2012

The new year brings its customary assessment of the year to come. And here it is.

After what must have been the quietest new year ever by my standards, it is time to look at where I might be going. What are the prospects for this year?

If I’m honest, I’m terribly worried. I have great concerns about the economy. If the Eurozone crisis finally bubbles out of control, it will have serious consequences for all. I’m expecting a pretty rough first six months of this year. I could already sense that I was getting less and less work as the year ended. New Year is traditionally a time to cut back after the excessive spending during the Christmas period. I fear that is what’s going to happen.

There is an answer. If 2012 goes well, it will set me on the right path for the next few years. There is a possibility afoot of large contracts, with big suppliers, in a new avenue of business. It is exciting but also unnerving as there’s just no way of guessing where it might go. I have a new business partner who is very keen, but also a shade unreliable. I am playing it cautiously. We’ll see.

On the other hand, if none of that happens, it might turn out to be a Ceiling Year. That is, the point at which you realise no more progress can be made, and you either have to accept it and live like a normal adult, or look, yet again, to unsettle yourself and take a risk. I don’t know, but I’m starting to get weary of wondering which way to turn.

In my personal life, I just don’t know what to do any more. I would like to see some development, but just can’t see how I can engineer circumstances to get involved with someone. But in reality I have to do something. I am not getting any younger. In secret, I would love to be a parent. Not that I have any useful genes to pass on, but from a selfish perspective I am starting to think it really is time I had a child. I think it would make such an incredible difference to me as a person. I know it would be hard work, but I think it would make me a more rounded, less self-centred individual.

But it’s all guff. It can’t happen without the necessary obvious prerequisite. And as I said, where that comes from I don’t know.

In a wider perspective, it is going to be a tough year for my family. My granddad is now reaching a point in his dementia that he is totally incapable of doing anything. He was here last night and cannot hold a conversation any more, though in his own mind he thinks he is. He doesn’t know who people are. My poor nan is being driven round the bend by him. She gets help, but she’s an extremely proud woman and doesn’t accept it easily. I know this is all going to place a massive strain on my mum. She was already pretty tearful yesterday.

Hopefully things will go well for my siblings and nephews.

Not much more to be said, really. Let’s see what happens…

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2011

As is tradition around these parts, on December 31 we look back, and on January 1 we forward. So this is the complementary post to yesterday, which did the reflection. Now, it’s time for the projection.

Like I said yesterday, I was so depressed at the start of last year that I made hardly any predictions, or wish lists, at all. But then again, my life is so different now that, with no formal structure to it, there almost seems to be no point in making dreams. It was different when I was in school, college and university, because I was wrapped within that system, and knew exactly what was coming this year.

No more. The year is a mystery to me. But less so than last year. Last year I genuinely didn’t have a clue which way it was going to go.

Now I know. It went quite decisively for my business interests. And so, the hope for 2011 is that it continues. I don’t mind too much at this point, just as long as at least the current levels are sustained, that is, being busy over 50% of the time. It provides something to look forward to, something to fall back on, and a reassurance that I’m heading in the right direction.

It will need to continue. It probably will as long as I keep working hard, and my luck holds out. But I know I’ve developed a loyal customer base, who will keep coming back to me. That does indeed provide some security.

But I still will long for more. I know 2011 will frustrate me too. I know I’ll want to make deeper and wider progress. I know I’ll want to do something else.

And I know I will keep searching for that “something else”. Because the point of all this has not always be in order to run a computer business. I want to run a business. It doesn’t have to be in computer repair. I have some thoughts about what I’d like to do, but how to do it is rather difficult to establish. But now I have a bit more cash, I feel more willing to take some risks.

So maybe 2011 will include at least a modicum of risk-taking. Some attempt to try and make a big leap in either what I’m doing now or something else. Some way in which I can increase the development of profitability. And future potential. And just the idea that continuing to be self-employed is not only sustainable, but going to make me feel like I’m using my talents as much I can.

Big hopes, really.

The only thing that will ruin everything is if my housemate buggers off without me working out a suitable alternative strategy. I could feasibly try and operate without his assistance, but it will make things twenty times more difficult. It could also limit my earning potential. But that is definitely coming down the track, perhaps in the next few months. I’ll have to keep thinking up a plan to deal with it.

On other levels, I want to try and get involved in some community work this year. Perhaps being a school governor is not right. It seems a bit too dry. Perhaps I should play to my strengths. Something in the field of computing. Politics would also be a strength, and perhaps some sort of political campaign would be good. I just find the whole thing so depressing right now.

No other personal predictions are worthwhile. What happens will happen and I’ll just have to accept it. I just hope my family all do well this year. They deserve it. Though I wish my parents in particular would learn to be less dismissive of my business achievements.

Oh, I don’t know. Either way, this year should reveal a lot about where the hell I’m going with life.

2010

Here we are in the dawn of a new age. A new decade. Just like the last one.

First of all, I simply can’t believe that it’s now 10 years since the millennium. And yes, 2000 will always be the millennium to me. It just looks nicer. It only seems like yesterday that I was a fresh faced youth wondering what the decade just ended would hold. Now I wonder what actually happened in it.

