I'm sure some of you have probably noticed the lack of anything here lately. Even more so, the lack of anything personal.
I have been writing about some technical subjects because I think they may be useful to others, and while blowing-off steam about my personal frustrations can occasionally be therapeutic, it seems to be doing little to bring about positive change. The technical information, on the other hand, is actually somewhat useful to people.
For those who have missed some of the personal stuff: This one's for you.
For the past few months - and more seriously the past several weeks - work has been a nightmare. Suffice to say that there have been a lot of bad decisions made on the basis of politics rather than technical or practical merit. Anyone who's been there knows what I'm talking about. Those who haven't can probably use their imagination and you'll probably get it mostly right. When these decisions don't affect my immediate work environment, I generally try to ignore them as a way of preserving my sanity. The latest ones do affect me, and has been draining me of a lot of mental energy.
Work, for me, for better or worse, is what provides me with a sense of purpose, or, better put, a sense of accomplishment. When things start to go awry it impacts my entire life, and my personal well-being starts to unravel as well. So anything I would have to say in here would be mostly negative, and I was supposed to stop doing that all the time (right, Judy?).
Looking at my personal life I realized that it is also a bit of a mess. I'm back to that place again where I don't feel a sense of belonging anywhere. This isn't necessarily anyone's fault, it just is. The lack of fault doesn't make that any better, though. I have a lot of people who I know care about me and who I do things with from time-to-time. That doesn't necessarily mean that there's a deep sense of belonging, where I feel I can share many of the things I'm passionate about. The computer/networking community has become very fragmented as of late, and for other things I'm interested in I'm generally too involved for the people casually interested and not involved enough for the die-hard fans. I'm also not really interested in getting involved in lots of large groups. When all the smoke clears, it's kind of like I really don't want to do much of anything at all anymore.
If that isn't bad enough, consider that I now have friends who are out-of-work, the world in general is becoming more of a crazy place, the people running this country seem to have forgotten what they learned in their grade school history class (you know, like how the United States Constitution got written and why), there have been numerous natural disasters (and the only way people are coping is through religion, good grief!), etc, etc, etc. So I know I can't do anything about many of these, but that doesn't make me feel any better about it all, and I fundamentally harbor a great deal of empathy (I know you all may not think so, but I do).
Nobody really wants to read about how this all has led to a rather deep funk that makes me glad I have a cat around the house again.
I'm physically and mentally drained, and finding it more and more difficult to get filled-up again (I believe the word is fulfilled).
One can only hope that this phase will pass, and things will steadily get better. I don't know. Perhaps the end of the world is upon us, it's just not the "end" we were thinking of (more like R.E.M.'s version, except that I don't feel fine).
Anyway, that's what's been happening, generally speaking.
To end on a somewhat positive note... I would like to mention that the spelling checker being used in the browser is actually quite useful. I always thought I was a pretty good speller, but more and more often I'm finding that my spelling is definitely in need of improvement. I have discovered words I have misspelled for years that I am now spelling correctly. Yay for spell checkers!