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Why I’ve not been posting for a while

February 22, 2023

As I mentioned in my blog last week, I’ve not posted for a long time on here. In fact, before last week, you had to go back to May 2021 for my last post, so that’s almost a 2 year gap. This gap wasn’t really by choice, but was a result of external factors sweeping in and blowing all of my plans out the window. But before I get to what happened, I want to go through where I was professionally in 2021, to give a bit of context.


So, 2021, the pandemic had been going for a while at this point, and I was generally coping ok. I’d come through some nasty mental health issues in 2020, and was feeling a lot better about a lot of things. I’d managed to blog at least once a week for 3 months in 2020, and had set myself the goal of doing that for 6 months in 2021, as well as regularly contributing to T-SQL Tuesdays. I also applied to present at New Stars of Data, and was accepted, which meant getting some mentoring from the awesome DBA with a beard. The presentation itself went really well, and off the back of it I got accepted to give a quick talk at DataMinutes. I also applied to give the New Stars of Data talk at GroupBy, and got accepted. This was a huge deal, because I’d be putting my work in front of a couple of hundred people, and it really felt like between the conferences and this blog I was taking the first steps to becoming known in the community.

Why this didn’t happen

Obviously, this didn’t happen. Instead I got a call one day from one of my aunts to say my mum had suffered a stroke. Immediately every plan I had was thrown out, personally and professionally. On the personal side, I ended up moving to be close to my mum when she was released back home, so I could help her through the transition back to whatever life she’d have. Professionally I obviously stopped blogging, I cancelled the talk at GroupBy (they were great about it by the way), and ended up still giving the DataMinutes talk (they were also great about it, and were happy for me to either give the talk or not), although I probably shouldn’t have, and I don’t think it was very good (one of the big names in the SQL world was watching and he called out a major mistake).

I also had to take a break from work to deal with the incredible stress all of this put on me. In the early days covid meant nobody could visit in the hospital so the only communication we had with doctors was over the phone, and they didn’t always have the time to explain things. The only communication I had with my mum was via video chat, which needed the nurses to know how to make that happen, and they weren’t always technically savvy (not a criticism, knowing how to use Zoom was not a job requirement and they were doing awesome work under horrible circumstances). When I came back to work, they were starting to bring people back into the office and I was planning to move away for an unknown amount of time, so I ended up changing jobs as part of the move.

Where I am now

Since then, things have been difficult but we’ve all come through. My mum is home, and largely independant, and I’m starting to look at picking up my life from where I left it in 2021. Professionally I feel like I’ve lost the momentum I had in 2021, so that is something I need to work on getting back. That means picking up this blog, so I’ve again set the target of posting at least once a week for 6 months in 2023, as well as trying to do some speaking and maybe picking up some new skills. My post last week had a lot about my goals for the year, and these are all on there.

I also took a holiday at the end of the year, and that helped a lot. I spent almost 2 weeks in Bali, having fun, relaxing by the pool, drinking cocktails out of coconuts, doing yoga and meditation, and generally putting a bit of distance between me and everything that was going on. It gave me a chance to think, and to put things into perspective, and I’ve come back feeling a lot more optimistic about my future.

This isn’t a post for sympathy, just an explanation of why I’ve been away. I don’t think I really have a regular readership, but I wanted to explain for anyone who was curious about why I vanished. I also wanted to remind people that these things happen, and they will knock you off course. All you can really do is pick yourself up at the end of it, see where you are, and start working on making progress again. And when you are in the middle of something like this, remember to look after yourself. It’s something I wasn’t always good at, but if you’re not ok then you can’t help anyone else.

  1. Ian G permalink

    Thanks for sharing the “real” side of life Chris, glad you are back to a more stable place in life and that your Mum is doing well also! Looking forward to hearing more talks and reading more posts from you soon!

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