# 2020 Week 47

So. It’s been awhile. I tried taking some time off last week - reading days meant it was a quiet(er) time of the semester. I was hoping to prevent burnout and recover a bit. I realized after the fact that “preventing” burnout isn’t possible. It’s happened. As it has for all of us. Everyone I work with. Everyone I know. So, the question isn’t “how do I prevent it?” but “how do I recover?” (channelling a great conversation with Gardner about this very thing - but I still don’t have any answers)

I mean. There’s been a lot going on lately. We’re now into the 8th month of the pandemic, and it’s firmly into a second wave exponential ramp-up phase. I also spent 5 months in isolation last year for chemo. So. 13 months in the last 2 years, in isolation. And likely another 6 months to go?

It’s not looking awesome. Our provincial leadership is non-existent. This is going to get absolutely grim before it gets any better.

I can’t read serious stuff any more. Journal articles don’t stick - I have to re-read them several times, and don’t remember what I just read. Interestingly, I can read fiction - I’ve been plowing through John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War series - but nothing else seems to work. Details? gone. Brainfog, feeling like I’m back in severe-anemia and chemo times again. Which I’m not, thankfully.

Anyway. How to recover from this stuff? I don’t know. I’m going to try focussing on where I can be most effective, which will mean letting go of some things. I’ve been given super-clear direction that I need to be limiting the amount of time I’m spending on IT-centric things so I can work on TI projects again instead. The COVID Pivot™ has had me spending almost all of my time on IT things, preparing for IT things, researching IT things. Time to shift back to where I should be spending my time.

I’m going to keep focussing on self-care and on my family. I’m going to keep doing PhD Fridays™. I’m going to head out to the mountains as often as I can (until that’s not an option because of covid…). I’m going to keep trying to make guitar-noise until it’s less-bad. Who knows. It might work.

I’m going to get back to making stuff again. I just spent some time rebuilding the photos gallery page on my blog - something I’d been meaning to do for months, but never got the time/energy to do it. I had to learn some Go, some Hugo, and some regex, but now the photos page will only display the <img> elements from photo posts, with links to the photo pages. Simple, but it’s something. I’ve also been learning a lot about LaTeX, and am writing my dissertation in it (using TexPad). Writing simple text files, automatically compiling into a fully formatted PDF.

Nothing profound. I’m still here. I’m still struggling with all of this, as is everyone. The world is still on fire. And yet, we persist.