Idle Hands: Patience Is A Virtue (or Why This Site Is So Quiet Lately)

Regular readers will note a real dearth of postings on this site lately.  Those same readers should know that I’ve started a new job, so hopefully you are being patient with me.  But I just haven’t had the wherewithal to write lately.

The job is good – I really enjoy the work, the people I am working with, and even the working environment.  Sure, you’ve heard me complain about the commute – which has only gotten worse – and the fact that I can’t put “tele” in front of it, and that situation has not changed.

When I started this job I knew there would be periods of time during the day when I would have a little free time – between projects, between phone calls, between meetings – and I wholeheartedly planned to write during those times.  After all, I still have very strong opinions about the state of unemployment today, I have new perspectives on working in an office environment after being idle so long, and I even hoped to post some more bibliometric studies.

I like to write, and although much of the writing I do is solely for myself, it is nice to be able to go into the WordPress dashboard and see how many people are actually reading my ramblings.

Sure, I have a job now, and improving my digital footprint for the purposes of gaining employment was one of the primary motivations for the creation of this site.  I do truly have less “free time” than I have had in a long time – all of my Facebook friends can testify to the drastic decrease in my social media activities over the past two months – and I am using up more mental and emotional energy at work than I had in a long time as well, leaving less available bandwidth for such activities as playing with large datasets or analyzing the current situations in the news.

I have two small kids as well, and they certainly are demanding a large portion of the “free time” I do have remaining.  Every day when I get home from work they want to play/swim/read with me, or alternately they are complaining/fighting/causing trouble which demands my intervention.  My wife is, of course, tired of playing police officer, so I do get to handle these issues when I am (finally) home for the evening.

It being summer, of course, adds unique withdrawals from my “free time” bank.  The kids have a relaxed schedule at school/camp, with additional vacation times not experienced in the other seasons, and the later sunlight just stretches out their energy reserves.  Between visits to family and typical household chores such as lawn mowing, my weekends have all but disappeared into summer activities.  I’m not a fan of summer to begin with – I don’t do well in the heat and humidity – and already this time of year has my energy drained to a relative minimum just by the weather alone.

It would seem I have plenty of reasons (aka “excuses”) for not writing here, so why am I letting this bother me?

Well, first, I had been trying to put up at least one posting a week.  You do need to keep the material fresh, after all, to keep the site relevant.  Missing a week here or there is certainly not the end of the world, but once you miss one week it’s that much easier to skip another, and another.  Before you know it, you’ve missed the entire month.

Secondly, I do have the time to write.  Sure, my evenings and weekends are booked.  But I do have plenty of time during the day which I could carve out to use for more posting.  Now, for instance – in between frantic phone calls and emails from school districts around Pennsylvania I am adding to this posting, five minutes at a pop.   Hopefully the posting won’t be TOO disjointed, and the brief breaks between activities does seem to help clear my mind for the next task.

Thirdly, I’m still motivated to write.  I have a Queue folder containing several Web articles I have wanted to discuss.  Of course, the longer I wait, the more out-of-date they become.  Sure, most of these articles are still quite relevant, but I do feel a little odd commenting about “news” that isn’t, well, new.

So I ask all of you to continue to be patient with me.  Thankfully I haven’t lost any subscriptions yet, and when I do post I find the immediate readership is actually higher than it had been when I was posting more frequently.  “Leave ‘em wanting more” and “absence makes the heart grow fonder” seem to work for Internet postings too, I suppose.

As I continue to try to adjust to my new schedule, as I struggle to find my new voice on this site, there may be some periods of inactivity.  But I promise, I have not forgotten about you. 

So, to quote another Douglas, “I shall return”.


One Response to “Idle Hands: Patience Is A Virtue (or Why This Site Is So Quiet Lately)”
  1. Doug – I’m thankful that you thought my blogpost about stopping my vacation from my blog was a good related article. I love your post and I know exactly how you are feeling about the conflict between time and writing. I hope you find the time and good luck at your new job.

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