Up until June 1, I had a well-established online presence and was fairly consistent at responding to communication and producing content. I had some troubles in June, but thought I’d keep it under control and get back to doing what I’ve been doing for the last two years the first week of July. Since that hasn’t happened and I’m past the six week mark, I’m gonna go ahead and fill you in on what’s up with me. This is one of those posts that comes with a music video.
The short version is I’ve been forced by life circumstances to prioritize things other than the blogs these last few weeks. It started with move to a new house that was supposed to be as efficient and painless as a move can be, but went so completely sideways I had to miss a lot of work to get it done.
At some point, as I was moving or getting ready to – the timeline is honestly a blur at this point – my grandmother, who had been sick for a long time, was hospitalized and her condition deteriorated so rapidly, we knew she wasn’t going to be with us much longer. She died July 4, and I was as prepared for it as I could be, but it hit me harder than I imagined it would. Even though we had services over the weekend of the 4th, I had to take days off from work just to get my head back to the point where I could function.
Image by Gene’O, 2014. Original photo by Vicki, 2013.
The week after I moved, a situation developed with an immediate family member which I can’t go into detail about because privacy. But It made me so anxious I could barely think for that whole week and I spent most of my non-work time with my grandson getting the new yard into shape, because that was all I was psychologically capable of doing. That situation is still ongoing and I’m handling it as well as I can, but the way it plays out will affect the lives of me, Vicki, my grandson, and my stepdaughter dramatically. There’s no end to it in sight yet and no way of knowing how it will play out.
Two weeks after I moved, I had an accident in which I was forced off the road and centered a traffic sign in my decrepit-but-paid-for truck. The damage wasn’t major, and we were able to fix it for the cost of parts, thanks to the help of an awesome father-in-law and brother-in law. But it left me short a vehicle for a week. It was a dangerous situation that could have gone horribly for me, and the stress of it probably took a year off my life.
Last week and this week, we’ve had medical things to deal with which aren’t serious and will do a couple of family members good once everyone recovers, but of course, those take time, too. I’ve also got some work stuff going on that will probably benefit me long term, but requires a lot of attention and transition.
My first concern through all this has been my own mental health, because if I am not able to take care of myself, I can’t do the job that keeps a roof over our heads nor take care of my family emotionally. And my family has just plain needed a lot of time.
My second concern has been to keep all the balls in the air at work and spend as much time as possible with my grandson. I talk about him a bit in my #WeekendCoffeeShare posts, but in case it isn’t completely clear, I’m not your stereotypical grandparent. That relationship is about more than Saturday afternoons and ice cream.
He’s lived a large portion of his young life under my roof, and we’ve spent so much time together he’s learned much of my body language and many of my facial & vocal tics. He’s needed a LOT of my attention this summer.
He’s a deep thinker for his age, and he’s had difficult questions for me these last few weeks that demanded honest, age-appropriate answers. I’ve done my best with them but probably not as well as I should have.
This is from the Sourcerer contributors page.
Family, professional obligations, and personal well-being are more important than this or any blog.
I’ve had to take my own advice this summer. I’ve not worried about the blogs or about my own content production much, and just trusted that however long it takes things to settle down in my life, I’ll have something to come back to as long as I don’t tap out. But the blogs, and my friends in the blogosphere, have never been far from my mind. Diana is much better at this part of blogging than I am, but knowing when to step back and take care of other things is important for people who blog as incessantly as we do.
I assure you, I’ll be back. I just don’t know when at this point. Sourcerer’s in a bit of lull right now. That’s because most of the series we started there in the spring are done. I’ve not felt right about asking contributors for much lately because I’ve not had time to manage the blog, nor produce my own share of the content for it, nor share their work on my social media. At some point, we’ll come roaring back, as we always do after one of these ebbs.
And remember that despite my outgoing behavior on the social media, I’m an introvert. This last Sunday, I managed to have a day where I was alone in the house and had no offline commitments to deal with. That’s the first such day I’d had in almost eight weeks. That’s a mighty long time for a person who needs space and quiet to maintain their mental and emotional balance.
I wanted to play on the Internet Sunday. I miss Sundays on Twitter, especially, and most weeks, I produce a post or two on Sunday evenings to help keep the blogs running the next week. I simply could not do it. Just couldn’t open the computer. I sat on the couch for thirteen hours and binged on Netflix instead. It did me good. I woke up Monday with more energy than I’d had since I turned in the keys to my old apartment on March 31, so I’m glad I did it. LOL, I am caught up on House of Cards now and have seen enough Daredevil to say: if you haven’t seen it yet, you want to get on that.
I spent Monday catching up at work, then came home and did nothing until dinner time but shoot BB Guns and play with paper airplanes and give my grandson hugs. After dinner I put him in the bed and binged on Netflix. I spent yesterday preparing for a meeting and laying out what I need to do at work for the next couple of weeks. Then I came home, spent some time with Vicki, hammered out this post quick as I could and touched base with some friends on Facebook.
Now, this is as much as I’ve ever shared of my personal circumstances on the blogs. For the most part, I don’t do that, except in the #WeekendCoffeeShare posts. And when I do share my life I like to keep it positive. One of the reasons I haven’t done coffee posts these last two weeks is because the last one I wrote was about how shitty June was, and I didn’t want to bring the negativity three weeks in a row.
I’m not publishing this today for sympathy. I’m certainly not saying I’ve had the worst time ever. I’m sure plenty of people deal with worse than this and keep right on blogging without missing a beat. Here’s the bottom line. Blogging the way I do requires two things.
- Enough time to produce words by the thousand and images by the score to go along with them, to keep the quality adequate AND to engage consistently with friends and readers.
- Sufficient psychological equilibrium to always be doing those things AND plotting two or three moves ahead.
When I can pull it off, it’s fun. Intoxicating. Like conducting an orchestra.
For the last month-and-a-half, I’ve had neither, but I just refuse to be bummed out over that. I don’t know when I’ll return to full-scale blogging yet because I’m still getting things in order. I’ll be back, though. You can take that to the bank.