The Months that Weren’t

Can you feel the cobwebs? Do you see the tumbleweeds blowing across the pages of this blog? I know I do. It’s been awhile since I posted and I figured it was about time I explained my absence and how I’ve let this place become a temporary ghost town, especially since a few people have recently asked me if I was still ok.

Lucy, you got some ‘splainin to do.

It feels somewhat lame to same I haven’t posted because I’ve been busy, but to a degree that’s exactly what happened. Three things over the last few months kept me away from here.

Vacation in New York

Some of you know by now that every year I visit my family for Thanksgiving. A number of years ago when I was working it was a good time to visit since I was already getting Thursday and Friday off. I could get in a week’s vacation, while only using three vacation days.

It didn’t hurt that I happen to like Thanksgiving in general and that fall is a nice time of year in New York.

Now that I work for myself I can be more flexible in how long I stay. One of my clients turned friend lives out east and a couple of years ago I extended the trip on the backend so we could spend a day together. This year a family obligation required me to extend the trip on the front end and all told I was in New York for close to two weeks vacationing with family and friends.

Increased Client Workload

As summer was heading into fall my client workload picked up. Good for me and my bank account, but not so good for my free time or this blog. Normally I do my best to finish every project I’m working on before heading to New York, but this year it was a lot more difficult to achieve.

Seemed like every time I gained ground on one project another client called with a new one. I know I could have made a few wait, but some of the requests came from very good clients and I pride myself in being able to get the work back to them sooner rather than later.

Much of my time went into one project that began over the summer as a small JavaScript application without a deadline, and morphed into a much larger project with a deadline of yesterday. It wasn’t easy to get it finished, but I managed with a couple of days to spare.

Image of living room after painting

A New Residence

Both of the above weren’t really enough to keep me from posting. I take the same vacation every year, and anyone in a service based business knows the work ebbs and flows quite a bit. It’s not unusual to have a couple of very busy months and then have a couple lighter ones.

Perhaps the main thing that kept me busy was that I bought a condo in early November. That’s one corner of the living room above, the day after we painted it. The lamp is still there, but now it has furniture to keep it company.

For the last six years I’ve been renting the same apartment. When I moved in I considered it rustic, but over time it felt more run down than rustic. Back in July the landlord showed up on the property, cleaned up the leaves and trimmed the hedges for the first time in about three years and decided to raise everyone’s rent. Nice, huh?

The person managing the building for him also mentioned how he hoped to sell the property to developers or tear the old buildings down. I didn’t like the idea that I could soon find out I had 30 days to find a new place to live.

Given my business has been picking up and housing prices have been going down, it made the most sense to buy instead of rent. This is the first property I’ve owned and the first time I experienced the process leading up to a closing. It was a lot more time consuming than I imagined.

I’m pretty sure I signed away my first born and possibly even my soul to you know who. So many papers were pushed in front of me I can’t honestly say I know what every paper I signed was actually for. After a couple months looking and a month securing a mortgage and signing more paperwork than I knew exited, I’m the proud owner of the place I live in.

The timing of the close could have been better. We closed about a week before I left for New York. During that week I painted the new place with a friend, had carpeting installed, and began packing and moving. I finished the packing and moving after getting back and have been enjoying unpacking all those things I packed every since.

Other than a few boxes of things I don’t really use I’m finally in and settled and very happy in the new digs.


photo credit: half alive ☺

The Months Ahead

Again I apologize for the extended absence. Hopefully you understand that life outside the blog took over for awhile. I also have to admit the longer I was away from writing regularly, the easier it became to skip just one more day. I’ll do my best not to let it happen again.

Having said that posting will probably be on the light side through the holidays. Of course compared to the last couple of months they may seem kind of busy. I do have a This Month In SEO post planned for next week.

I mentioned a few times during the year that I want to change the direction of this blog and for a few months I’ve pretty much known where I want to take it. Looking at the results of the poll I’ve had running in the sidebar for far too long you all seem to agree with where I want to go so that’s good.

It may take a few weeks to get into the rhythm, but I plan on offering more design and development posts and leaning the blog that way. A little more focus on the design part of Van SEO Design than the seo part, though still covering both.

For everyone who’s still here with me thanks for sticking around through my absence. For those of you who left thinking I’d abandoned you and this blog, well I guess you’re not reading at the moment. But I will do what I can to bring you back.

Thanks for understanding.

Download a free sample from my book, Design Fundamentals.

2 comments

  1. Are you still alive? :)

    I actually was wondering what had happended to you. Good to know everything is going well. I didnt know you were fully self employed!

    I hope to get to that point!

    • Thanks Bryan. Good to know my absence was noticed. I should have done a better job posting the last couple of months, but it became very easy to let things slide with so many other things going on.

      It might take me a couple of weeks, but I’ll get back into a good rhythm again and start posting regularly again.

      I’ve been entirely self-employed for about 5 1/2 years now. It was a struggle at first, but it gets easier each year. Try to look at where you are now and just set small goals of having your business be in a better place in 6 months than it is now. If you can do that consistently it won’t take too long before you’re entirely self-employed too.

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