Welcome to my first post of the year. I must say, it has been a rough time. I have been doing a critical review of my life lately, and I am not impressed with the results of my investigation. This is nothing new, though there are some new aspects of my life that have made me less than happy, but this has only cemented the need for me to make several changes that I have been putting off.
I discovered during this personal inventory that I have been keeping myself in a state of limbo. I'm not sure how long I have been here, but I can say that it seems to have been quite some time. A number of the things I took as burnout, while also being burnout, were symptoms of my general lack of action. I failed to act in a number of circumstances and acted incorrectly in several others. I used to be so decisive. I used to live life if not to the fullest then at least to the 80th percentile. When did that drop so precipitously? Why didn't I notice?
I have noticeably neglected my championing of Open Source Software. I have neglected this blog. I don't spend as much time as I did on things I enjoy. I haven't spent time outside in a while. Could I be affected by whatever it is the winter does to us? Am I depressed? Am I just drowning in work and allowing myself to care less about the things I used to? I think it is a mixture of these. In the last few months I have gone out a bit more than usual. I have been dealing with IRS issues, so that hasn't helped my mood, but the most annoying aspect of my life lately has been the poor decisions I have made in several key areas. Decisions that should have been simple and obvious were suddenly difficult and unclear or undesirable. One big error still haunts me a bit. I am not going to describe it (as I said to Carlota), but suffice to say, it has made me doubt my personal idea of myself. I used to think I was a fundamentally decent person, now I am not so sure. I have meanness in me apparently and I am not certain when or where it came from. I'm thankful to Carlota for talking to me even though I didn't give her details, but the sum of our conversation, while comforting, hasn't changed my overall concern. I MUST determine where this came from. I MUST determine if I can fix it. I WILL change this if possible. I hate to think of my life if this is a defining moment in it. What will it mean in the future if I can expect more of these bad decisions?
To those of you, my friends, concerned by this dialog I say, fear not. You should all know that I don't hurt me for any reason. (Yes, I know that is a bad sentence. No, I don't care. :) ) I am simply trying to jot down some of the reasons I have been so silent here recently. It was pompous of me to think that I had any advice on bettering a life. I am clearly doing a number on mine recently, but I have a basic plan. At one point in time I had several, long-term plans in my life. I regularly had a 1 a 2 and a half and a 5 year plan for my life. They were the reason I achieved what I did in life until my divorce. Since then I have been rudderless, planning nothing but the spur of the moment. I have been reasonably successful. I just haven't been successful for the right reasons nor for the result of some plan as I used to. My goal is simple, have my plans in place by the end of this month without becoming like Charlie Sheen. :-) I think I can do it (plus I don't use drugs so that should be easier).
By the end of this month I will have in place a 1 and 2 year plan. Much of the work for this has already been done, I simply need to get it in the right place and format. I have all of the tools. I have the motivation, and the anger from my latest failures, to get me going. I know I have the friends who care if this is successful or not, but my habit (as you are all aware) is to not rely on you. It is important to me that I do this myself. This is my mess, let me clean it up. Otherwise how will I ever learn?
Enough about that. I have begun writing again on a regular basis. This is part of the above mentioned plan. It has been tough, but I am writing 'something' every day. If I have trouble thinking of a story, or if I don't have the passion for working on one of my existing projects, I write observations of my life. They are sometimes caustic and critical, but at least I am writing again. This weekend I am planning to cook out, work on my car and begin work on my yard again. All of these activities force me to be outdoors (weather permitting) so I am interested in how they affect my mood. Sunday is the Day of the Dude and I plan to go bowling, watch The Big Lebowski and generally flourish under my chosen 'religion' for the day. I am The Very Reverend JFo after all. :-D I am hopeful that these activities will be the kick-start to me returning to be the JFo that you are all familiar with. I'm actually thankful that I work from home so that you can't see me as I am now. I'd also lke to mention that a number of people who have known of my current return to writing regularly have asked why I have not been updating the blog. Interesting fact: I have written 22 blog posts for this blog since my last holiday post. None of them were fit to publish because of the state of mind I have been in. All of them had some tilt of darkness to them and I am using some of them as blog posts in my main project book, so you will likely never see them here. :)
For more info on The Day of the Dude, see www.dudeism.com. If you are nearby, come out and visit me. I'll be the longhaired, goateed gentleman drinking the white russians.
Take 'er easy if you can.