Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Friday, September 07, 2012

Ten Years On

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the day I started this blog. I began with a sort of "is this microphone on?" post, detailing my meager writer's bona fides as well as a bit of bitching about my job and the noise level of my living conditions at the time. It was far less disjointed than I suspect this post will be.

Things have changed, as they must. I'm pleased to say that, while Robin and I never did buy a house (about which I'm not saddened at all), we did wind up renting the upper floor of a nice house a few miles north of where we'd previously lived, with a very kind and reasonable landlord and fairly quiet neighbors. I'm also in a much better place of employment, the sort of company where I want to stay for the rest of my administrative career, where I feel I'm valued and where I've made lots of friends. In a lot of ways this is the ideal situation for me, stimulating at work and placid at home. Robin is still an amazing artist who teaches me something new every day, although he's not as frequently employed as we'd like. And we still have so many wonderful relatives and in-laws and friends, and our adorable Amy-cat, and a roof over our heads and food in the fridge and enough income to stay out of debt. So all in all, we're doing okay, all things considered.

But there has been heartbreak as well. When I began this blog, my dad was still alive. My best friend Leah was still with us. My closest college friend Bill-Dale was still around. My beloved kitty Datsa was 9½ at the time and about to go through a nasty bit of business that would result in us giving him medicine for the next decade, and he lived until last month. So many losses, as happens when we get older. And I had my share of medical adventures as well, including a bout with atrial fibrillation, kidney stone infections and a diagnosis of diabetes, but I'm still here too.

Ten years ago we were mired in jingoistic faux-patriotism in the aftermath of 9/11, with the Bush administration fabricating excuses for needless war in countries that had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks. I and others watched in horror as our civil liberties were being chipped away bit by bit - Texas water torture. Which wasn't as bad as the actual water torture our country inflicted upon designated "enemies" of convenience, and the way mercenaries crept into and took over so much of what formerly-accountable armed forces had done, and war profiteers enriched themselves and their oil baron friends, and bankers happily fleeced the few who still had jobs before those were outsourced and homes were overvalued and underwater (literally in the case of New Orleans)...

And where are we now? Still hoping for change, seeing some but certainly not as fast as we'd like. Many of us are still blogging away, when most have migrated to Facebook or Tumblr or the like, the way so many Usenetters migrated to message boards back before Web 2.0. Last week I posted an infographic of how things have changed on the internet in the past decade. Back then I never thought I'd need a feature phone, much less the smartphone on which so much of my vital information is now organized. Back then a woman blogger was such a new idea in some liberal political circles that folks like Amanda and others had a running bittersweet joke that every 90 days or so some guy would ask us where all the women bloggers were. Now in the days of Rachel Maddow that's taken for granted, and male feminists are currently standing in droves with their sisters who are fighting back against what we hope are the death throes of sexist harassment, as men are being called on their online behavior! Back then Facebook was pretty nonexistent, and now I spend the majority of my home screen time playing games there (darn you to hell, Playdom, you now have three??)

I can't predict if this blog will be around another ten years. I like to think it will, because despite aging and exhaustion and energy spent elsewhere I know I'm always going to want to have a place to write, and this is the best place I've found so far because it's pretty much only me (although thank goodness for Laura when it comes to blog tech!), I'm pleased to say Pen-Elayne has had almost daily content so far, even though for the last couple of years, as I've honed my writing skills more in service to my day job than my hobby, the most I seem to be able to manage is a Silly Site (had my company's servers not blocked blogging software that might have been a different story). I still like coming here, and I'm so grateful that I've never had to spend a single cent to blog - free software, free hosting services, and my time given as purely a labor of love. I think it's wonderful that anyone and everyone can blog for free, and hope that access remains with us for awhile. I hope my readers do too. I'm not going to make any grandiose promises that I'll do more blogarounds, or just more posting in general, but I'm pretty confident at this point you'll always have Silly Sites to come to. I'm grateful for your readership, and I love you all.


C Simril said...

I expect to be reading your blog 10 years from now.

terry said...

Here's to another ten years.

I find your blog to be a nice place to go to when I want to feel close to you & Rob & it always makes me think about things in a way that I would not always be thinking.

Love from Terry (your English brother)