Reflections on the Number 200

Two years ago I was sitting with a mom group after a trip to open gym at our local gymnastics spot.  Very new to the group they asked me about myself.  I let them know I was working on writing a book about retail.  They looked at me and smiled, “Oh so you keep a blog?”

I scoffed, “no way, I don’t believe I would have enough to say about retail to write a book and maintain a blog!”

Two months later, a friend of my husband whose parents were both publishers suggested to him that I keep a blog in order to test interest and readership.  After an afternoon of scrutiny between my husband and I, I broke down and promised to start updating my blogger again.   He laughed at me, “blogger?!  How 2005 of you!”  He then promptly created a Tumblr for me.   He set up google analytics for my Tumblr, and explained to me that this was all the rage now.  I had never heard of a Tumblr, and when I signed on, I wish that had remained true.  My age began to show as I could not figure out what on Earth I was supposed to do to keep up with and stand out amongst all the traffic.

So the next night we started from scratch and created my WordPress account.  My husband, being very artistic, and once having a career designing websites, took a list of what I wanted my image to be and created my banner that you see just above.

Intimidated at first I needed to figure out what my purpose would be with this blog.  I knew my purpose of my book would be to help and encourage managers and sales associates to find the joy in their work, and help them discover potency in their jobs.  I wanted that to shine in my blog, but I also wanted to cover the here and now of what was going on.   Because to be a successful manager it is best to know what is going on in the real world so that you can bend with the curves.

My first post, Lay Off Season, was very personal to me to write for three reasons.  As a traveling and district manager I found myself casting many employees young and old out to the harsh seas of unemployment, this was a letter to them and therapy for me.   Also, being from Texas, the oil bust had just began, gas prices were plummeting, and though my pocketbook rejoiced too many of my friends were finding themselves uneducated and under qualified for any other employment, this was an attempt at a letter of hope to them.  Lastly it was January, which is store closure season, and I figured there is nothing more scary to a retailer in an underperforming store than this time of year, and those underperforming managers were my target audience.  The post was to some was not a huge success.  In 2 years it has received a total of 11 views and one Facebook share.  But to me the idea that anyone read it threw me over the moon.

What started as an endeavor for book research and publicity became a way of life.   I developed friends, yes what I felt to be actual friends on my blog.  My best friend as according to stats and my heart became the infamous non-blogger Josh Wrenn, without his support my blog would not have grown to what it is today.

In Spring of 2015 I hit a real growth spurt between reddit, blogging support, and people who plugged communication binders into google.  I was excited, and had this completion in my heart, like I was achieving something.  I updated everyday, sometimes twice a day.  I read billions of blogs and attempted to leave comments and likes where I could.

And then I had my second daughter and life became a haze of loud, screaming little girls.  Updates became less frequent and then stopped when I returned to work in the fall. In May I was ironically laid off with my husband, and we have been on the unemployment track ever since.  I attempted returning to my book I had somehow lost track of amongst the excitement of my blog, but I felt like the aura of Miss Hannigan radiated from my soul day in and day out. Focus was difficult if existent at all.  The children may or may not have been slowly driving me bonkers.


Little girls
Little girls
Everywhere I turn I can see them
Little girls
Little girls
Night and day
I eat, sleep and breathe them

So I’ve made a slow and steady return.  Considering my life consists so much outside the shop at this moment, most of my posts can be found on my personal life blog.  Though I hate to call that a blog, it’s more a series of disjointed ideas and thoughts.  I am not posting daily any longer, so I can truly focus on my purpose of being here in the first place.  I also want to be able to take more time to read others’ blogs and see my kids from time to time.

So all of this is to say that this post makes for 200 posts on this Shopgirl Site.   It’s been quite the adventure, and I’m hoping for 200 more!

Thank you readers, you make this worthwhile.


16 thoughts on “Reflections on the Number 200

      1. You’r welcome.Yeah I can step in your shoes,even I started my blog last year but I was not at all regular in it .Since last month I started taking it seriously and the journey continues…….

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Dear ShopGirl: I’ve never been ambitious enough to consider a full-book; maybe someday a personally published Kitty Ditty or maybe some kids stories that I can send to my nephews and god grand kids but a whole book is daunting and I have no ideas.

    I was a bookkeeper in my sane life and a insane semi-bookkeeper now and the idea of a book on retail is sort of interesting as I’ve never worked in retail. Here is a suggestion, if you write a post that you KNOW you will never use in your book put it in a different category than posts that you think you might use.

    When you get ready to actually start or if you have started you book; print off any post that has a story or whatever that you think you might use in your book and pin them to boards and shuffle them around to help create your outline. This is what I’m going to do with my category CATZ, if I ever get around to trying to make a small collection. Of course I have other categories with Kitty Ditties but most of them are in catz. I work better with paper.

    After I get them aligned and in the order I want them I’ll fill in detail, xxxxout the parts I don’t want; maybe change the “poems” a little and so on. It is just a suggestion but I do think the blog idea of your publisher friends was a very good one. ~~dru~~

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had considered that approach as well, but as I write the book it seems to be taking on its own more personal life, away from my blog. Though I’ve considered scattering it with some posts between certain chapters or sections.


  2. Raise your hand if you can relate. Oh! Me me me!!! I don’t know all that much about the retail biz, though I did spend several summers working at Payless Shoe Source, a job I loved by the way. But the part about having more children and losing time to write, that is ME. I started a book too, 4 years ago, before I had my 3 year old. I don’t even want to write that book anymore. But I am so going to write a book one day soon. I just need a good topic. Glad you’re back in the game of blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

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