Well, hello, everyone. It’s good to be back and to see you again. My two-week sabbatical turned into nearly three weeks because there were that many good stories from guest bloggers.
Before I get any further into this post, a huge, warm thank you to all 18 elderbloggers who filled in for me so magnificently. Please give them a big round of applause for the excellent job they did while I rested.
I have done this three or four times before in my life: withdrawn from everyone and everything for two weeks. But I had not done it in about 15 years. Unlike past sabbaticals from daily life, I was not entirely incommunicado this time. I answered some, but not all email, enjoyed a couple of social events and joined with neighbors following three snow storms to dig ourselves out.
Primarily, however, I was alone.
Aside from my news addiction with early morning coffee, I avoided almost everything that has consumed most of my waking hours for five years - anything related to aging, blogging and the computer. I read a couple of books for pleasure, saw a couple of movies, got the cat to the vet for his annual vaccines, cleaned out all four junk drawers and spent about six hours over two days trying to unstick the E key on my laptop which, it now appears, I made worse. (Please do not ask how hard it is to write anything with a sticky E key.)
Other than that and an entire inauguration day glued to television, I cannot account for myself. Here, however, are the meager lessons I learned over these two-and-a-half, solo weeks:
- I am capable of thinking and doing absolutely nothing over a remarkably long period of time while feeling not a twinge of guilt and liking every moment of it.
- I am not capable of thinking clearly enough to arrive at any conclusions unless I am writing it – whatever IT is - while I think.
Not much to show for 18 days and that information is not entirely new, only reinforced and more acceptable to me than in the past. As unproductive as the time was, I feel so mentally refreshed that I have decided to continue this kind of blog hiatus on a semi-annual basis.
Some blog housekeeping notes:
ITEM: Feedburner, which delivers Time Goes By to many readers by RSS and email, has gone all wonky and miserable lately so new posts are sent out a day (and sometimes more) late. About a year ago, Feedburner was bought by Google which, I discovered in reading around the web, has a history of allowing acquisitions to deteriorate and there has been quite a lot of online complaint about the problems with Feedburner. I do not have a solution right now.
ITEM: Some stories for The Elder Storytelling Place have arrived (thank you so much) and that blog will resume posting new stories next Monday. If you’ve been thinking about sending a story, now would be a good time to do it. Instructions are here.
ITEM: During my sabbatical, a new regular column was inaugurated – The TGB Elder Geek from tech master extraordinaire, Virginia DeBolt. Her column will appear here twice a month and questions are welcome. So email (click the “contact” link at the top of the left sidebar) anything tech-oriented that puzzles you – about your computers, blogging, web questions, etc. and Virginia will do her best to make them easily understandable.
And remember, there is no such thing as a dumb question; if you're having trouble with it, undoubtedly someone else is too.
ITEM: If you sent an email during my hiatus that needs a reply, please resend. I’ve tried to cull them from my now overcrowded inbox, but have undoubtedly missed some.
ITEM: I fibbed, above, in explaining how I used my hiatus time: I did spend one afternoon updating the Elderbloggers List in the left sidebar. Here are 20 additions. Check them out; they’re all good elderblogs - not necessarily new, but new to the list.
Again, a heartfelt thank you to all the guest elderbloggers. It was terrific to have all this time off knowing that Time Goes By was in such excellent hands.