When I started the Grace in Small Things gratitude community back in November 2008, I was trying to dig myself out of a difficult place after a hysterectomy for cervical cancer, leaving an abusive work environment, and a breakdown. I had an idea that, if I invited a thousand of my closest friends, we could create a space that would help us grow better things for ourselves. I had no idea how right I was, though, at least when it came to the incredible ways that Grace in Small Things would come to affect my own life.
Since then, Grace in Small Things has grown to over 1770 members, and the community has spilled over into blogs across the globe, onto Twitter at #graceinsmallthings and Instagram at #graceinsmallthings, and it has even been featured in Woman's Day magazine.
I can't speak for all of you who joined, wrote, commented, and spread the word, but this community revolutionized my life. When I started GiST, I had no faith in my ability to create a better life for myself. At the beginning, I was so low physically, psychologically, and emotionally after dealing with cancer, negative work conditions, depression and anxiety, and a then yet to be acknowledged alcoholism. I felt beholden to GiST, though, so I made sure I wrote down five things I at least didn't hate every day during that first year, and I slowly became someone who could see beauty and light again, against all my actual expectations. The daily reminders turned from a chore I grumbled through to a way of seeing throughout my days, transitioning me from a state of hopelessness to one of vision. Grace in Small Things helped give me not only my life back but also one that I could love and feel the power to grow within.
The time has come, though, to close the door on the Ning community in which Grace in Small Things was originally based. Grace in Small Things will still live on, of course, in our blogs and on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, but low activity on the main GiST site combined with its cost of $300/year and the time it takes have made it untenable to maintain. I plan to close the doors on the community site one month from today and will no longer be accepting new members.
As far as I have been able to discover, there is no way to download individual member blogs whole from the site, which is why I am delaying the closure for a month until February 5, 2014. I want to allow for all the members to copy and save their posts before the site goes dark.
This is hard. Really hard. I love you guys. The time feels right, though, and five years is a pretty long time on the internet. We've done well, and we're not gone! We've gone through a metamorphosis, we've grown up, we've spread out. I like how we've changed from a private community to one that can be found seeded everywhere.
Thank you for having been a part of Grace in Small Things, and thank you for carrying on in all the ways that you do. Don't forget that we're still out there. I almost feel like we need a round of "Don't Stop Believing":
Keep hashtagging! Seriously. I will be.