Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Farewell and Thanks, SVMoms

"Change is the constant, the signal for rebirth,
the egg of the phoenix."Christina Baldwin

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who were lucky enough to be part of the Silicon Valley Moms Group and those who never had the opportunity. Even if you never contributed to the blogs, I hope you read and enjoyed many of our posts. For me, the SV Moms Group really meant the Chicago Moms Blog, but there were 13 other regional sites that, along with the Chicago Moms Blog, comprised the SV Moms Group.

My first post, Lousy Lice, went up on September 12, 2008, and in the intervening 22 months, I had 50 more posts. That's fifty one personal essays on topics ranging from bickering to O'Bama's Nobel Peace Prize; from exciting technical innovations for children with special needs to personal milestones. Fifty one opportunities the hone my writing skills. Fifty one spaces to share my opinions, joys, fears and experiences with a wide-ranging audience of local, national and international readers. Fifty one chances to get feedback on my words (comments people; I love comments). 

I also got to meet some really cool women (these are links to just a few of them; there are too many to count). Some I met in real life (IRL), some only online through this vibrant community. And it was and is a community. About 450 writers currently contribute to the SV Moms blogs, and there have been nearly 800 writers in all, not to mention the thousands of readers who have clicked on our posts. Until I joined the SV Moms, I didn't really understand the concept of an online community or how powerful it could be. 

Through SV Moms, I "met" Heather Spohr and learned about her amazing daughter, Maddie. I watched the online community's heart break over Maddie's loss and witnessed an unprecedented outpouring of love and support for the Spohr family. I marveled at what an incredible tool the Internet is and how it would have been so helpful to us during our own difficult days and months on the NICU. 

I also learned a lot about technology, as this group helped me through the growing pains of learning to blog, navigate Facebook and participate on Twitter. At every turn of a technological corner, they had my back and pushed me forward.

I belonged to the Chicago Moms Blog for just under two years, but the SV Moms community began a little more than four years ago — a blink of an eye IRL, but practically a lifetime online. It seems that lifetime has run its course, though, as a few weeks ago the powers that be decided to end this journey. It was a sudden decision, abrupt, at least to me. I was shaken by the news and surprised at how upset I felt. Perhaps it's all the other major changes going on in my life (kids graduating, going to college, getting married) that has me clinging to the familiar.

But life goes on. It should and it must, and I am learning (really slowly, but learning) that change brings opportunity. Not surprisingly, a group of women from the Chicago Moms Blog has stepped up to fill the void and will be launching The Chicago Moms, a regional online community, and many of us from the Chicago Moms Blog will be contributors. So stay tuned, there's more to come. 

In the meantime, while I have been told that the Chicago Moms Blog posts will stay up indefinitely, today is the last day of new posts. Over the next few days, I will be reposting my CMB entries here on Two Kinds of People (you'll forgive me if they don't all fit the two kinds of people profile). They'll be backdated to reflect their original posting date to keep them in context.

Thank you to all who made my experience on the Chicago Moms Blog one of growth and friendship. Thank you to those who are pushing us forward and creating a new community. Thank you to my readers, here and on CMB. You make it all worthwhile. If you have a thought to share about the CMB or have experienced an abrupt ending in your life, click here to leave a comment. (Comments people; I love comments.)


DarryleP said...

Thanks for expressing what I've been feeling but haven't gotten around to writing about. And congratulations on all the exciting changes in your life.

Kim Moldofsky said...

Fabulous; I think you just wrote my goodbye post! You captured the beauty and power of our group.

Having been with Chicago Moms Blog since its inception, I had even longer to learn and grow with the community. But as you wrote, change brings opportunity. I'm excited about the opportunities The Chicago Moms will create.

Karen Putz said...

What a great goodbye post-- you've inspired me to write one today. Looking forward to writing on The Chicago Moms and so glad that we're moving forward with that! Hope to get to know you more over there.

Susan Bearman said...

Darryle, Kim and Karen — You are three of the great reasons I'm glad I got to participate in the SV Moms Group. Kim and Karen, I look forward to working with you on the new Chicago Moms.

Darryle — I'll see you around the virtual 'hood and on I never signed up this …

Anonymous said...

There are spouses that are writers and spouses that aren't. I am glad am married to one that is!
I learn more about my spouse that way. So I hope the New Chicago Moms (blog)is a success!

Susan Bearman said...

I'm glad your spouse is a writer too. Thanks for the support about the new Chicago Moms.

tracey.becker1@gmail.com said...

I'm going to be reposting my old ones, too. Can't wait to write and read on The Chicago Moms!