July 4, 2012. Exactly four years ago today I started this blog.
Which makes this what some people call my fourth blogiversary.
I couldn’t let this day pass without some notice of that
since there are very few things I’ve stuck to for this long.
I started on July 4 for a very specific reason; and it’s been years since I looked at that first post I wrote. So I went back and read it.
And I decided to post it again because
I’m lazy and no one will remember it anyway of its historical significance.
I never signed up for this….
Definitely the signature statement of my life. Maybe yours too. Maybe a little bit of everyone’s. Which is why I hope people will connect to this blog, to me, to each other. Because whenever I think “I never signed up for this”, it always helps to know that someone else is there —to hear the story, and to share the joke that life constantly plays on all of us.
So…. Independence Day…. maybe you’re heading to the beach, or home after the fireworks.
As a rule I don’t watch fireworks.
July 4 has supplied me with plenty of fireworks, often in the comfort of my own home. It started when I was 18 and my mother died on July 4 at age 41.
On another July 4th my then-husband and I told our 4 year old and 8 year old that we were separating, and Daddy was moving out that day.
3 years after that was the July 4th when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
I did survive— to experience another memorable July 4 weekend when my father died of Alzheimer’s.
So while July 4 for other Americans means red white and blue, for me it’s all black.
Thankfully my string of catastrophes was not an annual event—but it was enough to set the tone for the holiday. The day was obviously cursed, and I took the obvious precautions.
Every year I would approach July 4 like an upcoming nuclear event. I would schedule the summer to avoid potential danger anywhere near the holiday weekend. I would hunker down at home hopefully keeping loved ones close at hand and out of cars or planes or vehicles of any kind. Then I would wait for something bad to happen again. An earthquake? An aneurism? An affair?
Despite my natural proclivity towards negative thinking, I started wondering if I could shift the negative karma. Shove the monkey off my back. Thanks to cancer (that phrase sounds kind of odd but true) I had learned how important it was to take control–to stop feeling like a victim. On Independence Day, what about my inalienable right to revolt and declare independence from my negative karmic overload?
I couldn’t change the course of history but I could definitely spin the story. It was time to start accumulating some brownie points in the universe.
So a few years ago I made my first deposit in the positive column. I threw a party on July 4 weekend, celebrating 10 years of survival after breast cancer– connecting with people, surrounding myself with love and chocolate. Now we’re talking.
My friend Myra suggested that I make my celebration an annual tradition, and she kicked it off last July by hosting some girlfriends at a survival celebration dinner. It was amazing and nourishing and I promised myself that every single year I would continue a celebration of some sort.
I don’t always keep the promises I make to myself (although I usually keep the ones I make to other people.) Plus I’m not organized, and borderline lazy. So no, I didn’t plan anything to celebrate this year.
And again July 4 loomed, as it would continue to do until I figure out how to eliminate it from the calendar somehow.
And now it was way too late—even for a last minute planner like me, to schedule any celebration involving the schedules of other people.
Until a couple days ago, when it suddenly it struck me: there was something I could do to make July 4 memorable in a good way—to celebrate, to connect…..
I was planning to start blogging at some point in the near future. So….do you follow my drift? …. why not turn the start of my blog into this year’s celebration? Have a party—— not in person but in cyberspace.
Eureka! Click!! Blink!!! A sign!!!
Could the universe be any more clear? What better way to celebrate survival—than connecting with people? And what better time to do it? My gut and the universe were shaking me by the shoulders: it had to be now.
Throwing a party is a lot cheaper this way. Which is a good thing. The bad news is that a cyber celebration doesn’t involve chocolate. At least not for the rest of you.
By the way I am really glad you showed up—especially considering the short notice and how busy everyone is.
For me, this blog is already a big success. I’ve successfully tackled my aversion to technological challenges, successfully distracted myself from the impending doom of July 4, and successfully managed to celebrate the fact that I‘m alive, here to blog, or do anything else.
Plus, I really think I’m going to like this.
In fact I think I was born to blog. Long before the word was invented.
Only thing is, up until now I’ve been blogging by mouth.
P.S. Thank you for reading. After four years, I’m really glad I signed up for this.