Sunday, February 01, 2009

one year chip, one month overdue

Alcoholics Anonymous has the one year chip. Recovering addicts earn it when they have reached one full year of sobriety.

While we may not get a chip, per se, bloggers do celebrate one year of blogging, aka the blogaversary. And instead of recognizing the giving up of an addiction, the blogaversary heralds the survival of one.
For someone who had her first whim to start a blog on December 27 and then started the blog on December 27, I say "not bad." One month late in posting my one year anniversary? Par for the course. My course, that is.

When alcoholics reach their one year mark, it is a tremendous accomplishment. It means they have given up more than liquid spirits. Often they have let go of cherished activities and social events involving alcohol in order to stick to their goal. Sometimes leaving friends behind.

Similarly, blogging is not without its sacrifices. I have had to give up cherished activities, too: tidying the house, doing laundry, going to the gym, cleaning out my car, keeping faith with the yoga, keeping up with the taxes.

The AA one year chip is considered a high risk for substance abuse relapse. For letting down one's guard and falling off the wagon. Letting a year's worth of hard work slide, by popping a top and throwing back a cold one. Or two. Or twenty-two.

What happens when bloggers reach their one year mark? What are the trends? The risks?

Reaching for one too many prickly pear margaritas due to dwindling coping skills?
Out of control consumption of mass quantities of barbeque?
Delusional recollections of cowboy hats atop bare nekkid models?
Watching one too many sex videos for real women (and their partners)?

Maybe it's more subtle than all that.

Maybe it looks more like stacks of unread books. Low back pain from too many hours huddled over laptop keyboards. Night owls returning home to roost. Social rejection due to unsightly neglected leg hair. Trampled feelings of unsuspecting spouses astride the four horsemen of marriage. Folding laundry in the therapist parking lot. Hugging trees., even.

Do one year old bloggers think they should go back to their lives of pre-blogging alienation, ignorance and sloth? Caving in to such self defeating thoughts as, "I can't keep up this pace", "Who do I think I'm kidding? My writing sucks!" or, "Give it up. I'm no good at follow through." ? (Nor, it would seem, good at complex punctuation).

Take for example my habit of reading someone's excellent blog post, or being tagged for a meme. I feel immediately inspired. I start a post-in-reply. But.... sigh... interruptions, phone calls, children screeching, dinner burning ... I don't finish it. Like, ever.
I see the unfinished post in my drafts folder weeks or months later and think, "Aw hell, now it's too late to post."
Or is it? When I get around to finishing them and giving proper linkage, I'll let you decide. Or not. Only time (management) will tell.

I do know this. Like the addicts first taste of a bitter brew, I started my blog with very little idea of what I was getting into. I had thought this blog was merely a pilot, a trial run, an expedition toward professional goals. Yes, I had hoped to connect with fellow psychologists, and I did, some from as far away as New York and Australia, make that two from Australia. But little did I know that this social addiction awaited me. Little did I know I would stumble upon an engaging and welcoming community of writers, moms and friends:

I've gotten to know writing moms awaiting transit, juggling moms, and hip moms.

Moms with law degrees, moms serving hawt green beans while studying to become a lawyer.

Moms who compare, moms who keep the home fires burning, moms wearing black fishnets
and moms with secret boyfriends; moms pretending things are normal (aren't we all?), and moms pretending things are normal while recovering from an affair; hot flushing moms emptying their nests; moms in mighty crisis , moms passing zoloft, moms drinking merlot, moms serving up cornbread, moms doing art, and moms knitting sweaters.

I've gotten to know women in pursuit, women mentally pausing; mad madges and musing magpies, reluctant bloggers and feminists; Photographers, therapists, massage therapists, psychotherapists, and actors seeing therapists (who let us watch).
I've met teachers who drink (shouldn't they all?), teachers who hang out in the apathy lounge, teacher who travel and teachers who live in Japan.

