Saturday, July 5, 2014
Goodbye for now
I posted a picture of my rabbit as my avatar and met a whole group of wonderful pet loving people! After a while, some of the anipals (as we called ourselves) started having virtual parties, and one very creative little terrier took the idea and turned it into a way to raise funds for small animal charities.
Pawpawties were 24 hour virtual parties complete with DJs, Barktenders, Quizmasters and Sekurity. We had corporate sponsors and helped raise over $1,000 per month for animal charities all over the world. Eventually Pawpawty was retired, but Nipclub (a virtual nightclub for anipals) took its place. Over 100 anipals continue to meet one weekend a month to raise funds while having fun!
Bunny Jean Cook was an active presence at these events, and I became more and more interested in what I could do to help animals. Later that same year, BJC established a Facebook profile, and on December 31, 2009, Bunny’s Blog was born!
In early 2010, I was asked to be part of the planning committee for the very first BlogPaws conference. This conference not only gave me the chance to meet many of my online friends in person, it also helped me see how I could use blogging to promote animal-related causes.
I threw myself into blogging with a passion that I hadn’t experienced with any other hobby. I attended the second, third and fourth BlogPaws conferences – as well as several BarkWorld conferences. And I met other bloggers who were interested in using their blogs to help promote animal–related causes.
In September 2010, I met Kim Clune and Amy Burkert who had founded BtC4Animals.com. I was so impressed by their mission that I blogged about nearly every weekly cause and participated in each quarterly Blog the Change Day. Eventually, I took on a more active role - first as the Twitter liaison, then as a staff writer, and then as a team leader while Kim took a much deserved break.
But while all this was happening, my “real life” was undergoing some major changes. The economy had taken a turn, and fundraising was not a good place to be. In May 2010, I lost my job and threw myself into blogging to help keep me focused. BJC passed away on June 7, 2011, and I struggled for several months trying for find my “new” voice.
My daughter entered high school, and her grades suffered as she tried to find her place in a huge sea of students. She eventually transferred to a smaller school located on the campus of the local community college. She pulled her grades back up and graduated in June 2012.
But most importantly, my husband Dave had been sick for several years as he struggled with alcohol addiction. He was in and out of rehab, but the years of drinking had taken a toll on his body, and he passed away on January 20, 2013.
Dealing with the emotional, financial and legal issues of his death threw me into a deep depression. I eventually received grief counseling, which helped greatly. Still grief comes in waves – some days I am fine, other days I still struggle.
In July 2013, I returned to work. After 17 years, I was burnt out on fundraising and wanted to try something new. I approached a local pet sitter/dog trainer to see if there might be a match between her needs and my skills. I began as a backup pet sitter and eventually became office manager in November of last year.
I continued to blog through all of this, but by December 2013 I hit the wall. I just couldn’t keep doing it at the same rate I had for the past few years. I took a two week break and then came back in January 2014 with what I hoped was a more achievable schedule.
For the past six months, I have been posting three times a week. But it continues to be a struggle. I don’t want to keep blogging because I feel I HAVE to. I want to find the passion that I felt for it before my world went sideways – so I’ve decided to take a hiatus.
I don’t know how long I will be gone, but I think if I can give myself time away from blogging I might be able to clear my mind and determine where I want to go next. So goodbye for now… until we meet again.