I dropped off the face of the earth for a bit, there. Trust me, it’s me, not you. I was already distracted last summer and fall, and then for the winter I just straight up went dark. But it’s nearly spring, it’s 2020, the trees are budding and the early flowers are blooming, and it’s time to wake up and shake the dust off. So grab a hot chocolate, find a cozy sunbeam to curl up into, and let’s catch up.
I’m traveling less than I’d like, but the trips I’ve taken have been farther afield: I was in Bristol last August for work, which was delightful and geeky (diving deep into some tooling where none of us really know what we’re doing, and having fun chewing on those problems). It was my first trip to the UK, and while I wish I’d taken some extra time to explore the country more, it was still a good trip.
More recently, I was in Grenoble (France) in January, also for work. I was able to spend a few days in Geneva (Switzerland) first, and was able to catch up with my friends Tara and Henry. At the end of the week, I was sorely tempted to cancel my flight back, rent a car, and spend a month bopping around Europe, working from hotels and cafes… but didn’t act on the impulse. I’ve been having that urge a lot, lately.
I’ll be back in Bristol in March, also for work – all of engineering, support, and product are meeting up for a week, which should be nice. Then I go back to the UK again in May, this time to Oxford for Tara and Henry’s wedding. It’s kinda neat that out of four international trips, this is the only one I’m having to pay for myself.
Cecil D. Dog
One thing that has been occupying a lot of my attention these past few months is Cecil, my dog. I got him as a young puppy (12 weeks), and so a lot of the year has been spent raising and acclimating him. I’ve been lucky – he’s a very good boy most of the time. But there’s still working on puppy behaviors and training and just spending time with him. He turns 1 year old this week, and he’s really starting to mature and “get it”, which I’m glad about.
And a line of thunderstorms was developing in the early morning hours
Ahead of a slow moving cold front, cold-blooded
With tornado watches issued shortly before noon Sunday
For the areas including the western region of my mental health
And the northern portion of my ability to deal rationally
With my disconcerted precarious emotional situation
It’s cold out there.
Tom Waits, Emotional Weather Report
Still depressed and working on it, imagine that. I’ve been working with a therapist since April/May, and while there’s been progress, it’s slow going – it’d be easier if there was a singular experience to address, but this is more of a process of really examining core beliefs and unraveling some of the more insidious misapprehensions that have leached into my brain. It’d be rad if there was some magic switch I could flip to suddenly not feel like a worthless piece of shit who can’t get out of their own way, but there isn’t, and it’s going to be both a lot of time and a lot of work before I’m through, but I do have (some) faith that I’ll get to something better. Eventually.
A big part of the process has been working on opening up about what I actually want and need, and how I feel. I’m prone to setting my wants and needs aside — often not even consciously — and while I’m okay at talking about my feelings, I’m pretty lousy at expressing my feelings (if that makes any sense).
Projects and Pondering
Here’s the part where I should be talking about the different projects and things I’m fiddling with, but there’s not really a lot to say right now. I spent a lot of the winter thinking and letting things percolate, but not a lot of doing. There are a few things that are closer to doing, though.
I got tagged in to help build a website for one of the gaming communities I’m part of. It should be relatively simple, but I’ve been (of course) overthinking it. For a phase 0, basic “we exist, find us here” type of site, there’s no need to do anything fancy, but I’m sitting here thinking “this’d be a good opportunity to teach myself Vue or Svelte.” There’s some fancier stuff we’d like to do, but that’s down the line, and trying to engineer for those hypotheticals (that I don’t even know how to do yet) seems like a recipe for headaches. (More tangibly done, though, I did clean up the guild logo and turn it into vectors.)
I’ve also been working on some administrative cruft for Avatar, converting the host guide into asciidoc and updating the contents. If that goes well (so far it has), I may take a stab at cleaning up the builder’s guide as well. It’d be nice to have something that is more maintainable, cleaner, and consistent. There are, of course, a bunch of other projects I could (and even should) be doing, but I really only have limited energy for this space these days.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what would make me happy right now. There are some things that are outside of my control, but there are other things I can do. A big one, and one that opens up time and space for others, is to get off social media, and scale back my internet presence. John Green did this over the past year, and found it rewarding. I watched his video and found myself thinking “yeah, that sounds great, I should do that.” Having my focus and attention back, getting back to long form reading, long form thinking.
That’s not to say it’s easy, and there’s some other bad habits I’ll need to break (not just social media – I’m a bit ashamed to admit it, but I have a habit of dusting off clicker games when I’m depressed or just wanting to kill time without effort. They barely qualify as games, and I have a backlog of literally hundreds of games that I’d like to play, but haven’t brought myself to start). But I think it’s a good goal.
Anyway, that’s a quick sum up of what’s happening with me. I’ll try to not let it be so long between posts next time. What about you, how are you?