First of all, thank you to everyone who is actually still reading this. The blogosphere is a 'what have you done for me lately' world, and I've certainly seen the hit count graph trending rapidly downward since I stopped posting. I appreciate those who have stuck around through the drought.
So, you may have noticed that things have been pretty quiet around here for the past couple of months. I've received a few inquiries about just what's going on and if I'd ever resume posting, etc. The short answer is yes, and I'm going to be trying to get back into the swing of things now, though it may take a little while to get back to speed.
What happened? Well, as I posted back in January, I'm having some problems with my left hand. Since that post I have had an EMG, and it confirmed what my doctor suspected all along - something is wrong with the ulnar nerve. My left pinky and ring finger, and part of the hand, are still numb. But it has been a few months and I'm adapting to it, so typing isn't the struggle it was at first. I'm waiting for a neurology appointment and I'm still hopeful the issue can be fixed in the end.
But that was just the first in a chain of events. I posted that on January 20th, and my blogging was a bit lighter in the days that followed as I was still struggling with typing and most of what I could manage was devoted to work. However, that soon changed - I lost my job with Sling Media on February 2nd. The short version is that I was participating in discussions at SlingCommunity.com and I posted something I didn't think was an issue in the context of the thread, and it probably would've been nothing - just a small post in a discussion forum. Except it got picked up by a popular blog (which I won't name since I don't really blame them, as a blogger I've done similar things in the past) and excerpted out of context, and from there a bunch of other blogs picked it up, and before I knew it it was a major issue for management - and as a result I lost my job. I was completely blindsided by this, and I'm still out of work and trying to find a new position. I hope I can do so soon, I really can't remain unemployed for long financially. (BTW, my resume is here.)
This was a pretty big punch in the gut, and, honestly, it put me into a pretty bad depression. Believe it or not, this is the first time I've lost a job. I've been laid off a couple of times, but in those cases it was a company-wide thing and there were huge signs that it was coming, so it was expected and I was ready. In this case I was completely unprepared for it. I really loved working for Sling, loved the people there, and believed in the products, so it was very hard to have that end. My job with Sling was my favorite job, ever, and it will be very hard to find anything like it again. I really saw myself working there for a long time. I'm also the kind of person who really puts my all into my job, and I invest a lot of myself in my work. A good deal of my self-identity tends to stem from my work and my accomplishments therein. So my emotional reaction to losing the job was as if someone I cared for had died - it hit me pretty hard. And with the economy as it is, it is not a good time to be looking, so that's amped up the stress a bit.
The timing was also bad because I had a previously planned trip to visit my family from 2/14 to 3/1. I would've been blogging less, if at all, during that trip anyway as it was a vacation and time to visit my folks. But it also meant I couldn't really start looking for a new position right away as I would not be able to interview, let alone start, until after the trip. And, honestly, the depressed mood I was in was not conducive to constructive job hunting anyway. I just didn't have it in me to keep blogging during that time, my head was elsewhere. And I was still angry and frustrated over losing my job, so I didn't really trust myself to post about it in that state. I tried to keep participating in Sling Community for a short time, but I realized it was like salting the wound at the time and it was better to walk away, at least for now. I still care about the user community, so I may jump back in once things are more settled.
The upside was that I forced myself to pretty much ignore everything in my life for a couple of weeks and enjoy the time with my folks in Florida. We also took a few days to go up to Walt Disney World, and if you want a place to ignore life, you could do worse than Disney. So the trip gave me some time and distance from everything else, which is also why I deliberately didn't do anything related to tech, blogging, or work. (Well, except for my usual annual IT service for my folk's PCs, but that's family. And I could do that in my sleep.) After returning home on 3/2 of course I had a number of things to deal with - doctors, unemployment paperwork, COBRA, starting to look for a new position in earnest, and just generally pick up my life. I'm pretty much back on top of things now and my mood is a lot better, though not quite fully recovered, so I'm picking up the blogging reigns as well.
I've been largely out of the loop - I completely stopped reading blogs as well as posting. I needed a break from things to deal with everything - but I've been saving emails and the like to work my way through. Right now finding a new job is my first priority, but I miss blogging and I figure it'll probably be good for me to keep my brain in shape anyway.
Oh, and I'm not too proud to beg - since I'm unemployed even a little bit helps, so if you're planning to make any purchases using the site's affiliate links will provide a little something.
Thanks again for sticking with me through the drought, and I hope to be back to my old post volume soon. I wish I could make a living doing this, but that's not going to happen real soon. ;-) I'm the meantime, wish me luck.