I’m finally back from my recent work hiatus, I’m sorry for leaving you all with so few updates lately. I know people can start to feel disillusioned when fan-driven projects like this go quiet, and the Daggerfall community is sadly all too familiar with that silence. You have all placed a great deal of trust in me to continue leading this project, and the last thing I want to do is lower that trust. So for transparency sake, I’ll give you a quick overview of why I’ve been so quiet lately.
Our life briefly derailed when my wife was let go from work at the end of August 2017. Like a lot of couples these days, we need two incomes to make ends meet. At first this didn’t seem like a big deal. She has multiple degrees and lots of experience, and has never had trouble finding work in the past. We reasoned a new job wouldn’t be far away and tightened belts enough to ride out a couple of months. When late October rolled around and we were still living on a single income, that’s when reality started to sink in. I run a small business that doesn’t typically bring in much work over the holiday period, and the job market was likewise getting slimmer by the day. Suddenly we were facing the prospect of falling behind by end of December. And by “falling behind”, I mean not being able to pay the mortgage or keep the lights on by New Year.
So around the end of October, I had to crank up the machinery of my little business as much as possible and pull in as much work – any work – I could find. I was hoping just to bridge the gap until early 2018 when the local job market picked up again and with luck we’d both be in work again soon. Of course, the result of this is that I didn’t have the time or mental focus to put anywhere else than staying above the red line. If I did get some free time, I was too absorbed with the situation to really be productive. And to top it all off, I came down with a shocker of a flu in November that put me on my ass for a bit.
By the end of November things were starting even out to a kind of new normal. I even tried getting back into the project a few weeks ago, but some of those work commitments kept weighing me down and sapping my focus. Anyway, we caught a break last week when my wife landed a new job. We have an added full-time income again and my extra work puts us right about where we would have been with two incomes in December anyway. Just with a lot more stress involved. I feel incredibly grateful to have made it this far and for now life can start returning to normal. I’m also grateful we both have our health and so much love in our life. I know a lot of people are doing it so much harder this time of year.
As of now, my extra work commitments have wrapped up until January. I’m even able to take a few weeks off over the Christmas through New Year stretch. Today is officially my first day off and the first weekend in three months I haven’t had to stress over how we’ll make our way through the upcoming week. I celebrated last night by taking myself out for ramen and a giant beer. It was just about the best feeling in the world.
I still need a bit of time to decompress, and the season will also keep me busy in a different (much better) way. But I’m anxious to get back to work on Daggerfall Unity as soon as I can. There are some pull requests on github I need to review and merge thanks to tireless contributors Allofich, Nystul, and TheLacus. From the bottom of my heart: thank you for the work you’ve all added the last few months. You guys absolutely rock my world. I think if anything happened to me, this project would still be in good hands with the quality people that have attached themselves to it.
But for now, I’m going to just chill a little and get my head straight. Let some of that stress fall away. Maybe play some video games.
Here’s wishing everyone a happy holidays and all the best for 2018!