If you are reading this, there is a good chance that I love you.
No, really. I do. I’m channeling my inner Jeff Fenech (who knew I had one?) to tell you that I absolutely love youse all. (Oh that hurt, to type “youse”, but made me laugh as well!)
This is not directed only at people that know me- my friends, my husband, my uncles and cousins and anyone else who reads along because they
feel obligated take an interest in what I am doing. This is also for the people that know me only online or only through this blog. This is for all the people that have taken the time to read something I’ve written. Who have shared something they found here and liked. Who have emailed me to tell me they liked something I wrote or that it meant something to them. Who have grabbed themselves something cool from my online store.
You guys. You rock.
When I started this blog, each post I wrote had a readership of about eight. Eight people, at best, would read what I had to say. Slowly, I headed up to about the 15 mark. It crept onward and upwards. I met another writer, Emma from Five Degrees of Chaos, who really dragged me out of my bubble and got me writing more and to a bigger audience.
She helped me grow my Facebook page (that is, after she insisted that I get one…) and before you know it, I had a page to share my work on. That little community recently passed 1000 likes, just before Christmas in true Christmas-Miracle fashion. That is amazing and now most of my visitors here come via facebook. Though I should point out that there is a button in the bottom right of your screen where you can sign up for an email every time I post a new piece. Don’t worry about getting spammed by me- I only ever write a couple times a week and I only have a vague notion of where my site stores those email addresses!
Thank you all for spending a few minutes here each week or however often you visit. Thank you for every ‘like’, every comment and every share. Thank you to those who have messaged me, emailed me or tweeted to me about something they read here. I seriously love you all. It might not be the big, romantic-gesture type love. It may not be the love that sustains you through the long, dark nights. It may not even be the love that gives you the strength to say no to yet another piece of shortbread this festive season, but it is still love. This may be the first piece of writing of mine that you have ever read and still, I love you for being here!
Anyway, it’s that time of year where we are all being reflective and stuff. With that in mind, I had a look at my website stats to see what you guys liked the most this year. Here it is, without further waffling on my part… The HandbagMafia Top 10 for 2015.
In my 10th most popular post for the year, I talk about why the delightful tradition of the Elf on a Shelf freaks me out. Totally normal, right? I’m guessing so, since so many of you read along and shared!
The once humble Bonds baby suit; selling for ridiculous prices second hand and causing near riots when on sale in chain stores. It seems everyone was as fascinated by this phenomenon as I was!
Coming in at number 8 is the piece I wrote about when it was suddenly important to worry about the fatness of one’s mons pubis. Can you even believe that was a thing? (My use of past tense here is me deliberately being hopeful that this is no longer a thing. The steady trickle of people reading this piece says that maybe I am hoping in vain. Sigh.)
As a person who has been reading about vaccination avidly for 10 years now, I am firmly in the pro-vaccination camp. However, the introduction of a ‘no jab, no pay’ policy was not something I could support and I could see the inequity and other problems with such a policy. It’s been introduced now and I still think there must be a better way, as did many of you.
This is the piece I am probably most proud of this year. I had written before about Mark Latham’s ramblings but when he criticised Australian of the Year and domestic violence survivor and campaigner, Rosie Batty, for daring to continue to have a voice, I had had enough. I challenged the Australian Financial Review to explain why they kept giving him a platform when all he did was it was denigrate women. This piece was republished in an edited form by the AFR (who didn’t actually answer me) and also republished over at Women’s Agenda, which was a big deal for me on a personal level and also reached a great deal of people. It also lead to freelance work and got the attention of Latham himself, who left a comment, allowing you lot and also me to tell him exactly what we thought. Awesome.
This one was originally published back in October, 2014. but like a gift that keeps on giving, hundreds of people found it this year and read an excerpt from the diary of my bestie, Yasmine, who went though an obsession of hilarious proportions with Tula baby carriers.
This year, my friend Kim celebrated the first birthday of her miracle baby, Shelby. Kim learned she was going to be a mother for the first time only 2.5 hours before Shelby was born. I can see why this one was so popular!
This piece was an interview with a friend of mine who lives within the boundaries of a BDSM lifestyle- a topic that was brought to the fore by books like 50 Shades of Grey but is really poorly understood by most people. This interview was designed to shed some light into a lifestyle that isn’t really discussed and the constant stream of readers visiting it gives me hope that that is exactly what it does.
Way back in February this year, I wrote a little bit about Tess Holliday, a stunning model who happens to be “plus-size” and has the temerity to love her body. This one stirred a lot of conversation around body image, health, concern-trolling and acceptance. From some of the discussion I read, it actually helped change a few minds. How amazing is that?
Now, a drum roll, please… for my most ridiculously successful post of 2015 and also, like, ever:
1. All Hail The Shift Worker
When I wrote this, I was tired. I was kind of cranky. I was a bit over it. I bashed it out in less than an hour, which is impressive when you see how many hours go into some of the things I write. I was feeling under-appreciated and, let’s face it, a little precious. Writing this gave me a laugh and I felt better. Watching it go viral, getting tens of thousands of views over several weeks, also made me feel better. And also quite amazed and very grateful that anyone reads this stuff.