Well folks, I told you this post was going to be special, and boy howdy it is. With this post, our little corner of teh intraweb has reached the incredibly special milestone of post number 100.
No seriously this is a big deal for me. I used to have a site, and then I stopped and did so without saying goodbye to the people who had read my stuff and supported me. I always felt bad about that, because it was kind of dickish. Granted, with all that was going on at the time, I wasn't the happiest of campers, but that's no excuse to act like a prick. Then, some time later, Andy asked me to contribute to his site, which I did, and had a great time doing. Eventually, though, I yearned for the freedom of my own space, so in May of 2005, I dusted off the SuburbanJoe moniker and started posting anew. And there was much rejoicing.
I remember when I started back up, talking to Linda and asking her if I should tell people that I used to converse with that I was posting anew. She said I should only do that if I was actually going to post. "Of course I'm going to post," I said. "Why would I go through the trouble of starting this up again if I wasn't going to post?" I then went something like 2.5 months without posting. And she says she knows me.
Ironically enough, that non posting "hiatus" was during a time when I was unemployed and spent my days looking for jobs, playing video games, watching movies and doing work around the yard/house. One would think I would have had time to post, and one would have been correct, however for some reason I had no motivation. Swap out "doing work around the yard/house" for "toiling in my crap job" and the former list of daily activities is magically transformed into my current list of daily activities yet now I have the motivation to post.
Actually, it wasn't that I didn't have any motivation, but more that the hiatus represented a fairly stressful time for me/us. Last year was the Year of Many Changes (tm) and as anyone who knows me can attest to, I loathe change, especially big change. We moved to Atlanta in February, complete with house selling hassles, delayed furniture deliveries and worries about child adjustment. Then I had to leave my job due to the move and worried all summer that I wouldn't find a new job which then spawned additional worries. I worried that we wouldn't get approved to adopt Abby because we only had one income. I worried that we'd get approved but then wouldn't get the referral for a long time. I worried that we'd get approved and then get the referral and I still wouldn't have a job so I'd be on the hook to take care of both kids all day, which would then cause me to lose my mind and hurl myself into the pond behind our house.
Then I got a job, with it's relatively shitty commute. Then we got our referral so we headed out to Russia to meet an adorable, yet somewhat medically challenged (superficially anyways) little girl. Then we came home and sat and waited and worried while Russia changed all of their rules and sat on our paperwork and we imagined our daughter getting smaller and smaller and getting a more advanced case of Ricketts that caused her legs to shoot up through her shoulders. Then we went home and came back with a baby that wasn't nearly as easy-going as her brother was.
Then we had the holidays, complete with visits at Thanksgiving and Christmas from Linda's parents. Then Abby didn't seem to know how to eat and we envisioned her never getting any bigger and wondering if her prom limo would have the Latch system for her car seat.
Then the year ended and things managed to return to a state of normalcy. Abby is still crankier than Ben ever was, but lately she seems to be mellowing out a tad. We've even had a few days, although they're far apart, when she's in a good mood all day long. She still doesn't eat a lot, but that's just because she's picky, which is infinitely easier to deal with than her not knowing how to chew a cracker. She's even gotten taller, having grown almost 2 inches in the past 2 months. She may hit 5 feet tall after all.
It's not just a coincidence that the beginning of the year, with it's lack of stress coincided with my ramping up of posting here. Ever since adopting the M-W-F schedule in January, I've been able to stick to having something for y'all to read on a pretty regular basis. In fact, of the 100 posts since last May, something like 66 of them have been since January. That's the beauty of the schedule in action. Not only does it give me something to focus on, when my fatigue addled brain is having difficulties coming up with a new topic, but it makes me post because I know that people are expecting content on certain days of the week. Granted, I still have days where I say "fuck it" and skip posting entirely, but those days are much fewer and farther between than they used to be. Hell, it used to be I'd be all set to post and then see that "SWAT" was on and I'd skip posting to watch it. Again.
So this milestone means a lot to me because a) I set out to do something, I did it and am still having a good time doing it and b) the big worries are a thing of the past. Oh sure, I still have small worries but I inherited from my mother the ability to worry about positively anything so I don't expect all of my worries to magically dissappear without some sort of industrial accident that results in a length of rebar through my skull.
Last year, during the summer of unemployment, and worries were at their worst, when Linda and I would come home from picking up Ben from daycare, we would pass this one church. All summer long, the church had the same saying on the sign out front, "Worry is the thief of joy." Amazingly enough, once I got my job, the sign changed to something else. I wish, at the time, I could have taken the message to heart and really enjoyed the time I had off, rather than let my worries steal my happiness, but hopefully I'll be able to do that in the future, because if I've learned anything from last year, it's that things don't get fixed by worrying. They get fixed by posts about wooden pots. Ha. All kidding aside, I'd like to think I'm the kind of person who can learn things from shitty experiences to make future similar experiences less shitty. We'll see, although if I never have to be unemployed again to see if I learned the lesson, I'm OK with that.
Finally, I'd like to thank all of you for coming by and reading my stuff. While I do most of this for me, I like to think that you all are enjoying my work and as a result, I do some of this for you. I know that with everyone and their mother having their own sites and the various ways one can spend their time during the day, choosing to come here means you feel that you and I have a connection and I value that more than you could ever know. In the immortal words of Jay-Z, "You coulda been anywhere in the world, but you're here with me. I appreciate that."
Please keep coming back. We're just getting started.