10 Years of Blogging, 1 Year of Nothing

24 December, while being Christmas Eve, is also the day I normally celebrate my Blogiversary. The day in which I decided, in 2004, to start keeping a blog. It’s a day on which I reflect of all the things blogging has done for me, whether that makes sense or otherwise.

In most respects it has, because of the opportunity it gives me to vent. This year, however, it hasn’t. Not properly. I’ve used it very rarely, and, even then, only on the same subject of my attempt to come to terms with who I am. I suppose that still counts.

But it hasn’t been enough. I have made some mistakes this year. In fact, quite a lot. And sometimes just stopping and reflecting every week or two is an interesting experience, to think carefully about what I’ve done, and wonder whether the present course is doing me right.

I haven’t done that enough. I’ve been a bit more self-centred than I’ve ever been this last year. And that self-centredness has led to me even fewer periods in front of my computer. Just me, my brain and my typing fingers. Not enough times.

Never mind. Perhaps it was inevitable that one day I’d have some sort of significant change in my circumstances that meant I wouldn’t either a) feel the need; or b) have the opportunity to write about my life.

But right now, none of it matters. I am home, amongst my family, and with my partner. That bit is a secret. But the holiday, the relaxing, the family shenanigans… they are all real. And they make me feel happy.

The biggest irony? I type this while everyone else is watching EastEnders. A show I hate, and one my family watches. I hide while they get on with the inevitable. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Families are all about acceptable compromises.

Merry Christmas.

The Yearly Rest

Most people have regular holidays, if they’re able. Definitely summer, maybe one or two weeks in autumn or spring. If they have children, holidays are usually only six weeks away.

Me, not so much. Throughout this year, I think the holidays I’ve taken have been one week in mid March, when I was feeling quite unwell, and a few days in September, when I went to Cornwall. Which was kinda ruined.

But here we are now. Safely back home with my family, after what was probably the best journey home ever. I left at stupid o clock, and everything ran to time, but even better it was quiet and totally stress-free. I brought a book, lent to me by a customer, about Steve Jobs. I’ve never been a fan of Apple, but I have a little bit of motivation now…

It’s been a nice day overall. I got home about 11:30, and haven’t done much since. But that doesn’t matter too much. This is my holiday. The only proper one I have all year. I have worked damn hard for this, and so I’m going to enjoy it as much as I possibly can. Enjoy definitely knowing taking any phone calls would be totally inappropriate. Not that anyone would phone me. Although, this year, I wouldn’t put it past a couple of the weirdos I’ve dealt with.

But this year it’s even more special because I have come home to see my family, which has an extra addition. I now have a new nephew, who was born a week ago. The family just gets larger and larger. I saw him for the first time earlier today. All babies are ugly, I’m pretty sure of that. But they soon improve!

It is now eight years since I started blogging. Every year I note the “blogiversary” as best I can. But this year I don’t think I have anything further to add. I’ve said it all in past years. All good. Long may it continue.

Now I sit awaiting my final drink of the evening. It will only be my second, but we kind of have an ironic tradition in this house in recent years. We sit around wrapping presents till late, watching crap TV, drinking Baileys and watching Midnight Mass. None of us is remotely religious. And, to be fair, we only watch it for about 10 minutes, by which point we couldn’t care less. But all families have their silly traditions, and this is one I quite enjoy. Well, anything involving Baileys must be good.

Tomorrow and the rest of the week should be really good. I am looking forward to present unwrapping tomorrow, and the general family catch up that we’re all planning on. Oh, and lots of food.

Happy Christmas one and all.


Seven Years

I still find it hard to believe that here I am seven years later, still writing. Still moaning. Still whinging. But probably slightly less depressed than I was back then.

In 2004 – exactly seven years ago at this moment – I finally caved in to a temptation I’d had for years to start a journal of some sort. Back then, blogs were still new and not everyone had one. These days, apparently everyone has one, and so too do dogs, cats and other assorted creatures.

