We’ve been offline for a long, long time. I don’t know exactly when the problem started. Last month, St. Louis got rocked by a huge storm and we were without power for five days. When it came back, my web server didn’t.

I restored from the last good backup I had, but unfortunately that was a couple of months old. So the last three months’ worth of entries are gone. That wasn’t a lot, but it’s something.On a more personal level–a more personal level than I’ve been willing to write on my blog in several years–I have to admit I’ve been putting it off. Part of it is that I’ve just been completely slammed at work. But I’ve gone through other times in life when I didn’t really have time for anything but work and sleep, and yet I still found time to write, even if it was just a little.

It’s like in baseball, when you get into a slump, you try lots of other things, and pretty soon you forget the things that made you successful in the past, and it’s almost like you’re not the same person anymore.

And I have to be honest. When I look in the mirror anymore, I’m not sure who that guy looking back at me is. It isn’t the real me.

Blogging is dangerous. I learned that several years ago, when a girl I dated briefly e-mailed me after six months and recounted the time since we had last seen each other in greater detail than one of my best friends would have been able to do. There were details in that message that even I’d forgotten about. It was spooky. So I started being a bit more evasive about certain details.

Fast forward another year or two. I found myself in a troubled relationship and I wrote about it. My then-girlfriend didn’t read my blog, so I figured I was pretty safe, but what I didn’t know was that her mother read it. Oops. I still don’t think anything I said then was out of line, but she saw things differently, and that was the end of that. Now that I’m married–to someone else–that doesn’t matter much anymore.

But today there are legal issues too. Threats of being sued by employers or clients have closed down more than one blog, including one that I enjoyed reading.

I have to figure out how to balance that. I haven’t worked in journalism in years, but I still consider myself a journalist and I still find myself referring to myself as one. When I don’t write, I’m not happy. Period.

So I’m going to try to write more often. I don’t know about what. I can’t really write much about work, partly because detailed accounts of what I do at work are only useful for those nights when you can’t sleep, and partly because of the legal issues. The journalist in me doesn’t like that very much. I tried really hard this weekend to make time for my hobbies, but found I’ve pretty much lost interest in them.

Basically I’m facing a reprise of the first crisis of my professional career, which happened back in 1998. I was overworked, underappreciated, and work was a wrecking ball, crashing down every boundary I’d ever set. With no room for a life outside of work, things got ugly fast.

I’m back there again, only now there’s even more at stake because I have a wife and a house to take care of.

Hopefully writing will help hasten the healing process. Boundaries are an important thing. That sounds like a good topic to tackle.