I've been completely off the board for almost five months and only posted a handful of times in the half-year before that. Events leading up to this year have hit me and my wife really hard. My interests have changed. It's hard to get enthusiastic about things anymore. I don't have much to say. For the last five years I've been going through increasing stress at work and suffering the loss of close family. (My mother and all my grandparents are dead, my dad and my only brother have moved thousands of miles away.) It feels like I've been thrown on my own. And then for the last three years I've had to deal with the "aging parents" issue with my in-laws. They've always been foolish people who made no provision for their future, but they ceased being able to physically care for themselves and we had to put them in a home. Simultaneously we had to start grappling with their finances or lack thereof and try to get them secure. In the meantime my father-in-law, who was suffering from dementia and paranoia, started calling attorneys on us. (My wife was neither physically nor emotionally able to handle a lot of what was being thrown at us, so I had to take charge of much of it.) That is all resolved. Their finances and personal care are being managed by a guardian, the attorneys are dismissed, and my father-in-law passed away at the end of last year. Materially we made out fine ... we managed to avoid sinking any serious money into their situation or letting them drag us down with them. But now my wife is having to come to grips with the fact of a father who was a mean old man even when he HAD all his marbles (and losing them just made him meaner), and a poor father figure or provider to boot. And a mother who's always been childish and is turning more so. Me, I've had to re-evaluate what's important to me. A lot of things just don't seem important anymore. That was beginning to be true even before ... I intentionally haven't posted in the S&T forum in over two and a half years because of conflicts with another poster. It got to the point where all I was doing was trolling the other guy. It was a rotten attitude to take, and once I realized what I was doing, it was better for all of us that I just walked away. I banned myself! The BBS is still important to me, I guess. But I don't know what to write and no longer feel compelled to reply to anyone else's comments either. I haven't really formed any friendships here because I've never learned how to get to know a bunch of strangers on a computer screen. When I've tried, it still feels like I'm a stranger to all of you and that what I have to say doesn't really matter. IRL I'm socially out of step a lot. It doesn't feel any different here. I'm not as depressed as it probably sounds. Just a lot more guarded and having to re-evaluate who I can, or should, or want to, confide in. Trying to decide what to do next. While I was off the BBS I also turned fifty (and passed my 15th anniversary here). Do you care?