I think I probably write the same post every year at this point now though. It always go along the same lines – I can’t believe I have been disciplined enough to keep this going. There have been times when it’s been touch and go, but mostly I’ve been able to muster up enough inspiration to write something. I am really pleased I did because it is a wonderful history to refer back to.

I had always wanted to write a diary but never had the ability to. Not because I didn’t actually have a diary. I always did seem to have one for some reason. Probably because I was always one of life’s organisers. Not that I had anything to organise. I just used to like writing things in there. I have always been like that.

But then there was the other reason – because real life diaries are not secure! I could never have written in things that were about my life becuase I just couldn’t risk the problem that someone else could read it. I couldn’t be completely honest because who knows when my security could be compromised. And yet, I don’t seem bothered about writing it all in public instead! How weird…

So I didn’t bother. But I just wish I’d started earlier. I really wish I’d had a diary of my teenage years. Looking back, I find those years of my life the most fascinating. That was really when me as a person – or, as a personality – was formed. It’s when we really start to become ourselves, more than mere automatic reflexes to our genes and our environment. The actual point at which proper consciousness, proper ability to analyse and reason, makes us into who we are.

But I didn’t, so no point fretting now. One thing I would do though is encourage anyone who thinks they can to blog. It doesn’t matter that there might be people reading. Chances are no one is anyway. And even if they do, they won’t know who the hell you’re talking about. Plus, you can be pretty cryptic anyway. I am, all the time, if I’m referring to other people.

Meanwhile… back in life – Christmas is happening. I’m back at home, with my family, relaxing, work is switched off, and I’m having a good time. I feel a completely different person to the poor guy seven years ago. I am happier. I am a little bit more directionful. If that’s a real word. I’m still more lonely than ever. But that’s because I’m hopeless at communicating with Real People. Sigh.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas. And I’ve only had one glass of Baileys!

The Five Year Itch

Five years ago today, and almost to the hour, I began my blogging journey.

Five years of misery. Five years of false dawns. Five years of some success, much to my surprise.

I say this every year, often many times, but the reason why I blog is because it is such an awesome record of my life. It isn’t complete, far from it, but it gets across most of the important events.

In the last year, I feel it’s become a non-stop bitch-a-thon though. I guess it’s the nature of sitting around waiting for something to happen. But that’s no good.

I feel like I used to write about different subjects, because all manner of different things were going on in my life. But that may just be a shade of rose-tint on the old spectacles, which one day I’ll need due to continuing failing eyesight.

Because I’m pretty sure I’ve always been very passive about my life. I sit back and wait for things to happen, and let everything wash over me. I never usually have more than a handful of things on the go at any one time, and don’t do anything to upset that balance. That’s me all over.

And that is how my life is slipping away.

I genuinely cannot believe that it was five years ago I was sitting no more than two metres from my current spot, in an equally depressed state, thinking about what had gone and what was to come. Watching my own transition to an adult life, not knowing where the hell it was going. Back then it was disturbing; now my listlessness is almost par for the course.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Five years of whinging. Of waiting. Of hoping some break will occur for me, and never getting it.

They always say that it’s no surprise that the “luckiest” people in life are invariably the ones who take the most risks.

That is probably why it’s been almost five years of ceaseless boredom. I don’t take risks. Well, I do take the odd one. Moving away this year was a serious one.

Except it hasn’t paid off. I’m almost resigned to that now, and beginning to think of what the exit strategy is.

Fortunately, there are some things I life I still enjoy. One of these is happening right now, as I’m trying to type while holding one of my usual nonsense conversations with my younger sister.

The subject, what else, is doom and gloom. The end of the earth, which is due in 2012 according to her supervolcano theory, influenced by a current film. It’s providing plenty of banter. All good stuff.

At least there are people worth living for, even if life itself is a load of rubbish.

But anyway, as Shakin’ Stevens sang: Merry Christmas, Everyone!