It’s official, loves. 2013 is over, 2014 is here. We’ve all survived one more trip around the sun on this wild, spinning ball we call a planet. It was a rough year for many of us, but it was a great year for a lot of us, too. Whether you feel you had the former or the latter (or maybe a bit of each), you should be very proud of yourself, because you did make it through, and that’s not always as easy an accomplishment as one might think.
In any case, I’m proud of you, and I’m grateful for you, too. Whether you have made your way into my heart forever, or I am as yet unaware of your specific, individual existence — apart from the anonymous “visit” you register in our stat counter. (And if you happen to fall into that second group, please do say hello some time!)
Aside from tacking up new calendars and making resolutions, the beginning of 2014 signals something else pretty special, something that has grown more dear to me than I ever would have imagined when it began three years ago. . .
Blog For Mental Health 2014!
Now, my working hypothesis is that most of you are concerned today with just being able to finally draw a deep breath and begin to recover from the mass hysteria that consumes people during the holiday season. That’s something that tends to affect all of us on at least a secondary level.
Which is why, while I am so excited about the Blog For Mental Health 2014 campaign, I’m not going to launch it at your heads on the first day of the year. Even if no one else feels this way (and I think you do), I certainly need a few more days to catch my breath before I weigh anchor on this one.
So, Blog for Mental Health 2014 will launch officially on January 7th, just six days from today! For the moment, I’ll give you a bit of a preview of what you can expect this year.
On a basic level, you’re going to find several important changes have been made concerning the way Blog For Mental Health is staged. Nothing as far as the driving idea nor the spirit behind it, that will stay intact — as unquestionably it should. But throughout Blog For Mental Health 2013, I was given a lot of feedback. Thoughts, concerns, and encouragements came both from those who participated, as well as those who, for various reasons, abstained from doing so. I also gained a lot of practical knowledge through the process of coordinating the project. From all of that, I have put together an easier, more streamlined pledge process, one which should make this year better in every way. A few additional modifications are designed to make the whole thing more inclusive, and of interest to a greater number of people. That’s my fervent hope, anyway!
Something else which is different this year concerns the Blog For Mental Health 2014 badge. Canvas co-founder and Blog For Mental Health creator Lulu was unable to design this year’s image, as she has done the past two years. Not having her wonderful creative stamp on this campaign is a bit strange for me, though the reason is not anything concerning (so don’t worry yourselves, loves!). The good news is that I was able to prevail upon a talented young local artist to design a piece for us. Two days before Christmas, I picked up the art for the Blog For Mental Health 2014 badge. It’s unlike anything I would have ever dreamed up, and I’m very excited to unveil to all of you next week!
I want to thank everyone who participated in the 2013 project so much. Reading each of your posts was incredibly inspiring, and seeing how many people participated, even late in to the year, was very gratifying. The numbers were fantastic, and it honestly thrills me to see more and more individuals speaking up and sharing their experiences with mental illness. There was not only strength on display, but grace and a quiet dignity woven throughout the threads of all of the pieces. It makes me quite proud, and strengthens the hope I have that one day soon, anyone with a mental illness will be able to speak about it openly — free from the fear of being stigmatized and misunderstood.
Keep on fighting the good fight.
Also, don’t fret. While the 2013 Blogroll is disappearing for a few days, it will be back up in a special place with the official launch of 2014.
And of course remember to come right back here on January 7th, 2014! Mark your calendars, set a reminder on your phone, tie a string around your finger if you prefer. Just be sure to be here when Blog For Mental Health 2014 gets underway!
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