Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy 1st Blogoversary to Me!

Today is the 1st blogoversary of Riding the Roller Coaster!


It's hard to believe it was a year ago today that I took the leap into the vast blogosphere with my first blog post. I had never read a blog before. I had no idea how to design a blog or gain followers.  I just felt the need write. Frequently. In a free association kind of way. I had just watched the movie "Julie and Julia" and my mother-in-law had just given me Stephanie O'Dea's cookbook "Make It Fast, Cook It Slow" which was a result of her popular blog. And I thought, hmmm, I could write a blog. That sounds like fun.

But I had no idea what I wanted to write about. I knew I wanted to have a military spouse slant, but my husband wasn't deployed {yet} and I didn't think I could sustain a blog about ironing his uniforms and my weekly trips to the commissary. I also didn't want to write about the minute details of my daily life, which would bore even myself to tears. I needed a thing. A selling point. A hook. My life by itself seemed way too mundane without a thing.

Julie Powell challenged herself to cook like Julia Child, and Stephanie O'Dea challenged herself to use her slow cooker every day, so I thought maybe a self-imposed challenge could be my thing.  My challenge?  To try something new every day. Each day was a new operation, a new way to bring me out of my comfort zone.

I completed 8 weeks of daily new things and then 7 weeks of weekly new things before abandoning my challenge. I eventually realized that a) I actually had more to write about than I originially thought, and b) I was running out of realistic ideas for new things to do.  My challenge lasted almost 4 months, which isn't very long, but long enough to get my writing feet wet. And although my primary purpose in creating the challenge was to give me something to blog about, it also truly helped me bust out of my sheltered comfort zone and do some interesting things in the process.

Some of the daily operations were short-lived and quickly forgotten, like:

Operation: Documentation {when I vowed to take a picture every day for a year}

Operation: Edification {when I attended a writers' group meeting...and never went back}

Operation: Conciliation {when I tried to go a whole day without yelling at my children}

Operation: De-Carbonation {when I attempted to give up Diet Pepsi}

Operation: Anti-Paper Procrastination {when I vowed to start reading the entire Sunday paper...on Sunday}

Operation: Idealization {when I tried not to complain all day}

Operation: Work Station {when I created a writing area for myself...which has long since disappeared under a clutter of junk}.

Some of the operations ended up sticking with me for long-term enjoyment, like:

Operation: De-Pacification {when I cured Little C of her binky habit}

Operation: Cultivation {when I bought plants and hoped to turn my black thumb green... yes, they're still alive and thriving}

Operation: Appreciation {when I made a massive list of everything I'm thankful for}

Operation: Encapsulation {when I made a time capsule with my kids...I'm sure we'll all get a good chuckle from its contents when we open it in 10 years}

Operation: Elucidation {when I wrote a letter to my future self and stuck it inside that time capsule}.

And 1 operation even changed my life:

Operation: Application {when I decided to go back to work and completed a job application}
 I may not challenge myself to do something new every day anymore, I may not post as frequently as I once did, and I may not have a thing, but I'm thrilled with the direction my blog has taken.  Riding the Roller Coaster has been an amazing experience.  I can't wait to look back at where the ride has taken me by the time my 2nd blogoversary comes rolling around!

Thank you so much to all of my loyal readers! Thank you for being so supportive, so motivating, and such great company.  I've loved getting to know you, reading your comments, and exchanging emails.  Blogging wouldn't be as much fun as it is without YOU.
And on that note...
PROJECT GRATITUDE DAY 10: I am thankful for my blog, for the chance to share my thoughts, for the writing opportunities that have fallen in my lap, and for the friends I've made along the way. 


  1. I love reading your blog. You are an amazing writer. I hope I get to meet you in person one day! :)

  2. Great blog you have! Happy 1st Blogeversary!

  3. Happy Blog-o-versary!

  4. Happy Blogoversary! I have enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to what's in store for your second year. I also appericate the thoughtful comments you have left for me on my blog. :)

  5. I am amazed that your blog is only a year old. The way you write it seems as though you have a ton more experience; witty, interesting, diverse.

    Congrats on a successful first year, and here's hoping for an even better second year.

  6. Congrats on the reminded me that mine is coming up, too!

  7. Aw - happy blogiversary sweetheart! You have accomplished an AMAZING amount - and you will continue to do so, I know!

  8. Happy Blogoversary!! I love your blog! I look forward to your posts and you're all secret which makes it even better :)

  9. Happy Blogoversary! I love reading your blog and am thankful I found it:)

  10. I'm so glad I found your blog. Happy Blogoversary! BTW I have the same diet pepsi addiction. lol

  11. Wow! Happy Blogoversary! I think I started reading back in the "Operation" phase, I had no idea it was that long ago. Congratulations on sticking it out for a whole year. I love your blog and I'm so glad you are here and part of our BB community.

  12. Happy One Year in Blogland! I've enjoyed your blog so much - thank you for sharing your life and yourself!

  13. Happy Blogoversary! Looking forward to more great posts in year two :)

  14. Happy Blogoversary! Cheers to year #2!

  15. Happy Blogoversary (totally lvoe that word!)! You have become one of my favorite blogs to read and I am glad you took the plunge (:

  16. I love reading this blog! I love how you've cultivated so many connections within the milspouse realm too - your blog and its connections are very big parts of why I decided to give a try at blogging as well. I love the support the milspouses give each other! - Thanks!

  17. Happy Blogoversary!! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Gladly following you back!

  18. Happy Blogoversary...found your blog from the Monday Mingle hop and so glad that I did. I enjoyed reading this post (picked up a few good ideas)so much. Thank you for sharing.

  19. You amaze me. One year and look how far you've come, just as a blogger! Don't even get me started on your superwoman status.

  20. Mrs. Bytheway would be very proud of her star student! Happy anniversary, and I'm looking forward to read what Year 2 brings for Mrs. Roller Coaster.

  21. New Follower!
    Happy Blogoversary!!

  22. Congratulations! Keep up the wonderful work. I love your 'Operations'. I'll have to read the de-carbonation one and see if you have any advice for a fellow diet pepsi addict!

  23. Happy Anniversary, Mrs. RC! We've missed you this week. Hope it was a good one for you.


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