And then there's what makes it all worthwhile: the spice. Real live lesbians, lesbians on the rocks, sex working sluts, uniting queers, and activist trans. Thank you, one and all.

There are more, of course, to include a man or two (gasp!), but I'm running out of link patience. And running out of time. If you can't tell, this post has been the motherlode of binging and linking. And running out of excuses as to why those three baskets of unfolded laundry are taking over my bedroom.
But before I close, I want to say how much fun I've had, how much I've enjoyed laughing, smirking, giggling, and wincing in solidarity. And how much I appreciate all the comments, encouragement, links, awards, and acknowledgements. Thanks for making my first year the certainty of many more to come.


Mary said...

Happy One Year and One Month anniversary!

It has been fantastic visiting here - learning a little about Texas, a lot more about psychology and generally sharing in your life.

Looking forward to more to come!

Rachel Cotterill said...

I've only been doing this for two months but I'm already addicted - glad to see it only gets better! :)

blognut said...

Happy Anniversary!

Reinvent Dad said...

Happy Anniversary! - I enjoy your blog & I just purchased "Beautiful Boy" from B&N to read on my next vacation (for some reason blogging has squeezed out reading!).....BTW - question, is there such a person as "blogaholic?"

Margo said...

Happy anniversary! I always look forward to reading your updates. Maybe you need to spearhead a sabbatical system for bloggers. One month off every 7 months? After less than two mos. of blogging, I am already wondering how the heck I'm going to be able to keep it up. But, I always wonder that about everything:)

katydidnot said...

i sit in awe of your links. that was a lot of work.

yay you on your tardyblogiversary.

shrink on the couch said...

mary -- thanks! And I love learning about your corner of the land of oz.

rachel -- it doesn't take long, does it?

blognut -- thanks!

reinvent -- nothing like adding a little tension to the relaxing vacay.

margo -- that's an excellent idea. I think a goal slowly percolated to "keep blogging" for a full year. but now that tax and tennis season are upon us, I may just have to take a bit of a rest.

katy -- it was confusing and I now realize I left several off that I intended to link, but ... several (dozens) of hours is long enough to work on any one post, I think.

Heather T said...

Happy belated anniversary! I think we started our blogs on the same day -- is that possible? Freaky, if true.

I loved this post! You are forgiven for taking a month to put it together.

Vodka Mom said...

That was a FANTASTIC post!!! WHEW!

Happy, happy bloggiversary.....where's the champagne??

Deb Rox said...

Happy Blogiversary. A huge accomplishment!

And your post with it's linktastic extravaganza, with your plethora of links in differing merlot-matching colors--that is a thing of beauty that only a seasoned vet could create. You have more than arrived; you are a master post crafter, and I am thrilled to celebrate with you!

Cheers to mutally reinforced enabling!

Stacie said...

Wow! Congratulations! I do hope you keep writing. I love reading what you have to say!

Grandy said...

Congratulations on your ONE YEAR ONE MONTH chip!! I'm fortunate to have been able to follow those 2 pairs of legs in other common blogs I follow. :)

Here's to another year...and many more prickly pear margaritas!! ;)

bernthis said...

I'm so glad you did sit down. I just love reading your posts.

Julie Kertesz - me - moi - jk said...

Thanks for the visit and this delightful note too, happy one year! As they say (where?) "this is only the beginning!

As a "old blogger" who begun in 2005 January and never stopped, practicality one day, I would never go back to my pre-blogging life!

I need the connection, as well the comments when something is going very up or low, as the others blogs all over. Add to it my photographer friends from the Flickr and its group, and I have now people from New Zeeland, Japan, California, Nigeria and Norvege, etc. with whom I echanged.

Of course, I do not lead a full life, being retired and alone, so when I go to my computer in the morning, so my readers can find the note with their coffee if they like, no one is telling me "pleeease... come and..." I do not now most of the time what I'll write about either.

