Resurrecting the Blog

Easter-tide is perfect for resurrections…

It’s been a really rough year for me personally and for the blog and my writing as well. I had a job loss, some floundering, then a new job, and a new medical diagnosis lurking behind it all.

For almost the past decade, I worked in the IT department of a financial-sector Fortune 50 company. It had its pros and cons,  the biggest pros being my immediate supervisors who  were (and are) terrific people. The cons were the constant layoffs and downsizings, and eventually they got to my name on the list…

When I was told that was ending, I thought about what to do next. I had a vision of writing and programming full-time: really taking the blog and the breviary to the next level and incorporating some additional projects to make this all work. I gave that a shot. That’s when I put up the Patreon page, and tried to make a go of it. I quickly realized that—at least at this point in my life—that wasn’t going to fly.

A new attractive job opportunity opened up—teaching Computer Science (and math) at an inner-city Catholic girls school here in Baltimore. So I made the switch. And while I love it, and it’s great fun, learning the ropes of a new job, teaching a full load of classes none of which I’ve ever taught before, and trying to stay on top of all of the grading has all but torpedoed any hopes I had of maintaining all of the other side projects.

Especially the blog…

In and through all of this, I’ve been grappling with a new reality about my life. Around the same time that I was laid-off, I was diagnosed with adult Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). I had never thought of myself in that way before, but after the diagnosis, looking through the literature, watching videos like this one and this one and many more, and generally educating myself about the condition—so many things about my life made so much more sense!!

Now I know that typically in our culture we hide neurodiversity/mental illness. Sorry—I have no interest in doing that. It’s part of who I am. It’s not something I’m ashamed of (or proud of); it’s just me.

Please notice I used two terms in the previous paragraph: “neurodiversity” and “mental illness.” I did that for a reason. As I see it, neurodiversity recognizes a biochemical fact—my brain isn’t wired like other peoples’ brains. I lack (or have diminished capabilities in) certain executive functioning pathways and other links that occur in the majority of adult human brains. Mental illness is when my different functioning becomes pathological, and disrupts normal relationships and prevents me from working or living well with my neurotypical family, friends, and colleagues.

I’m on medication and working with strategies to manage my condition, to keep it non-pathological. (And I’m recognizing strategies and coping mechanisms I’ve always used and never realized before!) However, it’s still a challenge, especially with all of the other life changes I am wrestling with right now.

To bring this back to the blog and the church stuff, my ADHD is one of the reasons why I have so many side-projects going on—and why I have such difficulty finishing the ones I start! Part of my sanity process going forward will be to rein these in and to actually finish all of the various and sundry projects that I have started—before I start any new ones!

I have used this blog in the past as, essentially, an accountability strategy. That is, I’ve posted things here in order to keep my forward progress going forward. It doesn’t always work—but it can and has with several projects in the past. So, as one of my strategies towards sanity, I’m going to get back to the blogging, to keep you up to date on things and, hopefully, to keep moving forward with the things I need to do.

What’s prompted this now, at this particular time, is one of the many side-projects that isn’t purely self-directed. When I commit to doing projects with and for other people—people with budgets and timelines—there are consequences for falling through, like important projects I believe in and care about getting cancelled. So. In my next post, I’ll formally announce this project and work towards finishing it, and then tackle the other projects that I (and maybe you) care about too so that we can get these finished up…

6 thoughts on “Resurrecting the Blog

  1. Dennis Wienk

    Thanks for this, Derek. All good wishes as you move forward. I have been missing your regular reflections and am glad to have your Good Friday piece, clear, concise, and thoughtful as always.

  2. John A H Tomoso+

    Praying with and for you as you start and finish your projects and this blog….

  3. Fr. Jay L. Tillitt

    Grace and Mercy remain with you. Please continue! In Jesus and Mary of Walsingham

  4. Barbara Longmire

    Looking forward to a resurrection of the blog. Peace be with you. —Barbara Longmire

  5. Betty

    Hello
    Thank you. I have suffered my own adult diagnosis and am struggling to complete and not over commit. A strange tension between those two. Paul Tillich may have suffered as well, the tension part, not the completion. I wonder if anyone has considered the theological implications and where in the prayer in the BCP.

    Thanks again and I look forward to your continued blog..when possible

  6. Barbara S.

    Very happy to see you back in this space! You’re my all-time favorite blogger. I do miss the blogs; social media just isn’t the same.

    Teaching is very hard the first year; it was a huge adjustment for me in many ways. (It took me about half a year to adjust simply to speaking in front of a group at all, to start with! I’m such an introvert.) Glad you love it, though; that makes a big difference.

    Many blessings to you.

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