explorations of mindful fatherhood

Back from the Dead


hand-zombie-grave-e1325617835981It has been 47 days since my last post, and I have to ask myself, what the hell happened? In the year and a half since starting this blog, this is my longest hiatus to date. What happened? Life. Shitty life.

The past couple of months have been filled with obligation. Just lots of work. I had to chair a math night at my son’s elementary school, write an article for work, and take care of innumerable work projects. When all this hits the fan, I find myself exhausted on a regular basis, and any alone-time I carve out is either consumed by work projects or by worry about these projects.

During these dark days, some of the important things in my life begin slipping off the radar. I abandon my mediation practice. I stop doing my back exercises (and my inner Will-Farrell-hot-tub-lounging-professor emerges). And most of all, I stop writing. I easily resort to the mantra, “I don’t have time.” And when I do have the time, I’m either too consumed by thoughts/worries/frustrations about everything else going on in my life, or I think to myself, “I deserve some downtime.”

To me, downtime usually means vegging out: watching TV, movies, sleeping, or reading crap. It’s basically mindless garbage. I start feeling as though my mind is so consumed by things I kind of resent (i.e., work), that it deserves just to shut down. In the moment, any of those things that are meaningful or helpful fly out the window. But why? I think it’s likely that those things feel like they require energy and thought, and I’m typically left with none.

That’s why writing is a good barometer for me, as I’m sure it is for others. ย When I haven’t written in a long time, I realize that I’ve been simply too exhausted to pour my thoughts into words. I’ve been consumed by work, obligations, and other demands that overwhelm. It’s a sign that I haven’t had time to strike a balance. A neglected blog (like a neglected journal or diary) is a sign that I haven’t saved some of my energy for the things that are important, like reflecting on my experiences, focusing on my family, and learning from my own mistakes. That’s what my blog is supposed to be about. So if I haven’t attended it for a while, it’s a sign that I haven’t reserved any of my time or energy for things that are important for me and my own growth.

In short, I’m happy to be back writing. I hope to keep in mind that me-time does not have to equal mindless-time, because it leaves me feeling sapped and empty.

Author: CJ Nigh

I am an East Coast writer with a Midwestern soul. Undead Dad is a blog about mindful fatherhood in the deadening age of hyper-technology and over-work. I also write science fiction for young adults.

12 thoughts on “Back from the Dead

  1. Love this post! I’ve been to this place far to many times. Glad you are back!

  2. Somehow, I missed your last couple of posts. The last one I remember reading was the one about ditching the iPad. Ironically, I was thinking about you this morning, there are only a few male bloggers I read – most are women, and sometimes I feel like a stalker. I can understand where you have been. It’s the height of he school year for me – I teach 7th grade – and I am more overwhelmed than I have ever been. Couple that with growing kids, aging parents, and a house and there are times when I retreat into Covey’s quadrant of escape. This morning – I slept in, because I needed it. As much as writing is cathartic for me I need to take care of me so I can take care of my family. Take care and have a great day.

    • My old friend Clay! Good to hear from you. Yes, as you might know, I work in education too, and the middle schoolers are in rare form this March. I feel like I’m bumped between crises. The only downfall to the schedule is that I can’t get myself to sleep in, and find myself up most weekends around 5am! Good writing time though. Take care.

  3. We all go through this! I take sabbaticals from blogging too, weeks even months at a time. Sometimes we need that mindless tv and trashy reading to just recharge. I’m half way there at the moment. I can’t settle on anything to read and I’m “skimming” through my reader , i feel distant from it all and start reaching for the TV remote. I’m trying to rebuild my blog though so I’m fighting against it. With random sabbaticals from blogging my consistent actually commenting followers have seemed to relocated to other blogs. So, I’m trying.

    • CofC, best of luck getting back into the swing of things. I’d like to have said mine was a planned sabbatical, but I tend to slip away and before I know it, too much time has gone by. Thanks for reading!

  4. Welcome back! You should never feel the need to apologise for taking some time out because real life takes over. Above all else, blogging should always feel like a pleasure rather than a chore …

  5. I’m glad you’re back ๐Ÿ™‚
    Breaks are necessary in blogging and writing-I learned that myself just recently.

    And congrats are in order ๐Ÿ™‚
    Iโ€™ve nominated your blog with The Lighthouse Blog Award.
    You can see it here:

    I really enjoy reading your posts.
    Keep up the great work but take time when you need it.
    We’ll wait ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Well, it’s been quite a long time since I’ve read your blog . . . I think I could use the same reasoning, “life!”

    But I’ve just read a half-dozen or so of your posts between this one and March 2015, and I’m really glad to be catching up.

    Bravo to you for your writing, whenever you’re able.

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