Not Dead, for the 40th Time

The blog has been lying fallow for a while. It’s getting to be time to till the fields and resume a regular practice. Sorry for the radio silence! I know how lonely the isles of blogging can be. I hope to resume a more regular practice soon, but not quite yet. Bear with me while I get my shit together. In the meantime, what’s happening?

Birthdays and Being Older

Well, I turned 40 a few weeks ago. There’s no reason why the shift from one decade to the next should be a milestone, but it still ends up being a marker and a time for self-reflection. I’m not exactly thrilled by what I see looking in that particular mirror. I’m tired, I’m struggling with depression and loneliness and touch starvation, and my work output has been kind of shit. The pandemic, while not overtly impactful in my day-to-day (knock wood), has still taken a toll on my mental health (which regular readers can attest already wasn’t super stellar lately). I’m well aware of various blessings in my life — friends and family are largely healthy and, if not thriving, at least getting by. Work has been very understanding regarding my output, and have been reasonably satisfied with what I’m doing (even if I’m not satisfied myself). I’ve got friends whom I may not get to see as often as I like, I’m still able to connect with. I’m one round in on my COVID vaccination (second shot is next week). Things could be much, much worse, and I know that. Depression’s just a bit of an asshole.

I’m looking forward to the month being over. Despite it being my birth month, I’m not a huge fan. It seems to be the most common time for me for friendships and relationships to implode or get strained. That’s why for a few years there, I was trying to not be around close to my birthday, something that has been somewhat curtailed by the pandemic. Still, it wasn’t a bad birthday. I got to see a few of my favorite people, eat some tasty food, Schwern even made me a cake! Thanks to everyone who wished me well.

Being on the Internet

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want my online presence to be, and why. This isn’t a new line of thought, it’s sort of an ongoing internal dialogue. I’ve recently resumed checking Twitter slightly more frequently, though I don’t think I’ll stick around. Likewise, Facebook continues to hold less appeal by the day. The archivist-hoarder in me is reluctant to actually delete or deactivate these accounts, but frankly it would probably be healthier if I did. It would be nice if there was some way to leave a calling card or forwarding address, so that people who are curious enough to search for me on those services will be directed to where I actually am (a pipe dream, there’s no way a place like Facebook would implement something like that). Instead, it would be nice to try and cultivate smaller, more specific connections with others, though I’m not entirely sure exactly how to go about making that happen.

What I’d love to see as a service is something akin to a federated, configurable, personal webring, where it’s easy to search for people or topics, and then you can mark the people you want to be kept informed about. Use RSS/Atom where it’s available, provide links where it’s not. Let each user list the places they can be found, and mark which are primary or secondary locations, which places are only shared with mutuals/some sort of access control. If you update your list of places, others using the service can adjust/redirect accordingly. That would be nice.

Get My Act Together

I’ve got a lot of projects that I have left in various states of incompleteness (from “idea in a notebook” to “just needs another round of work”), and it’s high time I get back on the horse and finish some shit. It’s never been my strongest suit. Likewise, there’s a list of things I’ve been meaning to get done to improve my general life experience that I need to get out of my own way and fucking do. That’s why I’m not quite ready to get back to writing on here consistently — I need to get some of my affairs in order, first. Soon.