Let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him. (Oswalt Chambers)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Blogiversary Questions - Blogging

Lois asked . . .
How did you get started writing a blog?

When I started my first blog, Seasons of Violet, in September, 2003, this was my life: (actual post from 2003)
Getting Kicked Out of the Nest
Background: I worked for Pharmacia for 17 years. Pharmacia was acquired by Pfizer. Thousands of us in Kalamazoo are being severed. We call it being Pfired.

Late last fall when I first learned I was going to be Pfired, my initial reaction was happiness. After all, I wasn't planning to work that many more years and the severance package was generous.

We had a psychologist brought in to conduct a class on the emotional impact of being severed. He talked about denial, anger, resentment, and depression. I listened, decided it didn't apply to me, and threw the handout in the wastebasket. Classic denial.

In a few months as the slaughter began, I noticed that it didn't take much to bring tears to my eyes. I started having uncharacteristic emotional reactions to everyday events. By that time everyday events included the elimination of everything familiar at work: the departments, the systems, the culture, and the people.

The anger, resentment, and depression cycles peaked in August. These were the weeks prior to one of my favorite workmates getting Pfired. For several weeks I was unable to concentrate and the slightest thought of what was happening brought a big lump to my throat.

I think I'm better now. I think I've reached the stage where I accept and I'm ready to move on. I don't like what is happening. I'm never going to feel good about what is happening. But I'm almost ready to thank Pfizer for throwing me into the next phase of my life.

Back to now . . .
I thought it would be helpful to write about what was going on at work, so I started Seasons of Violet. I was wrong. It didn't feel right posting publicly about people's private traumas, including my own. The above post is as cathartic as it got.

Seasons of Violet ended up averaging about 15 readers a day, most of them family. I think my mother did multiple views to make me feel better.

I soon learned to enjoy my forced retirement and gradually the blog turned more and more to happy things - knitting, nature, and dogs. It was time for a new blogging start and Stitches of Violet was born in October, 2004.

At the request of son John, who doesn't like to wade through knitting content, Seasons of Violet is maintained as a shadow blog to Stitches of Violet. It has the same content minus the knitting.

If Lois meant to ask a technical question instead of a personal question, the answer is much easier. Go to Blogger and sign up. It's free and easy to start a blog there.

Angie asked . . .
Why did you choose "Stitches of Violet" for your blog title?
The following is from my very first blog post on my first blog, Seasons of Violet, September 1, 2003:

Picking a Name

A few weeks ago I made a list of names I might possibly use for my blog. They all included the word violet, because violet is my e-mail name and my theme.

After making the list, I sent it out to some family and friends for their thoughts. Most of them thought that “Violet Blooms” or “Blooming Violet” was the best name because either it reminded them of spring or it indicated that I was blooming. Blooming as in personally growing and becoming a more complete person.

So glad I asked. I do have days when I’m blooming. They are rare and wonderful days.

Many of my days I am just trying to survive. Sometimes I’m depressed and/or tired. Sometimes I feel crummy. Sometimes life seems heavy and hard. Those are the days I need to write the most.

I’m sure everyone will be surprised when I don’t use a name containing “bloom”. Instead, I’m going to go with “Seasons of Violet” to represent the changing times of my life.

My dear husband Bob, in his great wisdom, picked that name from the start. He knows me well.

I like symmetry when it works. A year after the above post when I started my much more successful knitting blog, I changed "Seasons" to "Stitches" and here we are.

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