Lessons from the past

With Burnout Comes Wisdom (If You Survive)

by Bill Brenner November 5, 2015 Work-life balance

I’ve devoted several posts to combatting career burnout, particularly in the information security industry. But something recently occurred to me: Burnout can be a good thing, but only if you survive. Mood music: The thought came to me after talking to a fellow industry veteran and work colleague. We’ve seen friends younger than us either setting themselves up for the fall or crashing to Earth after burning to a crisp. My friend knows burnout. So do I. We’ve…  [Read More]

Coming Soon: The OCD Diaries Book Series

by Bill Brenner October 14, 2015 Adventures in writing

For years, people have told me to write a book based on this blog. And for years I’ve resisted because life was busy enough between work, family and writing for three blogs. But after some brainstorming with Erin last weekend, the decision is made: I’m diving in. The time is right. Mood music: In 2016 I’ll still write fresh posts here, but my main focus as far as The OCD Diaries goes will be on book writing. Not…  [Read More]

A Basement in Revere

by Bill Brenner May 13, 2015 The stormy past

A photo from the old days in Revere is sparking some flashbacks. It’s November 1991, and Dan Waters, Sean Marley, and I are in the basement of the old house I grew up in. From left to right: Bill Brenner, Dan Waters, and Sean Marley We partied a lot in that basement. It was the scene of many impressive and entertaining mood swings. I could be mistaken, but I believe we were having a belated Halloween…  [Read More]

For Parents With Kids Freaked About Winter Storms

by Bill Brenner January 25, 2015 Children's issues

With a blizzard in the New England forecast this week and next month’s 37th anniversary of the Blizzard of 1978, I thought this might be of use: Mood music: I got a message awhile back from a mom who reads this blog regularly. I’ll keep her anonymous but share some details of the note: “My son, only 7, has suffered from pretty severe anxieties about weather over the past 3 or so years. It took me…  [Read More]

So You Wanna Blog About Your Demons

by Bill Brenner March 3, 2014 Adventures in writing

Quite a few people are starting to share stories about their mental health challenges and other demons. Some ponder if they should start blogging about it. Having written such a blog for almost five years now, here’s my take. Mood music: If you feel you have reached the right point in your journey to start sharing, then do it. If nothing else, it will help you keep things in perspective. I always feel better after…  [Read More]

Dzhokar Tsarnaev’s Age Can’t Shield Him From Justice

by Bill Brenner April 22, 2013 Lessons from the past

After the elation everyone felt Friday night when the second suspected Boston Marathon bomber was captured after a bloody manhunt, the mood dropped again. Some fellow parents lamented the fact that a 19-year-old kid could do what Dzhokar Tsarnaev is accused of doing. They pictured him curled up in a ball in that backyard boat in Watertown, scared beyond all comprehension. Tsarnaev is someone’s child, someone pointed out. Here’s why I’m less sympathetic. Mood music: [spotify:track:22f0HfO1PUGJ3bjVozEewR] I…  [Read More]

Human Tourniquets And Freaks Who Love Them

by Bill Brenner March 29, 2013 Communication skills for the crazy

I originally wrote this three years ago. Looking at it again, it’s an important post describing a time when not even best friends were safe from my insanity. I’ve updated it for the present.  Mood music: [spotify:track:2YGwSRjcY4Hjz6fktW9619] You know the type. They hang  out with people who act more like abusive spouses than friends. They are human tourniquets. They absorb the pain of their tormentor daily and without complaint. This is the story of the…  [Read More]

‘This Post Is Escapism and Blame’

by Bill Brenner March 26, 2013 Communication skills for the crazy

A dear friend hated the post I wrote yesterday on how we’re all lousy parents. He found something in every paragraph to disagree with and found the opening particularly offensive. He told me: “Not all of us were raised by lousy parents. Not all of us ARE lousy parents. No matter how one was raised at a certain point your life becomes your own responsibility. Not your parents. Not your genes. Not your phobias. This post,…  [Read More]

Two-Alarm Fire at My High School

by Bill Brenner January 9, 2013 The stormy past

There was a two-alarm fire last night at Northeast Metro Tech, the place where I attended high school. Back in my day, it was called Northeast Regional Vocational High School or, as most of us called it, the Voke. Mood music: [spotify:track:0oO29Ht2H9AiENqRsq3zIT] I have good and bad memories of the place. It’s where I: Grew my hair long and cemented my love affair with metal music. Truly started to understand, for the first time, that I…  [Read More]

Sandy Hook Lesson: Be the Change, One Soul at a Time

by Bill Brenner December 17, 2012 Lessons from the past

Like most of you, I’ve spent a good part of the weekend thinking about the lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. We all want specific solutions that will prevent more of these tragedies, but what we’re dealing with is too big and too gray for that.   A lot of people are debating gun control. Some people think the world would be safer if every law-abiding citizen had a firearm. Others say…  [Read More]