‘The Quiet Life’ spluttered into life on 11 January 2009 following a conversation I had with a blogger at a party on new years eve. I named my web log after my favourite poem by Alexander Pope (see the poem here in my post of 6 Feb).
I had never blogged before. I had barely even read a blog so I had no idea what I was doing. I had though kept a pen and paper journal most of my life.
On that very first day I happened upon the blogs of Kate at blogging is my only vice and Balboa Island Tim and figured out how to get myself following their sites as they seemed like good people. The next day if I remember rightly I found Intelliwench at Post Raphaelite Sisterhood and jclouds at Moments, Drip, Drip, Drip. All you guys inspired me. I started very nervously leaving the occasional comment. At the time I was barely aware I was gate crashing a reunion of sorts of refugees from the Journal Space crash. If I had have known, I may well have been even more self conscious.
I had no followers myself at this stage but that didn’t stop me, no siree. I was on a mission.
I was prolific in those early weeks and in just over a month I had published 49 posts. Posts I must admit I was proud of. Posts that told people about who I was as a mother, a woman and as a New Zealander. They certainly weren’t literature but I had great fun writing them and they felt real to me. Honest. By this stage I had a half a dozen followers and each comment that was left filled me with purpose and drive. Helen from ‘Helen’s Journey’ (since disappeared to who knows where) commented religiously every single day and I loved her for it. The gorgeous Hot Tamale and my self-exiled compatriot Moko (Stranger in a strange land) along with my newer followers at the time, Bob (I should be laughing) and Brosreview (The odds are good, but the goods are odd) were all hugely encouraging. I was making new friends all over the world and I was loving it. The sense of community was like an open fire on a cold night.
Then a minor disaster struck.
On February 21 in a moment of sheer idiocy I inadvertently deleted every single post I had ever published to my blog. I was completely disheartened. I had no back-up. For 24 hours I was the poster girl for self pity. I sent a plea for help into cyber space and the support I received via comments gave me the motivation to persevere. Domestic Daze and jadedj (Banquet of Consequences) shared their back-up secrets and the lovely Helen suggested Windows Live Writer.
I downloaded WLW and I started again. I restarted tentatively after taking heart and courage from the fact that many of my followers (by now perhaps numbering 8 or 10) had experienced the same thing on a far more dramatic scale when JS crashed. They could carry on and therefore so could I.
I have 44 fabulous followers now though most don’t read regularly. Somehow as my number of followers has increased so too has my sense of responsibility around keeping it real. Around trying to uplift rather than drag down. Around looking for the best in people rather than criticising. Around trying to show the authentic me, the real me, not just some silhouetted version of me.
I love to entertain but that’s not always who I am. Sometimes I am more reflective. Sometimes I’m silly. Sometimes I am on a soap box sharing something that I am passionate about. Either way I post with you, my reader, in mind hoping to make your day a little bit more interesting, a little bit more humourous and a little bit more positive.
You know by now I am a tree hugging liberal. I care about the planet and about human rights. I oppose the death penalty and I abhor bigotry. I am a conscientious objector.
But don’t be fooled – that’s not all I am.
I am a compassionate woman who lives in a tiny country at the bottom of the world who needs to feel connected. I am a middle daughter who will at some stage over the next few years become primarily responsible for the care of my aging parents. I am a mother and a sister and an aunt. I am a loyal friend and an armchair sports nut. I am a hard worker and a coffee addict. I am someone who can be counted on. I am a 40 something woman who hasn’t yet completely given up on the idea of romantic love.
I look forward to continuing to share my life with those of you who choose to come along for the ride. Here’s to the next 100.