Wow--I'm really floored by the great response to the book. I'm still reading through comments and I'll put answers to questions in the Roundup on Friday. But we have something else to celebrate...
Like the sign says, The Virtual Lushary started serving invisible drinks in 2007, which makes it a year old. In fact, it turns one tomorrow on the 17th. The idea that kicked it off remains the same idea that keeps it going: that people need a space where everyone knows their name and even if it is their first time sitting down in the circle, a space is created to include them instantly.
It's a sucky world where terrible things happen, but it's also a wonderful world where people jump in and help one another simply by letting a person know that they're not shouting their hopes and fears into the ether. On that note, it has been a very sad time in the blogosphere. It feels sometimes like things go in waves--we'll have this rash of good news and then this period where you don't even want to turn on the computer to read about the next loss. And this is my thought: I want to support all the people who are in the majority--either during a good wave or a bad wave--but I don't want to forget the minority who are experiencing the opposite news at the same time. It's a fine balance, walking through the bittersweet.
There are many other communities in the blogosphere and they all have their core group and a sense of cohesiveness--especially those that focus on an issue. I think what differentiates us is how close-knit and organized we are. And on that note, I read a post this week that spoke about how the person felt like they had lost this community and how this is where they drew all of their strength from while they were trying. It's hard. We're a community based on what we don't have therefore, it seems to follow that once you obtain that goal, you would step into a new community. But it's not that easy. I think because we are so close-knit and supportive, it is impossible to ask someone to build a life elsewhere simply because they have achieved the thing that brought them here in the first place. What a strange idea--it's like prisoners who want to remain on Alcatraz! But I think you all know what I mean. You are the voices I trust now, the people who give me advice.
Which is the reason for the divided blogroll--so people can find their smaller niche within the group--but the divisions are not meant as banishment. When you move over to the pregnant or parenting categories, it is for the greater community who wants the heads up before they click on a blog but it is also for the people who have achieved that goal--so they can find one another, still draw their support from inside this group, and remain an integral part of the community. Hopefully, readers easily cross over category borders. Without the elders, information would be lost or have to be rebuilt again and again. So as we shift around at the bar, always offering a seat to whoever walks in the door, I ask that you keep doing that even if the patron walks in with a child or a pregnant belly. If they're walking into this bar, trust that they need to be here.
January is a reflective time. I like looking forward, but I'm a sucker for looking back too. So, indulge that side of me as we celebrate a full year of imaginary drunken debauchery.
If you commented at the first Lushary, I'd like you to click here and read what you had to say one year ago this week. And then, as you update the group below on your current situation, add what was happening this time last year and how life is the same or different. If you joined along at a later bar session, the same idea holds. You can scan old sessions here and then state when you found the bar and what has changed since.
As always, it has been a less than a month since we met, bitched, cried, comforted, and caught up each other on our cycles and lives. Pull up a seat and I'll pour you a drink. Let everyone know what is happening in your life. My only request is that if a story catches your eye, you follow it back to the person's blog and start reading their posts. Give some love, give some support, or laugh with someone until your drink comes out of your nose.
I have a ton of assvice in my back pocket and as a virtual bartender, I will give it to you unless you specifically tell me that this is simply a vent and you do not want to receive anything more than a hug.
So if you have been a lurker for a while, sit down and tell us about yourself. Remember to provide a link or a way for people to continue reading your story (or if you don't have a blog--gasp!--you can always leave an email address if you're looking for advice or support. If not, people can leave messages for that person here in the comments section too). If you're a regular at the bar, I'll get out your engraved martini glass while you make yourself comfortable. And anyone new, welcome. I'm glad you found this virtual bar.
For those who have no clue what I'm talking about when I say that the bar is open, click here to catch up and then jump into the conversation.
Happy Drinking. Raising a glass to another year of imaginary drinks!
Oh...and check BlogHer tomorrow morning for another new post about our corner of the blogosphere.