2008: A Year of Change

BlogHer Original Post

Looking back at 2008 the word I think of is "change." Many of us blogged about life changes. In the US the election brought all kinds of changes, including how election campaigns use the internet. And we all became more concerned about the change in our wallets and how to keep it there.

It was a great year for blog series. Suzanne Reisman kicked off what is probably my favorite BlogHer series ever, the Letter to My Body campaign.

Dear Body,
I know we've had our differences in the past, but I am very happy to say that I'm learning to appreciate everything you do for me more and more each year. Since we live in a world which foists unattainable beauty standards on women, destroying our ability to appreciate our own figures and dashing our self-esteem on the hard rocks of media saturation, I have been unfairly harsh in judging you for years.

Suzanne's post was just the first of many excellent in Letters to My Body series. The women who wrote them talked about their body and how their opinion and view of it changed over their life and how they struggled with those changes. If you haven't read them I urge to you read through the posts in Mr. Linky and as well as BlogHer's own archive. You might just find yourself writing one to your body.

Kalyn Denny wrote series of posts called "Cooking with Fresh Herbs." In her first post, about cilantro, she explains why she loves cooking with them. The series is good for foodies or for those who find themselves with a lucky abundance of herbs this summer and is looking for something new to do with them.

I've been wildly enthusiastic about cooking with fresh herbs for so long that I can't really remember back to when I wasn't using them. Yet as much as I consider fresh herbs to be a kitchen necessity, I know plenty of people don't have much experience cooking with them. I thought it might be helpful to do a series of posts on BlogHer about cooking with fresh herbs, featuring a different herb every few weeks.

I don't know if I'll ever be able to think about 2008 without thinking of the presidential election. It was an election where we really saw the power of social networks harnessed by political campaigns, and BlogHer was in the thick of it. First we had a podcast with Carly Fiorina, advisor to Republican candidate Senator John McCain. Then Queen of Spain did an exclusive video interview with Democractic candidate Senator Barack Obama. Michelle Obama blogged on BlogHer, including this post on the many hats women wear.

No matter where we live—no matter our race, our socioeconomic background, or our political party—we women wear many hats. We’re daughters and sisters and moms. We’re professionals and students. We run errands and do laundry and shop for groceries. And to get it all done, we have another skill that we rely on. We’re jugglers.

One of the biggest newsmakers of the 2008 was Sarah Palin. Whether you liked her or not no one could ignore her, including Larry Flynt. When it came out it was financing a movie called "Nalyin Palin" American Princess ahas something to say about it.

By depicting Sarah Palin as a brainless sex object, by taking advantage of the popular notion that she is a political fantasy, Hustler and Larry Flynt are perpetuating the idea that any woman, no matter how accomplished, can be reduced to the sum of her bedroom prowess. And he's not the only one. Palin, Clinton and other high-powered women have been intentionally and recently attacked, cited as incapable of doing their job because of their gender, and demeaned because of their habit of wearing skirts.

Mom101 wrote on a change that the public witnessed in Hillary Clinton, one that was warm and fuzzy.

There's been plenty of commentary about Hillary Clinton's teary-eyed moment right before the New Hampshire primaries this week. Well, if you look closely, there wasn't really a tear -- just a some welling up. As Linda Richman might say, Hillary was just a little verklempt.
But maybe that's what some of us have been waiting for -- a moment when we could exhale a tiny bit after seeing a glimpse of genuine Hillary that peeked through the woman of steel facade some of her advisers believe she should maintain.

Rita's post on purity dances and virginity balls wasn't so much about change, but the lack of it in regards to attitudes about females and sex.

Why is this whole sex thing always put on the female of the species? Why is all the pressure on us to just say no? I get that the female has to bear the brunt of the grunt, so to say, but with modern contraception, it should really be an equal game. These purity balls seem like one big pressure tactic to me in a world of mixed messages.

Blogher member Empty Homestead and her husband were looking at a very big change, one that they hoped would see them on the path to parenthood.

I was always against it. Firmly so. Foster care would do nothing but break my heart and leave me out in the cold - I just knew it. So why am I becoming a licensed foster care provider and getting my house ready to have two foster children at any given time?

Heather B talked about a decision she made, that went against the tide of bloggers who were demanding money for their services. She started blogging for a site for free and asked if you would do it too.

So about a year ago I began to do something that other bloggers might consider to be most sinful: I started blogging on another site for free.
I know! Try to remove your jaw from the floor while I give my reasons for taking up this opportunity because it wasn't the first time and let's face it, it probably won't be the last time.

Community Manager Denise knew that when her daughter left her a message and said, "Mom, I really need talk to you" that there were life changes afoot.

Six weeks ago, I plucked my iPhone from the charger at 7:30am and found a voicemail from my oldest daughter, Jenn. Oops, the ringer was off and it was still in the bedroom. Happens more often than you'd think. Who calls at 7am??? Lots of people.I listened to the voicemail and all I really heard was "Call me back, I really need to talk to you." I hate it when my kids say "I really need to talk to you." It's never good news.

In 2008 the word "recession" started being used a lot. We turned our attention to our bank accounts and well, the lack of positive change in them. Alana wrote a really great post on how to save money grocery shopping. Read it, print it out and tape it to your refrigerator. Her advice is as solid today as it was two years ago.

Food prices getting to you? Yeah, me too. There's no avoiding that just like it takes a full wallet to fill up a tank with gas, it takes a fat purse to fill up a cart with groceries. The bad news is, there's new concern that the Western world's relatively cheap food supply may be coming to a sudden, and unexpected, end.

I argued that you should be using the library and threw in some cold hard cash numbers to tell you why.

You've heard people say that using the library will save you money. I've heard your excuses not to use it. It's out of the way. I end up paying late fees. The book I want to read is checked out. My library charges me for requests. It's inconvenient. Piffle! We live in an instant gratification society and we're used to getting what we want when we want it and who cares if we have to pay for it. Again, piffle! The library has saved me $1128.27 so far this year. And guess what, I've only been using the library since March and the year isn't over yet.

Deb Roby wrote about a very important change she made in her life in her post "When I Believe, I Can."

I kept on thinking: I CAN'T DO THIS. Guido finally forcefully said: I know you think you can't, but I know you can! And we are staying here until you do! Something clicked. Maybe it was exhaustion, but I think it was wisdom finally showing up. I took a deep breath and decided, just this once, to believe Guido instead myself. I cranked out all the required moves without a slip-up as long I focused on his belief in me instead of my own unbelief in myself.
It changed everything.
I came to really understand that I was my biggest roadblock. If I could believe, I could do.

Believing in ourselves, whether it be changing our view of our body or the ability to stretch those tight dollars, is a change we can all make. Thank you 2008 for teaching us that.



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