Thursday, April 05, 2012

Life - Blogging

It's kind of weird, I haven't written a full post in so long that this post ended up more about blogging than anything else.

The past few weeks have been incredibly eventful, in so many ways. The Missus plucked three white hairs from my head recently. I thought to myself that three would be about right, one each for Life, Death, and Promoting.

Life because of our new SDC Junior. Death because of the accident that took Markus Bohler.

And Promoting, because although it may seem like Life and Death would be so significant, they both are inevitable. The issues I run into with promoting are those that I typically don't foresee and therefore don't expect.

I've started and left incomplete posts on all the above topics. Without time to think about them in any kind of focused manner, without time to complete even a single post, I haven't been productive in any kind of writing sense.

I usually want an hour or so to write a regular post, maybe two if it's lengthy or provocative. Then I let it simmer a bit, maybe a few hours, maybe half a day. When I revisit I inevitably find mistakes, both technical and structural. I move around sentences, paragraphs, and even split or combine posts for clarity. If I make any changes I need to let it simmer more, another few hours or half a day.

My posts still contain numerous errors, and, honestly, I'm not sure why. I think I catch them, I know what I meant to type, but sometimes it just doesn't happen that way.

I'm not saying that I haven't been writing or thinking about writing.

I have a lot that I want to write about, but it's been so busy that I just haven't been writing. In fact, it's been busy enough that I've forgotten things I wanted to write, many times over. Usually I have a couple themes I want to focus on for a particular post, but after almost a month of no posts, there are dozens of themes already lost.

I usually hold posts in reserve, jotting down notes on a topic that I'll publish at an appropriate time. They have to do with a number of topics, from equipment to tactics to racing to technique to doping.

I have, at present count, 168 drafts.

That's almost 6 months of posts, one every day.

I started only several of them in the last few weeks. It's been that crazy.

I haven't been very good at work either. I've spent an inordinate amount of time at work sitting at the computer, working on everything but work. Normally the Missus doesn't call me much at work, but with Junior around, we talk at least daily during working hours. I missed half a week of work due to Junior making a false start (I'll get into that later).

And even under normal circumstances I'll spend perhaps 2-4 hours a day responding to emails about the race, increasing a bit as the races get closer. By Saturday it may be six hours of email, give or take. This year has been especially bad.

I pointed out to one person that when I spend time writing them, I really, seriously cannot do anything else. I can't take care of Junior, I can't work, I can't even eat properly. It's 100% focus for me. And that particular email took me much of a work day plus a long evening to compose, simmer, edit, etc. For me it was a day and a half of blog or Bethel or whatever time, all gone. I even lost an evening with the Missus and Junior (other than feeding and changing Junior).

I know that it's bad when even the most understanding Missus starts getting a bit frustrated with the time Bethel absorbed (and that's in the first couple weeks of the race). I can't sneak in blogging time when Bethel, a more necessary thing, starts taking time from Junior, an even more serious thing.

After the first two Bethels things looked like they might calm down. The first Bethel had seen us in the hospital for two days while they tried to induce the Missus. I didn't necessarily publicize that, not here, and not on the phone. So when a Cat 5 started rattling off questions machine gun fashion on the phone, while I was driving to the hospital, I tried my best to answer them while driving in a state of controlled panic on the way to the hospital.

The second Bethel saw Junior arrive less than 23 hours before the start of the clinic. I was there at the race and things went reasonably well.

I thought things would calm down after that. I hoped that I could start backfilling some entries in the next week or two so that the archives, in a few months, would look semi-complete.

Then tragedy struck. We had the unimaginable happen with Markus Bohler's crash.

If I thought it was busy before, it got even busier after.

If work weren't so understanding, I probably would have had to quit or gotten fired. The week after the accident I spent virtually the whole workday on the computer or the phone, enough so that I argued with my boss that they really needed to dock me a week's pay.

They did.

Any chance I had of catching up on here went flying out the window.

Now, with no race coming up on Sunday, I've stolen a couple hours of time to try and gather my thoughts. I don't have a few hours of emails to answer right now, nor a few hours of Bethel work ahead of me for tomorrow. No hours of work on Saturday, and no 14 hour day on Sunday, at least not at the bike race.

I have thoughts and posts on all that stuff above, but I don't know when I'll have complete posts for public consumption.

For now, though, it's hard enough just keeping up with life.


Dennis said...

You mentioned a number of priorities that are competing for scarce hours in your day, but unless I missed it, you didn't even hint at actual riding time. Are you managing to get a few hours here and there, or has life trumped cycling for the time being?

Aki said...

I'm riding maybe once a week. This week I was thinking my normal "oh, I can do big hours, no race Sunday". In past years I'd try and do 10-12 hours. This year I got in my big one hour of riding.

Other weeks recently I've managed as many as three hours (the warm week), and until the 1st, I wasn't doing the P123 race (except that one time I started just so I could pick up my bottles on the other side of the course). Even my Sundays are limited to about an hour.

Once Bethel finishes I'll have a lot of extra hours, but I suspect that I'll be doing things other than actual cycling with most of that time.

So, yes, life right now has kind of trumped cycling. I know that this "non-cycling" is temporary, but the cost is worth it. I can't believe I'm thinking that but I guess that's what having a child will do to me.