I loved my Drupal installation. It offered power and flexibility. If I could dream it, Drupal could do it. For a price–server configuration know-how and coding skills. But Drupal needs brain power. If you want to keep your site updated and secure, it takes effort…and brain power. Lately, my brain power is in short supply.
I wake up in the mornings feeling like I haven’t slept in a month. Lava drips into my joints. Until recently, I had a kris in my kidneys and someone kept twisting the damn thing. Given all this, the ants crawling up my sides and constant exhaustion really weren’t big deals. The doc killed the kris wielder or at least temporarily disabled him. We still don’t know what’s causing the latest madness. All anyone has is a list of possible conditions and more tests.
I’ve always dealt with this to a certain extent, but lately it’s worse. I’m not sure if the exhaustion/pain combo actually decreases my IQ or just kills my concentration. Either way, I shouldn’t be working on servers right now, and Drupal isn’t the easiest system on the block to administer. Sure, it offers killer options, but what good are options if you can’t use them?
Drupal was my personal act of self-denial. I’m a geek with a MA in International Commerce and Policy. I graduated with honors. I’m…clinging desperately to a past life my body can no longer live. It was my last act of defiance. My way of saying I wouldn’t let this damn stuff define me. My mind loved the technical challenges it represented, and I spent many days hacking code, writing modules, theming, and updating. But I have other challenges, ones I can’t always code or multiply my way around. Drupal now represents a challenge I don’t need.
So where am I?
Knitting hurts too much. Drupal requires more energy than it’s worth. Some days, I have trouble walking the dog. Yeah, the woman who ran marathons, biked eight miles to work, and practiced martial arts is dead. She’s not coming back.
But the person she was, the girl who scribbled stories ideas on the backs of napkins and carried a notebook everywhere, is still here. Like a rose that has lost its petals, my core still lives.
I have eight novels, about a hundred short stories, and more jotted ideas than I want to think about in my drawer. Why? Not to publish or submit somewhere. These scraps of paper are my escape, the reality I created because the one I live in sucks. When I write, I zone out, immersing myself in another world, leaving my body behind. For a time. An hour or two on a bad day. Four on a good. Six on a superb. I don’t have many superbs. It helps more than Tylenol, which is about as effective as sugar, and is less irksome than meditation, which I still practice even though it only helps if the pain’s below a 7.
My scraps of paper, computer files, and notes are proof that I still exists. Many days they are the only tangible proof I have, so I choose to cling to them, not Drupal, because they get me through the day.
Reading also helps. The escape isn’t always as good as what I create on my own, but on bad days especially, a good book helps.
Connecting with people through forums, email, and here helps more than you will ever know. Emails from friends and family, blog posts about a new author or someone’s dog, YouTube, Hulu–to feed my lifelong anime addiction–Twitter, more emails, Ravelry, LHC, Critique Circle…all help me feel like I’m not alone.
In my final analysis, I’m left with three things I can do–reading, writing, and the web–that help. Word Press is easier to use, one click updates and less scrolling on the admin side, than Drupal, so I swapped. A year ago, the swap would’ve taken six hours max. It took a week. Things aren’t perfect. A few posts are still MIA, and I haven’t decided what to do with my knitting course materials, patterns, and the unfinished patterns/courses cluttering up my hard drive.
Please don’t feel sorry for me. Right now, the dogwoods are just beginning to bloom, bread’s rising on the counter, my fountain pen’s full of ink, my kindle battery’s at 100%, and I have daffodils on my desk. All reasons to smile.