Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A Year in Review

Happy Blogiversary to me! I started this blog one year ago today. Since then, I’ve:

-amassed well over 200 posts
-gotten a new blog design
-sought and received diagnostic testing for infertility
-had surgery
-conceived…
-…TWINS
-found myself thrilled to be part of an incredible community of people
-broken bread with FOUR other bloggers, whom I now count among my friends
-written some posts I’m really proud of
-written some posts that really suck.

And now, a little story…

In January of 2005, I was stressed out. I could be considered a generally stressy person, but, around that time, it was particularly bad. I was working on a very difficult project that I didn’t have all the answers to, and the phone wouldn’t stop ringing, and the work kept piling up, and I was generally just feeling overwhelmed. Ty and I decided to go away for the weekend. Not just to the country, or to another American city—no, no, no, we decided to go all the way to Europe. Specifically, Amsterdam. Why did we pick Amsterdam? Well, I’d always heard it was a great city, and I really like cheese, and I’m a native New Yorker and was somewhat interested in Dutch culture, and, last, but certainly not least, it was the dead of winter and the whole trip was very cheap.

The night before we left, I was sitting on the floor outside my bathroom, as is not at all unusual, going through tiny plastic bags and bottles full of travel-sized toiletries, and crying. I had a big meeting the next morning (we weren’t leaving until the afternoon), and I had to pack, and I was worried about the meeting, and about making the flight, and was probably doing something strange or vaguely scary, like counting the number of cotton swabs in the same tiny box over and over again. Ty came over to mutter some comforting words, and I exploded about how I hadn’t learned any Dutch, or cracked open any travel books, and I didn't own any long johns, and I couldn’t believe how much I had to do the next day, and I didn’t even want to go.

But go we did. Somehow, I dried my tears, got to sleep, got through the meeting, made the flight, and arrived safely at our hotel room, with dark-wood furniture and cream-colored upholstery. It was cool, modern, and soothing.

We spent most of the weekend without a firm plan. When we were hungry, we got Brazilian grilled meats, or Indonesian rijsttafel (spicy assorted dishes with rice), or prosciutto sandwiches drizzled with fragrant extra-virgin-olive-oil, or a ham-and-cheese tosti (a hot pressed sandwich), and washed them down with handcrafted liqueurs. No one had told me that Amsterdam is a foodie’s paradise! When we wanted to see beautiful sights, we went to museums and looked at Flemish paintings. We walked everywhere. I didn’t even notice the cold or the dark. I was, quite literally, too busy gazing at the tulips, or watching boats glide down canals.

One afternoon, we flopped down on our hotel bed to take a short nap, right in the middle of the day, recklessly wasting the daylight hours simply because we wanted to. We woke up, looked at each other, and smiled.

That’s when my husband said something to me that I always keep in the back of my mind, often repeating to myself when things get too hard for me to bear.

“Sometimes,” he said, “You just need to feel like a person, with desires and appetites and senses to be satisfied. You need to eat and sleep and stretch out and look at pretty things. No one can go through life feeling only like a piece of machinery.”

I think that this is why I blog. Because, no matter what else is going on, it makes me feel like a person, like I have things to write and things to say, and things to read, that other people have written.

Thanks, everyone, for making my first year so wonderful.

12 Comments:

Blogger mamalujo1 said...

Happy Anniversary. Thank YOU for sharing your life and reminding us as well why we do this. To connect with people. I'm looking forward to many more great reads here. Hopefully, one day, we can all meet up. Maybe if I ever get up enough nerve, I will throw a big bonfire party out in our back pasture.

9:44 AM  
Anonymous TB said...

That was lovely. And I'm so glad that our paths have crossed.

10:24 AM  
Blogger Mignon said...

I've never really thought about it, but if I'd not found you and Mrs. H, I don't know if I'd still be blogging. I think your Amsterdam post was one of my first comments on a non-rock-star blog. I mean, you're a rock star in my book. Well, actually, you're more like one of those really good accoustic singer/songwriters that have a loyal and educated following but don't achieve rock star status because you don't sell out or pander shamelessly for fans and junk.

I looked it up - here's my first comment to you: "Where is that picture?? And can I have your life in this post for an afternoon?" At that time I went by the unremarkable moniker "PL," short for my childhood nickname. You responded that you thought my kids were cute, thus cementing our friendship for eternity. Wait - that wasn't pandering, was it?? ;)

xxoo, Sweetheart. Can't wait to read your words for many more years.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous mamatulip said...

It has been my absolute pleasure getting to know you through your blog.

Happy One Year.

12:01 PM  
Anonymous wordgirl said...

Happy Blogaversary, Arabella! Meeting you and reading your words have given my life texture and perspective.

12:34 PM  
Blogger Jess Riley said...

Happy Blogiversary!!! I'm glad I found you in the mess of blogs out there.

Your Amsterdam story was lovely. And a good reminder. I think I may try to talk Jason into a Door County getaway this weekend because we sorely need one.

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Chelle P said...

Words to live by. Thank you!

Let me know when you're ready for a new blog design. :) I still think we can work in a stroller (or two!)...

3:41 PM  
Blogger Tink said...

Beautifully, and rightly said!

I describe it as being "utilitarian." We're only good as long as we're serving a purpose. And that's not OK. I'm glad you made that trip. I'm even more glad that you decided to blog. You've impacted my life and I consider you a dear friend Arabella.

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

Hey, happy bloggiversary! I don't even remember how I found your blog, but I'm sure glad I did. And what your husband said, wow, what an amazing perspective on why we need to get away sometimes. Very wise, indeed.

P.S. Have I mentioned how excited I am that you are having twins???!!!

12:46 AM  
Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

Definately one of your best posts EVER!! What a great story.

I get caught up in the day-to-day things that seem to make up our life but not truly define it. Ty's words are great to remember.

My husband and I have been to Amsterdam twice in the last 3 years. We love it! We have walked that city many, many times (which is pretty easy to do actually) and love it. Found a little Argentinian place that was awesome one day. Love the museums.

8:33 AM  
Blogger V-Grrrl said...

I think I came in after the Amsterdam post, and living this close to Amsterdam, I definitely need to read it.

Happy Blogiversary!

3:55 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Harridan said...

I'm late! But I wanted to say my piece about how excited I was to contact you when you and Ty made a trip to my neck of the woods, and then how extra-excited I was when you wrote about my suggestions in your trip recap!

It seems pretty amazing that there was ever a time that we weren't good friends. Thanks for being my first blog-friend. Here's to many more years (and posts!). Happy Blogiversary!

8:21 PM  

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