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KosAbility is a community diary series posted at 5 PM ET every Sunday by volunteer diarists. This is a gathering place for people who are living with disabilities, who love someone with a disability, or who want to know more about the issues surrounding this topic. There are two parts to each diary. First, a volunteer diarist will offer their specific knowledge and insight about a topic they know intimately. Then, readers are invited to comment on what they've read and/or ask general questions about disabilities, share something they've learned, tell bad jokes, post photos, or rage about the unfairness of their situation. Our only rule is to be kind; trolls will be spayed or neutered.
I wrote the kick-off diary for this group three years ago next month, and I have been the Sunday moderator almost every week since.  

Many of us old-timers who considered KosAbility to be a labor of  love have moved on. CJ (ulookarmless) passed away. Father John-Mark (jgilhousen) has a new ministry. Scottie Thomaston (formerly indiemcemopants) has a full-time job. Homogenius has a job and a busy life. Peter (plf515) is still an occasional contributor and remains my rock, but his business is growing. Me? I'm tired. Three years is a long time to give up every Sunday afternoon.

We've done great work with this group. Before KosAbility, you didn't see people getting donuts for comments like “retard” or “take your meds”. We earned a deserved place on the Daily Kos masthead, one of only five groups named as “Featured Groups”.  Almost 1200 diaries bear the KosAbility tag, and most of our scheduled diaries have been on the site's Recommended List. A lot to be proud of; a great tradition for someone to carry forward.

That someone is my friend postmodernista. I was about to post a diary last week looking for a volunteer when Jill called me out of the blue and, when I told her what I was doing, she offered to take my place. It was as if the universe were handing me a gift! We're both here today, me to say goodbye and Jill to say hello to those who don't know her. I'll let her have the space below the squiggle to introduce herself.

I want to thank everyone in the community for helping make KosAbility such a success - our writers, our commenters, our moderators, and our board. You guys are the best of the best. ♥

Hai there, good folks and people! This is Jill/postmodernista- I hope that tonight's get-together finds you all well, or at least with minimal misery. I also hope you'll be kind, 'cause I'm just a tiny bit nervous. Kelley said to introduce myself, and I'll try not to natter - here goes:

I'm a 5th generation native Texan currently in a wee-bitty town right in the smack-dab middle; we've come a long way toward urban development since I moved here the first time- we now have 2 ATM machines and 2 stoplights! I've also lived in some big places around the state, and I have to say that this little life goes a long way toward helping me be peaceful.

I've been a good child, a bad one, a college student, one of the working poor, a mother, caretaker, a divorcee, abused in a couple of relationships, a paramedic and instructor, housewife, college administrator and teacher, grad student, unemployed, out of my mind with bipolar disorder and PTSD, and hopefully now mentally stable and learning my new future. That would include being happy with my still relatively new husband of 6 years (specifically not driving him crazy), learning a new 'job' that really isn't one in the form of an antique store that we've established here with the assistance of other family that I never was allowed to really know. I've been known to weep at injustice or rant like Julia Sugarbaker, wish on a star, or drive to the beach at midnight just to stick my toes in the sand and then come back. Impulsive, you know - I'm really trying to work on that.

I've struggled with how to introduce myself elegantly, and how that would be relevant to being a KosAbility moderator, and especially how to do so that leaves y'all not disappointed in the third rate substitute that now will stand in for Kelley. But writing, and seeing that list, it strikes me that many of us struggle to define ourselves, both relative to, and apart from, every aspect of our collected experiences and disabilities, and in most cases, those are multiple and evolving roles.

I've always been more interested in learning things a mile wide and an inch deep, rather than the reverse. That's what made me a good paramedic and a sorry grad student ... it just did not suit my strengths. But it occurs to me, what one gets in KosAbility is both breadth and depth, and discussions from real people that put a very human face on what may be unfamiliar territory, language and customs, and some acquaintance with that issue that hopefully will prevent us each from making an ass of ourselves the next time that particular issue and more importantly, the person who lives it, are right in front of us.

I've also struggled with this whole 'be the moderator!' thing since Kelley and I talked (Pick me! Pick me!). I've found myself prone to 'overpromise and underdeliver', and have tried in recent years to make no promises at all, lest I disappoint. But not being expected to do anything isn't really healthy either, and rather than have a panic attack and bail before I even try, I'm going to expect that this will be a good experience, that I have the skills to manage it, and that we'll all get through it together.

So, Kelley and KosAbility peeps, I look forward to this, and y'all. Fingers crossed and FSM look upon us with good favor.


Upcoming Schedule

Feb  03  michelewln
Feb  10  chicating
Feb  17  RoCali
Feb  24  aintnoreason
Mar  03
Mar  10
Mar  17
Mar  24

postmodernista is the moderator of KosAbility’s diaries and maintains the schedule. If you’d like to sign up for an open Sunday, send her a private kosmail or post a comment in the threads with your preferred date.

The content of the KosAbility diaries is important to many folk who depend on the exchange of information and ideas about their struggles with real life-changing conditions. The moderators of these diaries will not tolerate rude, disruptive, off topic, and/or threadjacking behavior. If in doubt, read our mission statement in the diary.

Originally posted to KosAbility on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 02:00 PM PST.

Also republished by J Town and Monday Night Cancer Club.

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