I feel like I’ve got a lot to say about the last few years and my plans for the next few, but it’s hard to know where to start.
I’ll try starting here: I’m beginning to recognize that for the past few years I’ve been dealing poorly with actual capital-D Depression. I know, I know, here’s a guy on his blog self-diagnosing as depressed, stop the presses! But the more I think about it, the more warning signs I see now that I ignored at the time.
Originally this post was going to comprise a list of things that I used to enjoy that I don’t do anymore. It’s a big list. I’m going to write about some of the things on it separately, but for now it’s enough to say that there’s a bunch of things I used to practically define myself by that have fallen by the wayside: geek pursuits, Buddhism, music (both playing and listening). My abortive attempts at resuming flying lessons and at motorcycling are probably much of the same thing.
(Remember the “101 things in 1001 days” meme that went around a while ago? I tried to write that back when everyone else was doing it and couldn’t. I chalked it up to “stupid meme!” at the time, but in hindsight that should have told me something — in an earlier time, I’d have jumped at the opportunity.)
Thinking about the last few years of work shows similar patterns. Now, Mitel and I haven’t been the best fit ever, but at some point over the last few years I seem to have lost interest in doing things for intrinsic benefits: hack value, elegance, The Right Thing, and so on. Part of that is that my job has become more purely technical over time while I’ve wanted the opposite, but I don’t think that’s enough to explain all of it away.
In the same vein, I’ve found it a lot harder to get projects done around the house, whether they’re simple things like “take the car in for maintenance” or bigger things like moving furniture around or setting up a new fileserver. Stuff like that used to be recreational but it’s become a chore and there’s really no reason for it to have done so.
And I’ve lost touch with a lot of people. Part of that is that many of the people I knew in Ottawa I knew through e-smith, and then a lot of those people moved away after the layoffs. But I’ve got mail in my inbox from an old friend from my hometown that I’ve been sitting on for weeks, and people from curling who I’ve been meaning to get out for a drink with to introduce Candice to, and it goes on and on.
On top of all that — and the biggest red flag that I’ve ignored — is that I’m way, way, way less carefree than I used to be. Things used to roll off my back a lot better than they do now; I used to find joy in a lot of silly little things that I don’t anymore.
I think I can fix this. Going back to school is enough of a watershed event to start pulling things back together again, and I do better when I’m busy anyhow. In the next little while I’m going to be posting about a bunch of specific areas that I think I need to concentrate on, practices and concepts that can get things back on track again, and so on. I know that’s some dull reading compared to cat macros and diabeetus, but I can use all the support I can get.