9 years

9 years ago today (or yesterday depending on your current time zone) we landed at LAX.

The past year has been by far, the most mental of them all. It is almost like the past 8 were building up (or tearing down?) my mental health just for this past year….. It has been such a hard year that I was a bit worried what sort of state I was going to be in when this day came around, but as usual, my mates stepped up in their own way and carried me over the line…..

At the moment, for the past month or so, I have been effectively been getting through each day with ‘distraction therapy’. Finding things for my mind to do so that it does not have time to think about the stuff I don’t want to think about.
We stepped up the airplane tracking and Node-RED/groov games. To this end, Gary’s gifted webserver has taken a beating, but it keeps on keepin on. I could not have this website or track planes without it.
It’s running Linux (Ubuntu server – headless), the plane tracker software is all Linux based and there is no way I would be able to tackle any of it if not for the skills patiently handed down to me from Dan. Those days in the hospital working with Dan in the IT department, setting up Nagios and other network monitoring / mapping tools were just so empowering years and years later it’s scary.
To top it off, my other mate Matt B has got into drones, so there has been a nice steady stream of Skype calls, videos, photos and Instagram posts on his progress in stirring the sticks of a craft with 4 propellers.
The perfect storm of distraction support…. Thanks guys. Wish there was a way to ‘repay’ you all, but we all know it does not work like that. Thankfully.

So, 9 years. Gone by fast, been rougher than ever imagined it would be. Each year seems to get harder than the previous, which seems impossible, and yet that is what happens.
Light switches have just become distant noise. I still can’t reliably make them work – walked into the drone room two nights ago and had trouble turning the light on – thought nothing of it. Those sorts of difficulties, once so loud and annoying, have been drowned out.
Work, money, 4 way stops, weather (which, I just have to pause and point out, after 9 years, I now love), college, accents and more are still there, they have become rose bushes, I like parts about them, but I know they hurt when you dig into them, so don’t. Take a step back, sniff from a distance and try and get a grip on the big picture.

Trying to focus on the long game.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result. Year 8 I stepped up the physical exercise, it helped, but as expected, was not the cure. What am I going to change this year? Nothing. This year I just want to hold on.

Want to get utterly depressed? Want to get some context to this yearly blog thing?
Here is some light reading for you…..

First year.
Second year.
Third year.
Fifth year.
Sixth year.
Eighth year.

And, if you make it through all those, you really really need this.