Dark times

Kids geocaching

As seems to often happen, I’ve neglected this blog for a while. This is due to going through some dark times and also just due to general exhaustion.

One thing I’ve recently decided to do is to remove all of my content from corporate-owned social media channels. In reality, the only channel like that that applies for me is LinkedIn, since I bowed out of others (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) a long time ago. I’ve deleted all of my posts from there after exporting all of my data last week. That leaves me only with Mastodon as a place where I feel comfortable using social media for sharing information about myself.

Writing a blog post should be a simple, noncontroversial act. But it often seems daunting to me and that is part of why I’ve neglected doing it for so long. I hope with this post, and those to follow, to gradually blog more regularly again. I think it will be a valuable outlet and it is also just a good habit to get into writing more regularly.

The dark times involve huge messes in my personal/family life, as well as at work. I’ve been going through a lot of grieving about my family in particular. My wife and I are not technically empty nesters now but it sure feels like it, and not having more people around at home on a regular basis still feels strange and sad. On the flip side, it has helped push us to become closer in our relationship, and that’s a very good thing.

As a result of the messes to which I’ve referred, I decided to once again drop out of grad school since I simply couldn’t handle it on top of everything else going on. It’s a shame as I only had about 1.5 classes left to complete before finishing. However, it always has been an optional thing and I am certain I made the right decision. I don’t know yet if/whether/how I will ever try to go back to complete the darn thing.

One of the ways my wife and I now frequently spend our free time is by going to resale or charity shops, as well as keeping our eye on online sales (e.g., Craigslist) for things that we’ve wanted to buy. It is fun but it is a hit-or-miss kind of activity. There are times when we both find really good deals, and there are times when we come up empty. But it’s all part of simply keeping busy. An example of the kind of thing I look for now is first editions of books I like or am interested in. I have enjoyed looking for books that are part of the Illustrated Junior Library series, for example.

Another thing I hope to do more of is geocaching, and I am looking forward also to buying a good used personal GPS navigation device in a few days to use for that purpose. Many years ago when our children were younger, this was a favorite activity, and I have great memories of doing that with them. It got all of us out of the house and it didn’t cost much! The same qualities are important today. I struggle a bit with sadness over those great memories now that our kids are grown up and mostly gone, but I think that any activity that helps me stay active is good to do.

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