Anyway, the year hasn’t really started well. Our now traditional family party turned into major disaster because of incidents involving way too much alcohol in my brothers and elder sister, and everyone else in general. Oh, and dogs and first cousins once removed. Not worth repeating here, but this will be enough to remind me!

This morning there is much alcohol haze and annoyance. Arguments from last night will either be continued today when my sister emerges, or sorted out. It’s hard to know. But this was a pretty bad one.

I suspect it won’t, and it will fester for another few months. Basically, my sister wheeled out a whole decade of greatest hits, insulting my parents and most of the family in the process. Fuelled by Southern Comfort, no less. And my sister doesn’t really drink. Yet she really did last night!

Anyway, let’s look at what this year holds.

You know what, I’m not going to make any predictions. For the first time in my whole life, I have absolutely nothing ahead. That is appalling, of course. All I see is bills stretching to infinity. I could set myself some targets or some arbitrary deadlines, but I know I’ll miss all of them, so why should I bother?

I’m going to try my best though. I’m going to try and sort out this horrendous mess I’m in. One way or another, I will not be ending this year in the same position as I started it. I am determined about that.

So, OK, I’ve set one goal. But there are no specifics. I think that’s a total waste of time now. I’m going to take each day as it comes and see what happens.

I know one thing though. I simply have to have more fun than last year. How that happens, I don’t know. But it’s got to. I can’t carry on living such a boring existence.

As for everyone else, I just hope and sort of pray that we all get through the year unscathed. I also hope at least one of my family gets a lucky break they have long deserved. We shall see.

Here’s to a better year!

2009

2009 started with either an eerie co-incidence or an example of perfect timing. 

We rushed out into the street, me checking the time on Teletext with just 50 seconds to go. I don’t normally get ready so late, but I had decided to give the pre-midnight part of our usual New Year party a miss… instead choosing to sit with my brothers in the front computer room. It was actually nice to spend some time with them, I don’t normally do that. Anyway…

I looked at the clock, it was too late to synchronise my watch with Teletext, so I took a rough stab at it. At 20 seconds to go, I started the countdown and ran out to join the rest of the family in the street. 

At exactly zero seconds, a firework went off. That was pretty impressive. I think it was a co-incidence, but it was a nice one.

After midnight I joined the party, having a pretty good time. Not everyone was here, but there was enough people to talk to. But there was a surprising degree of very small children making a lot of noise. My cousins and an uncle have had children recently, and by Christ they made a lot of noise. A lot. Some of them are toddlers now, and bringing them all together is a deadly combination. Lots of activity. Too much for me, I wanted a quiet New Year!

Fat chance of that in this family. But it was all over by 3:30am, a much more reasonable time after the terribly late finishes of previous parties. After five hours sleep, I felt pretty good. It’s amazing how little sleep you actually need.

But now to consider the forthcoming year. 2009. It always feels weird writing the New Year, which is why it’s a tradition to name the first post of each new year after the year itself. It gets me used to it. 2009. Bloody hell. Was it really nine years ago when we celebrated the millennium? That’s frightening.

2009 is a make or break year for me. Now a graduate, a graduate with a damn good degree from a damn good department in an average university. I should really be able to do something with that. But, most probably, I won’t. Simply because I don’t want to. It just doesn’t seem the right direction for my life.

But what does? Well, that one has to be answered in the first few months of this year. I simply must either have a job or be properly self-employed by the end of February. That is my deadline and I can’t afford to let it slip. My life is going by and I don’t have any money to live it. That simply has to stop.

In general too, the time going by with me idle is not good either. That would be solved if I got a job, so I’m not too worried about that. But I need to be enjoying my life more anyway. I’m not right now, and that’s extremely sad. We only got one life after all.

But for the first four months of this year, I know I will have to live with the trauma of recent events. Until our injured player is walking around again, the burden of guilt, what ifs and sorrow of seeing someone suffering and being partly responsible, even in just a tiny way, will remain with me. For me, April can’t come soon enough.

That will occur naturally, which is a good thing. Unlike the job search, which needs me to get off my arse and do something about it.

I also feel that I’ve got something big in me this year. Whether that is the self-employment front, or some other thing, I feel the time is right for me to achieve it. Lately, I’ve been thinking seriously about my ambition to run a much larger football team. That would be a good challenge. There is a way I could do it too. Gonna have a think about that.

And in life, I could do with something different. Will I actually have a long term girlfriend this year? Hmm, that’s one I’m really unsure about while I’m living at home. Or maybe I’ll move out for good. Somehow I doubt it at the moment, but I’ve gotta say I’d like that to happen right now. 

For my family, I’d like to be better friends with my brothers. I’ve already started on that. We need to do more stuff together. I see my dad’s family, none of whom hardly ever see or even speak to each other. Maybe once a year for Christmas. It would be a terrible shame if we ended up like that. On a darker note, I’m really not sure what to expect from the rest of my family health wise this year. That’s going to be a constant source of worry.

So there is a lot on the line for me this year. I’m filled with a little foreboding about it. Yet the uncertainty is part of the excitement.

Here goes nothing.