I felt quite bad about that post after I wrote it. Like that stroppy email you should save and reflect on ovenight, rather than sending. I did in fact save it instead of posting, and wrote the Nostalgia post instead. But instead of saving to draft I saved it for later posting, and I was so busy at the end of last week I forgot and it got posted. By the time I remembered it already had 15 comments which I didn't want to lose, so I left it.
Despite my red face, I got so much out of your comments, thank you. I think you were all incredibly gracious given my moaning. You wrote some very wise thoughts. I do know that readers move on, and I understand that very well, particularly when they are still in the trenches. So it wasn't about any of my bloggy friends who have just retreated from the bloggy world as it became less and less helpful for them. It was more about those who are still around, yet no longer present here and in some other parts of the community which was once central to them.
It also wasn't about the early pioneers, as electriclady described them, the first wave of 2003/2004. They only very rarely commented here, although I know they read a bit more often than that, so I didn't feel the same sense of us all being in it together with them as I did with those of us who were all in the trenches together during 2005/2006/2007.
In additoin, one of the things I should have written is, "If you are reading this, it isn't about you." It turns out, understanding myself a bit better than I did a few days ago, that my real sadness wasn't so much about the comments, although I do love a bit of validation when it comes my way, but the loss of some of those relationships, and a sense of injustice that I didn't stop being supportive of them, yet they have moved on from me. I was once part of a community where just over 200 people congratulated me on the birth of my daughter. I am still part of a community, but a different one, a different shape and with a different purpose. Not a single purpose but a mess of different purposes, hence less of a unifying force and more of an underlying loyalty based on historical relationships. Some of those relationships were stronger than others, I should not be surprised at that although I allow myself a little bit of sadness.
But your comments helped me a great deal and gave me a bit of renewed energy for blogging. Thank you so very much for your thoughtfulness and fulfilling a need despite my worst side coming out. You're the best.