lot of times I don’t have the mental energy to write. (I used to be hit with waves of inspiration late at night and would post really profound things. Now, late at night, I’m sleeping. And I don’t mind at all.) I’ve also pared back some of what I write on here, because some of it’s none of your damn business. Plus, it may actually be true that, like my mother used to tell me, just because it’s funny, doesn’t mean it has to be shared. Or was that Marc who told me that? Or just my own conscience? I seem to be hearing that from many sources. So I should likely heed that particular warning. Because, really, how many “That’s what she said” and “Just like on our wedding night” jokes can a person make? The answer is: a lot. (And most all of them are funny.) But, still, self-control is a good thing sometimes.
Oh yes. And the second memory I have of starting this blog is sitting in the old green rocking chair in the nursery in the old house, nursing Luke in the middle of the night with my head resting on my shoulder like I always did so I could hopefully fall asleep at the same time, when the name “VanderMeander” came to me. “Vander” for the particularly interesting and special and very Dutch last name I married into, and “Meander” because I knew this blog would be about my thoughts and the many ways they weave and move and come together. It was the perfect name. And I still like it after all of these years. It still fits.
I’d say it’s been a good half-decade of blogging. This would probably be a good opportunity for me to point you to my favourite posts or some of the highs and lows of my own verbal diarrhea. But, if you’ll look at the Categories column there on the right, you’ll see that I’ve done a lot of posts. And, honestly, I just can’t keep track anymore. Maybe someday, when Marc updates from this 1997 version of WordPress that I’m on, I’ll be able to point you to the big posts.
But, for now, just know that the first way I thought of celebrating this significant blog milestone was to eat five pastries from the Landmark bakery. They are so good! And whenever I get to take my little drive out to Landmark, I’m going to buy me five pastries. Maybe, as I eat each pastry, I will remember each year of blogging and the road I’ve traveled and how far I’ve come. Or maybe I will shove those pastries down my gullet and lay there 10 minutes later in a sugar coma. Either way I’ll be happy, I suspect.
So, yes, happy half-decade of blogging to me. Raise a pastry to all of the posts you’ve skimmed on here (and you know you have) and know that I appreciate all of you who’ve been a part of this.