Enduring Hardships Behind the Scenes at the AquaNerd Blog

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Hello all and welcome to the blogsite that I have spent the better part of five years developing. I come to you today to address the lack of activity over the past week or so, and I wanted to give an update of what could be in the future. As you may already know, my wife and I welcomed twin girls into the world in October of last year, bringing our total child count up to three. While I had every intention of maintaining the article frequency and quality despite the increased responsibilities, it seems that my act of burning the candle at both ends (and maybe in the middle) has more than caught up with me.

I have a job that is very demanding of me. I wake up at 3:30 am to be to work by 5. I spend a solid 10 hours at my work place, usually on my feet all day, then I make the nearly 30 mile journey home. From there, I dive right into spending time with the family. My three year old is pulling me one direction, the twins each need attention in their own way, the dog is scratching to get in so he can be fed, and of course my wife needs a break from taking care of the household all day. It’s a tough burden, but one that I bear with a smile.

So, I spend as much time with my family as I can. After all, the kids won’t stay this young for long and I’m a firm believer in being extremely hands on with every aspect of their lives. After playing tea party, changing diapers, cooking dinner, and doing whatever else is required of me, I battle falling asleep on the couch, because let’s face it, getting up at 3:30 in the morning sucks. After dinner and a little more play time, we get the kiddos bathed and off to bed, and I finally get to sit down to the blogging aspects of my life around 9:30, if I’m lucky. Blogging usually ends around 11:15-11:30, then I crawl into bed and maybe get a good four hours before I’m up and at it again. This is way less than the recommended 8 hours, but I try to catch up on my sleep on the weekends, that’s why you don’t see any articles posted on Saturday or Sunday.

Despite those intentions, that is catching up on my sleep during the weekends, I often work on these days and have no way to catch up. On average, I work a 60-hour workweek, and I often work as many as 12 or 14 days in a row with only a day or two break in between. It’s a grueling schedule that is taking its toll.

As far as the blogging process goes, it’s not getting any easier either. Sometimes, I get really lucky and the creative juices are flowing, all cylinders are firing, and there’s plenty to write about. Other times, I am riddled with writer’s block, can’t find anything worth writing about, and/or can’t stay awake. For the latter, it results in basically nothing getting written for the following day. For the former, I may write two or three articles in addition to our usual Tip of the Day offering. Over the past few weeks, however, I find myself tired, unmotivated, uninspired, and unable to muster decent content, or any content for that matter.

To make the situation worse, I’ve essentially lost interest in my aquariums. Yesterday, I broke down my 80-gallon setup, which wasn’t much to look at, but it hurts to say goodbye to an aquarium. I will keep the nano tank going, but it’s obviously not getting the attention it needs due to my extremely busy schedule.

Taking all of this in and thinking about it for some time, I’ve come to the conclusion that I may have to step back for a minute while I regain some normalcy in my life. Obviously, I don’t not want to negate five years of work and shut the site down. Instead, I’m just going to turn off the computer, take some time to relax, read a book, sip some coffee, and hopefully pick things back up once things settle back into place. I will never abandon AquaNerd or the loyal readers, so I will stay active on our Facebook page and pop in on the blog from time to time to write about things that catch my eye. Additionally, I will maintain my role as editor and make sure that the content from the other writers gets published as intended.

Wrapping it up, I realize that as I write this, I could be back in action tomorrow or whenever the first string of exciting news pops up. You can certainly never keep me away, but I do feel a brief hiatus is much needed while I get rested and refocused so that I can come back at this with full strength. Thank you for your patience in all of this and happy reefing.

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  • Mayja

    You’ve definitely earned a break! Enjoy your precious free time and get some sleep!

  • Gotfrogs

    Nothing wrong with taking a break just don’t quit entirely. I enjoy you blog a lot! ~Clint

  • You are a hard worker and deserve a break. I took 2 months off from my youtube channel this past summer and it was just what I needed. I am sure after you return from your break you will have a new found interest in your aquarium and writing blogs again.

  • StRayReef

    Thanks for giving us loyal readers an update. I totally understand how demanding life can get as I recently broke down my 90 gallon SPS tank, because of a hectic schedule of work/life. Even though I have been completely out of the hobby for the past 5 months, I still enjoy reading your blog. I have read many reef related articles over the years and must say you are definitely one of the best writers out there. I wish you plenty of rest and time with family, and hope you find that elusive work/life balance. We will be here when you get back!

  • Matt

    Good for you! I think that Family is one of the, if not THE, most important things in life. I am just a random frequent reader of the blog and my opinion probably doesn’t carry that much weight, but I would strongly encourage you to take as much time as you need. Even if you end up passing the proverbial torch to someone else or closing down the site I strongly believe that you would be doing it for the best of reasons.

    Thank you for all your commitment to providing awesome and informative blog posts and having a positive impact on the salt water community!

  • Matt

    Have you considered adding some other contributors?

  • Thanks for the great content! Enjoy your break with the fam!

  • jretz

    I two have twins and know the challenges that comes with it. Twins is far more difficult that simply 2 x 1 baby, its more like 3x. I had my 3rd after the twins, and I can tell you that is much easier because he felt like a breeze. Having twins after 1 would be really tough… I wish you the best in your sabbatical!

  • Monti

    You have done a great job over the last years and many of us feel grateful.

    Take a short break (well deserved) and come back soon, motivated and enjoying this gorgeous hobby.

  • Josh Mcormick

    no update since feb 10th. guess this blog is dead. removing from bookmarks. on to reef builders now. good luck with life!

    • mpedersen

      Wow that’s a little harsh… 😉

  • Ibrahima Sory Bah

    malheureusement je ne parles pas l’anglais
    http://www.tubeneon.fr