New Year, New Promise, New Website

The time has come to say farewell to the favorite of my many websites – Happy Web Diva.

This turn-of-heart began ten months ago when I attended a Compassion Institute workshop.  To my surprise, over dinner the first night I said aloud one of those tender, secret thoughts — in this case that I was tempted to ditch Web development so I could do more with compassion.

It was a giddy feeling that’s returned several times.  But each time I slammed on inner brakes.  I told myself it wasn’t possible because I was responsible for several websites.

I went through various versions of this pattern in the following months, but then, in June, it changed.  It started with a typical salvo of thoughts: “I want to try out volunteering for Hospice. No, no.  You’re just being a romantic. It’s not possible. There’s not time.” But then a breakthrough… I realized that a substantial part of my time was spent on simply keeping up with the latest noteworthy trends in Web development.  While I adore this aspect of the work, the amount of time it requires may be a form of insanity.  Life is so very short.

The first 24 hours of considering this radical switch I flipped back and forth between grieving and euphoria.  Fortunately, my Nonviolent Communication group was meeting the next day.  They devoted close to an hour to my quandary, parsing the many emotions and needs.  From a sea of words written on a whiteboard — overwhelmed, mourning, respect, purpose, etc. — it became clear that my biggest loss would be creativity.  But speaking of insanity, once one has the time, isn’t creativity more possible than ever?

Being cautious, I’d backed out of listservs, newsletters, and podcasts gingerly — making sure I could re-enter easily in a few weeks.   But, by the six-week point, it was beyond question that this was the path for me.   So I picked December 31 as a final cutoff, giving me enough time to wrap up my consulting jobs.

So today… here it is… the start of the new year already — and a perfect time to let go in a big, big way.

I feel mostly joy welling up at this form of letting go and what it represents.  The biggest piece is releasing a major identity — what was first termed a “webmaster,” then later a “Web developer” — an identity that’s served me generously for just over 25 years.

It’s tempting to reminisce, but that wouldn’t be letting go, so let me simply say thank you to all those who made possible this longtime source of happiness and growth, including, but not limited to, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Alan Leiserson, Pauline Aranas, Shirley Hallblade, Gill Murrey, Eleanor Cook, David Marshall, Deb Weiner, Deb Morley, Jennifer Keen, Sheila Bates, Donna Schott Arkins, Cynthia Manley, Scott Sobecki, Shawn Henry, and Sharron Rush.

The form of creativity I’ve decided to focus on for now is writing — not only for this new website, but also in other more personal, not-to-be-shared ways.  I love the magic of words — the music that’s possible when they’re put together in various patterns, the amazing passages that can spring out of one when writing from the bones, and the joy of learning more of this ancient craft.

Wishing you all a clear-sighted and happy 2020,
Anna Belle