Thanks a million.

thAnother milestone: Some time between midnight and 10 a.m., Surviving and Thriving achieved its one millionth page view. I’ve been watching the site stats with great (OK, obsessive) interest, but didn’t expect to hit the seven-figure mark until the end of this week.

See what happens when you sign up for NaBloPoMo?

All kidding aside: I’m thrilled that people continue to check in. When I started the site back in May 2010, I wondered whether or not I could keep a website alive – and also whether anyone would care.

As I noted in “My first half-million,” a post about hitting the halfway-to-where-I-am-now mark:

If writers are the most insecure people on Earth, bloggers are proof that self-doubt has a sub-basement. Like the 2 a.m. disc jockey a whole lot of us wonder, “Is anyone even listening? 

As it turns out, people are listening. Better still: They’re reacting. I love reading the comments, even the ones that say cranky things. It isn’t that I think everyone should agree with me – it’s that I think we can disagree without being disagreeable.

In other news…

Even without hitting the one-million mark this would have been an interesting day: I began negotiations to change the way I work at my regular job, MSN Money Frugal Nation. [Edited to add: That job ended in autumn 2013, when MSN Money fired all its writers on the same day.] Late last week I finally admitted that if I want to maintain the integrity of that site – and I do! – then its unsustainable pace must be amended.

Change is very hard for me. I come from a long line of people who feared losing their jobs more than anything else, including cancer and the Antichrist. Whatever happens, don’t make waves. Don’t complain. They’ll find someone else who will do what you’re doing – and who will do it silently.

Well, it turns out that I should have written that letter to my boss a lot sooner. He had no idea I was struggling. How could he? I hadn’t said anything, and I’d never missed a deadline (even when I was having an organ removed).

We’re talking through possibilities, all with the same theme: fewer hours.

Change is scary. But sometimes change is good. If I hadn’t been willing to make that big leap back in March 2004, then I wouldn’t have any of what came later: a college degree, a job I truly enjoy (really, I do – it was just wearing me out), a chance to travel and, best of all, real love.

Heaven knows where I’d be if I hadn’t jumped. Among other things, this site would almost certainly not have happened. The chance to do this is something I wouldn’t trade, whether it bring readership in the single digits or those million views.

Or, rather, those 1,001,070 views. Once a number monkey, always a number monkey.

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  1. Congrats on having a million page views! That must feel great! A real milestone, for sure. Way to go.

  2. Barbara A

    Congrats Donna!

  3. Aw, congratulations Donna. Sometimes I think I put a few thousand of those page views there, waiting for a new post or reading additional comments.
    Really appreciate your writings. ( Never knew there were others in the world holding up their knee highs with elastic bands?)

    • Donna Freedman

      Thanks! I bet we’re not the only ones who wore those rubber bands.

  4. lostAnnfound

    Congratulations, Donna!

  5. I’m happy to be one of your million. congrats.

  6. Congratulations on the million page views and the change. Change is scary but it’s often worth it!

  7. Ro in San Diego

    Congratulations on this great milestone! I have been following you for years and appreciate your observations and sage advice.

    In 2008 with thoughts of becoming more frugal)in advance of a job loss that thankfully never materialized I happily stumbled upon your site. Fast forward to the present, my frugal ways help me in ways I never imagined – I am able to donate more, I am able to help more people in my local community than I ever thought I could, I have made friends with like-minded local frugalistas.

    Hopefully I will be around for your next million.

  8. Catseye

    Congrats on achieving a million views and counting, Donna!

  9. Congrats! 1 million is a huge accomplishment! Have some cake.

  10. Congrats! See, you don’t have to be a 21-year-old model to be a success. 😉 Keep up that writing. You speak the truth. 🙂

  11. Happy Day! Congrats on the numbers milestone and on what sounds like a good talk with your MSNMoney boss.

  12. priskill

    Wow — that is amazing! And further kudos for taking that deep breath and approaching your boss — so easy to feel like you should just settle and not make waves. In this and so many other of your post, I take note of your courage and the positive results and feel inspired.

    “even when an organ was being taken out!” Too funny! Congratulations — here’s to 1 million more!

  13. Now how cool is that? Here’s to a million more page views and the time to enjoy happiness, success and romance. (And smart boss . . . happy workers are good workers.) 😉

  14. Congratulations, Donna! That’s such a huge milestone, and I couldn’t be happier for you! I remember the first time I heard of you — it was a video on MSN about your frugality and how you lived on such-and-such an income. Until that point I’d never heard of you, but I was drawn to your story, to the little vignette of you shopping in a thrift store, and how unaffected, how natural you were, how much I could relate to you and how much I enjoyed your story.

    I’m so happy to see how far you’ve come, and most importantly, how many lives you’ve surely changed, how many people (including me!) you’ve inspired with your story.

    Plus, I’m enthralled that you’ve been able to keep up with NaBloPoMo! I’ve been meaning to participate for years (I finished NaNoWriMo in 2007) but usually somehow manage to forget all about it even before I start. You’ve given me just the motivation to really get into it this time, so once again, I thank you for leading the way.


  15. Hi Donna. This month it has been a pleasure to wake up each morning and see that I have an email from you. Your wit and intelligence come through in every post and well what can I say other than you have been sorely missed.

    There are three posts that I read each month: Turning invisibility into stealth; My $1 tax refund; and Straying off the path or changing direction (from GRS). These posts are printed, kept as reminders and read often. In fact, I think every woman should read them because they say so much. I only point this out as a way of saying that your writing is so real and it really speaks to so many of us. You deserve every single page view.

    Now with DF in your life (hopefully for a very long time), I would be curious in the future to see you do a Turning invisibility into stealth Part 2 discussing what it means when you are visible and truly valued if only by one person. The world out there is tough (we all know this) and sometimes all you need is that one very special person. (I’m so happy for you!)


  16. Congratulations! That’s an awesome mile marker my friend. To a million more!

  17. How awesome!! A very big congrats from way down here in South Georgia. You have been an amazing role model to me. I have enjoyed reading about your journeys and relate to your daughters struggles personally.

    After years of reading, I finally decided that I could do it too! Quit that full time job after 7 years of not looking after myself and 2 years of really poor health.

    Please keep writing and sharing. You just never know who is out there, needing to hear what you have to say.

    Thanks again,


  1. Meet my new boss (same as my old boss). | Surviving and Thriving - [...] I hinted in “Thanks a million,” changes are afoot in the way I do business at MSN Money. Specifically:…

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