For the most part, we all have work-a-day minds. Hearing of yours, at the outset of your endeavor, engendered fellowship, and was therefore not tedious.
The enthusiasm of your associates at your big step back into the grind hallmarks either their alleviating concern for your well-being, or selfish intent due to you sharing the agony of their daily slog. I know what you’d say, but I’d wager on the former.
Per “The lie we live to live” (— Anonymole), survival in this day and age, I believe, is just a string of diversions. If you get stuck on one, so be it. Else you blunder ’till the next one. Fortunately, the offering is exhaustive. And if blogs, books, or Amazon’s cornucopia of distractions doesn’t meet your needs, the world has infinite room for new ones.
I recall some Inuit classmates of mine, when I went to UA Fairbanks, who owned oosiks, scrimshawed until they resembled tubular cities. Such things were often massive and painfully long. One fellow, Jack Derenoff, half Russian, half “Eskimo”, owned many. I doubt collecting baculums remained a lifelong passion.
Teaching? Just another diversion. Our brains are much too big (those here, reading these words at least), for our own good. Idle or active pastimes are a must. Codifying and organizing the writing process, though looked on with derision by some, allows me some pleasure. Another distraction of mine is, as I’ve often mentioned here, collecting evidence for life/no life in the Universe. I wandered upon this video. I share it as I found the production top-notch.
Pondering such things, as philosophers are wont to do, does give perspective on the pointlessness of existence. Have other beings of the Cosmos examined the Absurd Universe? If they exist, which I doubt, then perhaps they have. And their realization of the quandary may be our answer to Fermi’s Paradox.