Anne just called me, very upset, from her cell phone.
She told me that she and the kids are missing me, because I'm spending so much time online. She said that she's tired of feeling like I'm married to the computer and my website, and that she's been going to sleep alone for the last 2 weeks, and I wake her up at 1AM when I get into bed.
I was all ready to argue with her that I need to spend time here, and that I have a responsibility to my readers and all that...but something stopped me. It was that little voice in the back of your head that sometimes saves you from saying stupid things to cops. The self-preservation voice. My SP voice said to me, "Dude. Listen to your wife. She is telling you that you're neglecting her, and the family. Not cool. Not cool."
Now, here's something about me: I don't do well with ultimatums. More than once in my life I've gone and done something, specifically to spite someone who tried to tell me what to do. Matter of fact, it was a major contributing factor in my desicion to leave Star Trek.
So I did listen to her, and she didn't give me an ultimatum. She said that she was starting to resent the computer, and me, because the family is suffering. I could hear the sadness in her voice, as she told me that it was up to me to figure out how to balance this stuff out.
Thing is, she's right. I didn't realize it, but I'm putting in more than half of my waking hours on this, between reading and replying to emails, reading the comments here, and (recently) at fark, and posting comments of my own. I mean, I am constantly listening for the new mail sound, so I can run over here and reply, and I'm checking the site a few times an hour for new comments and discussion. Anne told me that the kids are bummed that I'm doing so much stuff on the website, and not just hanging out, and that's just not cool.
In my efforts to make myself accessible to people who I've never even met, I have made myself inaccessible to the people who love and need me the most: my family.
Thing is, if my relationship with my wife is not taken care of, and isn't the first priority in my life, everything else seems to fall apart. It's corny and cliche, but Anne is everything to me.
So here's the deal:
I love my wife and I love my step-kids, and, while I feel a sense of responsibility to everyone who comes to visit here, and I really do want to reply to all the emails, and take part in the discussions, I'm going to have to let this take a back seat for a bit, and focus my time, attention, and energy on my family.
The short term result of this will mean a greater lag time in replying to emails (sorry in advance, though you'll still get the autoresponse) and even less AIM time. I will still update the blog, because the Vega$ story really is cool, and I'm having a fun time writing it, but cut me some slack if I don't get right back to you, okay? It's nothing personal. It's just a re-focusing of my priorities.