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Happy Birthday Blog!

Today is a special one! It was ten years ago on this day that this blog was born! While it has had its dark times and years of neglect, I am pretty proud of it. Although I might have written it elsewhere, it seems fitting to share how it came to be.

Years and years ago, while I was in school, I used to write in Livejournal. I mainly wrote about karaoke and hanging out with my friends. Sometimes, I would write a mopey post about a girl I was into or transcribe poems I wrote while taking the train to school. Eventually, it became a photo fest because that garnered the most attention from those who followed me.

Fast-forward a decade, and my wife and I were doing real estate investing. While it started well, it didn’t go well after a while. Plus, I didn’t like what I was doing day to day. My previous job, which I had quit, asked me to return, but a few months later, I was laid off. 

I had picked up a dead-end minimum wage gig and was doing contract web work on the side when, out of the blue, I received a call to work as a temp and readily accepted. The company owned SUCCESS magazine (their punctuation, not mine). The job was to do a weekly newsletter. I was juggling three jobs for a brief time until I quit one and finished the contracting gig.

They were looking to hire someone to replace the guy who left that I was temping for. I wanted the spot and begged for whatever projects I could do. My goal was to be the only candidate worth looking at. I knew there was a buyout that the company would have to pay the temp agency, so I had to look appealing. 

In addition to the magazine, we sold personal development books and CDs. Which you might have seen called “self-help”. Wanting to be indispensable, I devoured all the resources I could. 

There were four interviews I went to, and in one of them, I was asked, “Wait, don’t you already work here?”

A month later, after starting as a temp, I was in!

But I didn’t give up on my quest to be a valuable team member. Along with consuming our products, I would try to get everyone banded together in this or that. 

There was a chips and salsa blog, Hungry Hungry Chip Hoes, where we would rate different chips and salsas. We would do a potluck for Cinco de Mayo. There was cubicle-side guacamole. Are you picking up a theme here?

Since our bread and butter was personal development, I felt like the holiday for self-improvement was New Year’s. 

One year, I proposed that we all try to think of something that when we are sitting around talking with someone, we can say, oh, this year I did such and such, and everyone would think we were cool.

In December of 2013, I thought if we wrote on a topic each week for a year, we would have 52 blog posts. Surely, there would be enough content in 52 articles to make a book! 

I didn’t think we had done well with the previous challenge as it was too nebulous and lacked any motivation. So, I devised a punishment system for this New Year’s Resolution. If having enough content for a book was the carrot, then the stick would be that if you had not posted by Wednesday at midnight, you had to bring baked goods on Friday.

It was the honor system, but it was enough that I only missed two posts that year. Even though I moved on to another company, both times I missed, I sent Tiff’s Treats to the office.

A few posts in, I started photoshopping Admiral Ackbar and me together for the blog image, which became a theme. People would laugh at how crazy it was, but no one laughed harder than I, coming up with ridiculous images each week.

I have skipped a few images here and there; some weeks, I don’t send out a newsletter. But I don’t beat myself up over it. It was meant to be fun. Over the years, I have received some great comments from people on the blog, through email, and personally. Though I don’t think you could combine it and make a book, I think it is okay as a blog. So, I am glad to bring joy or connect with others through this medium.

I hope you have enjoyed it, and this year, I hope to start a new blog documenting my travels. Stay tuned!

By Sam Watson

I'm pretty good at Microsoft Excel but a freak in Google Sheets.

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Erika Lee Kline
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1 month ago

Happy Birthday to your BLOG Sam!! Keep it going 🙂 I need to send my new one out today. Thanks for the motivation!

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