The Sugar Factory in Scottsbluff on the evening of January 11, 2024.

A few days ago, I woke up to find my computer had rebooted. When I went to recover my open files, LibreOffice went through the process, but, then, nothing. Untitled1, Untitled2, Untitled3, and so on were empty. I sat and stared at my screen. There was no anger, only sadness. I’d lost the all the posts I had been working on for the blog except one. That one is titled Book List 2024. I lost the last bit of the file, but it’s easily replaced.

I switched from Open Office to LibreOffice last Fall. The Fall was particularly bad this year mental health-wise. That was one of the files I was working on. I should have waited until January when my brain calmed down and I could focus properly, but my brain wasn’t working properly to think clearly. When I switched, I forgot to go into a submenu to tick the box which makes a backup copy of what I’m working on. When a crash happens, if the auto-recover doesn’t work, well, I have a copy which saves every 10 minutes.

I’m going to write a quick summary of what I was working on. Hopefully, it’s understandable and I may still get full blog posts written about them. I just have to do them from scratch. I’ll be proofreading my book list because I had meant to get it up in November, so some wording needs to be changed.

Windows sucks. I’m in the process of shifting all my computers to Linux and never looking back.

I’ll be making a post about my mailing list here. MailerLite, which sends the notifications is shifting to a new platform on February 1. If I did everything right, no one will notice.

I’ve written, but not really explained well before how my trauma is particularly bad from the end of September to the end of November. It’s been this way my entire life, but I have found ways to hide it over the years. I stopped trying to do that a few years ago because it just makes everything worse for me.

What happens is I get an idea for a blog post. I start to write it. I have a flashback or someone calls me on the phone or something else happens. Because I have flashbacks nearly every day in the Fall, I tend to forget I started something or I’ll look at the computer screen and think “I’ll get to that in a few minutes.” The problem is I shift into semi-survival mode and all I do is get my work-work done. That’s how I ended up with several open files to be lost. It just means I need a different plan in place for next year.

So, I lost notes I had on celebrating two years off social media. I was also going to write a post about the real possibility I will be leaving Reddit after 17 years. I knew when I deleted all my accounts there was a real possibility of losing contact with people and it was something I had to accept and it was okay. Social media makes me anger and makes my mental health worse and I had to make that decision for myself. I knew I made the right decision and it gets reinforced from time to time. I got a Christmas card from someone who moved away last year and I forgot to ask their address. As the Brits say, “I was quite chuffed when the card arrived.”

I haven’t written much about my job, but Nspire Today! is going well. I wasn’t sure what it would be like to have Jeff Fielder and KC Heath as bosses, but it has been really good. I am going to write about the job because it has been a net positive in my life this year. While I was sad to leave the Youth Shelter, I am a writer at heart and it makes me feel good to tell the stories I’m telling.

I have notes on a post about all the little positive things from the past year. Yeah, notes. On paper. Written with a pen. So I still have that and it’s okay I lost the digital file. While the Fall was really bad, I sat down in December and made a list of all the good changes in my life since I began seeing my new therapist.

Then, there were a couple of posts about PTSD, trauma, EMDR, and some things related to therapy. The information is all in my head, so I’m not too worried about recreating it. Admittedly, I struggled a bit with this because I tried to write them during the Fall when I was completely exhausted from the flashbacks, somehow managed to write 17 stories in the month for Nspire and then tried to explain what my brain was going through. Not a smart decision at the time, but it’s okay.

I also have notes on my notepad – again with pen and paper – about what a day looks like for me. I’ll be getting that out as well.

For some good news, anyone who follows Paul on Facebook knows he graduated with his second master’s degree. He is now waiting for his license to be approved, but he is a Licensed Mental Health Practitioner (LMHP). He’s been offered two LMHP jobs, one, a part-time position at the hospital, which he has already accepted. He’ll be making all his final decisions this month about whether to accept the other position or continue to be a teacher.

That’s it for now. My goal for 2024 is to make at least one post per week here and to get four hours in a row of sleep per night. It is -10F right now, so I’ll be staying in and writing however many of my five Nspire Today! stories I can get through today.

Oh yeah, Fruit Stripe gum has been discontinued. The Reddit comments are hilarious, but true. It was slightly older than me.