Usually, I begin with my French blog, the one I started four years ago, then come to the English blog, who did not reach yet its anniversary, of one year like yours. For the moment, in the last one there are not many people coming to read, never mind, I try to write regularly, as I found it very disappointing to go and not find anything new.

What is even greater, because of that last blog, I found myself writing more and more often in English, longhand also!

Sharing your life, sharing our life, is so rewarding in the long range!

Sunny said...

Keep on blogging! We love you too!;)

Mental P Mama said...

Happy 13 months! I'm so glad to know it's not just me with those blogger's symptoms....

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your first year!! I've only recently celebrated my 100th post. I'm sure one year will be a real party.


Deb said...

I was all set to wish you Happy Anniversary, but then I got distracted by that delish looking cookie.


Oh, I mean, Happy Anniversary!! So glad I found your blog!

KCB said...

Happy anniversary! I hit the 4-year mark late last year and I promise it gets easier as time goes by. Soon you won't even miss keeping the house tidy.

shrink on the couch said...

heather -- really? there's another blog I visit regularly, and she posted her blogaversary on the 27th or nearly, so there are three of us. maybe it was Mental Pause? I'll have to go back and check.

vodka -- um, champagne all gone {hic!}

deb rocks -- thanks, and I love this mutual enabling thing we've all got going on : )

stacie -- wow, thanks. that's so nice to hear.

grandy -- more PP margaritas, coming right up!

bernthis -- thank you! And I only recently discovered your hilarious therapy sessions. Are you sure you don't want to move closer to my range?

julie -- you are certainly amazing, writing a blog so well in English. I took many years of French but am very sad to say it amounts to little by now. thanks for visiting!

Anonymous said...

Happy thirteen months. I had always assumed you'd been at it longer than that!!

Thanks for the mention too.

Ash said...

I was honestly worried about my health for a couple of weeks - what in the world is causing my lower back pain?!

Tumor? Kidney issues? Ectopic pregnancy? (I kid you not).

Nope - an even worse diagnosis - Blog Butt.

Congratulations on your one-year Blogoversary!!! I too have enjoyed the ride with YOU. Em

(thanks for the linky love. Honest to goodness, this thing must have taken days!)

Kirsetin Morello said...

Well, who knew? Happy Blogaversary! I had no idea you'd only been out here a year--quick learner, eh? Glad I found you & thanks for the mention. I think that was such a cool way to celebrate - by celebrating so many others, too. True blogger spirit, girl!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Happy Blogoversary.

Wowza--that was the linkinest post I ever did see. Kudos to you!

Sunny said...

Catch an award :)

Anonymous said...

Your blog is only a fairly recent discovery of mine, and I love it. You blog is informative, very funny, open, enjoyable and addictive. Don't you dare stop or we will be forced into the braking an addiction cycle.

therapydoc said...

You're so funny, PhD. Thanks for blogging.

Unknown said...

congrats on one year.

(and yes, alcohol is a prob for me, esp red wine)

Jocelyn said...

I'm gasping because I got a shout-out here, and I never getting over that little thrill. You a honey, Honey.

I think the one-year risk is that you start blogging about kitties.


Maggie May said...

Happy Anniversary! great post :)

Anonymous said...

this gotta be the best one-year blogging post i've read so far!

please keep going! i'm saying this for entirely selfish reasons ...

and thanks for the shout-out!

Magpie said...

That's an awesome post.

KG said...

You rawk, man. I just had my 1 year blogoversary, recently, and I realized that these people I haven't ever met mean something to me even if I have never sat down to have lunch with them. Anyway, I couldn't give up blogging - it would be like dumping a lot of good friends!

Here's to lots more years of blogging and hawtness.

Mels Place in Big Bear said...

THat is an awesome list - and not just bec. I'm on it. You are a great writer.

JCK said...

Happy Anniversary!! This may well be. Yes, this is...the best 1 year anniversary post I have ever read! What a blessing YOUR BLOG has been to this community! A gem. Keep the wonderful work coming. And thank you for all of your thoughtful comments.

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