I am planning on taking a short hiatus from my personal website. (Note: this post includes some personal topics.)
Over my winter break (which actually ends today) I had some big plans for content and projects. Unfortunately, as always, I wasn’t able to get around to a lot of them. I was hoping to remove the floppy drives from the Classic and SE to clean and lubricate them, but I’ve decided to wait on doing that – especially since I mostly use the FloppyEmu.
I also had some large plans for my personal website – mostly removing the “old” section of my website to free up some space. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do anything related to that project.
Kewanee Boiler Site
The other website-related project I wanted to tackle over my month-long (but felt like a week-long) break was to start work on a revamped version of the Kewanee Boiler website. The current design dates back to 2016 and was a “quick-and-dirty” project destined to be only temporary. Alas, it is coming up on its fifth anniversary. (Speaking of that, this entire site will be celebrating its fifth anniversary in July!)
My goal is to eventually “modernize” that site with responsive HTML/CSS for optimal viewing on mobile devices, improve the navigation/layout, and improve the overall content. A lot of the content (except the photo pages) have been rewritten and are ready – all I need to do is sit down and put my thoughts onto the screen.
Here on my blog, I try to stay away from discussing personal topics. After all, you’re not likely here to read about me, but rather my adventures with playing with old computers, bicycles, or something else.
Here’s the big news of this post: I’m thinking about taking a hiatus from this site.
Here’s the why.
The first thing is I’m entering my final semester of university. This presents a lot of challenges on its own: I’ll be attending an “above-average” amount of credit hours; those classes are difficult and stressful (and, frankly, some which don’t seem interesting); and I have to find a job by the time I graduate in May.
On top of the course load, difficulty, and stress of having to find a job in less than five months – I have other things to worry about in just that part of my life. I work two jobs and, as a practicum that counts as credit, I produce a podcast.
The second, equally-important reason, is my mental health. (This is where I get really personal. But, I feel I should be upfront and honest.)
2020 was hard for everyone… including myself. While 2020 started out as a great year (it didn’t turn “sour” for me until July) and was an excellent year for getting further into the vintage computing hobby, it hasn’t been all rainbows and unicorns here, either. And, quite honestly, 2021 hasn’t been an improvement so far.
As someone battling anxiety and depression (and have my entire life), 2020 only made those problems worse for reasons I need not explain. The worldwide pandemic, among other things, have changed our lives in one way or another.
My biggest concern is the health and safety of myself and those around me. As someone who is also obese and is surrounded by family members who have other, serious health problems, the virus has put my health anxiety (which didn’t exist before this pandemic) on high alert. I’ve been worried (especially lately) about the “what-ifs”, such as what if I or a family member contract the virus?
My heightened anxiety has only helped plunge me into burnout. At the tail end of last semester (in November/December), the burnout was beginning to become severe. All of the textbook burnout symptoms were there. My goal over break was to get some R&R to hopefully ease the burnout and regain some energy/motivation. However, my break didn’t seem to help.
I’ve felt tired and lacking motivation over the past couple of months. Sometimes fun projects or even this website have given me hope, pleasure and/or motivation, but even that is fading quickly.
Therefore, I feel the best thing to do at the moment is to temporarily step away from the website and focus on the things that matter.
I originally wasn’t planning on creating a post discussing my hiatus because things change. A lot of my posts are “spur-of-the-moment”; I often post about something because it interests me or I have something I want to share. Therefore, I don’t want to say I’m completely stepping away for the moment because I might still post something every now and then.
I guess the best way to put it is that I plan on cutting back on how much I post.
I don’t know how long my “hiatus” will last. I might post more often at times throughout the semester compared to others, depending on what is going on at that point in time. However, for the next couple of weeks/month I plan on taking a break from the website.
With that said, I have one more post I’m planning to put out sometime this week about a new piece of equipment (note: not a computer) I purchased to add to my vintage computer collection.
My Plan for 2021
I’ve never been a fan of New Years resolutions. However, I do have some goals for 2021.
First, I’d like to focus on my physical health. As I previously mentioned, I’m obese – weighing in at 360 pounds. My goal is to cut my weight down to 200 pounds eventually, although getting down to 300 pounds is probably more attainable for this year. I’d like to also start eating healthier.
I’d also like to exercise more – and put more miles on my bike. I rode 260 miles on my bike in 2020. This year, I’d like to double it and ride 500 miles by December 31, 2021.
Second, I’d also like to focus on my mental health. I’d like to address my anxiety and depression, as well as my burnout.
Third, I just want to have a good time. Not necessarily by partying or doing unsafe (during COVID) activities, but by doing things I enjoy, such as playing with my old computers or riding my bike more. After all, if 2020 and COVID-19 has taught us anything – it’s that our time on this planet is finite and we should try to do the things we want to do while we still can.
This post written on the 1991 Macintosh Classic using Microsoft Word 4.0.