2015

It still frightens me how quickly the days are sinking away. I woke up this morning thinking “wow, it’s a week since Christmas Day”. They do say that time seems to feel quicker the older you get, and there is something in that from a perception point of view. In reality, of course, time is constant…

2015 arrived in some small celebration. A member of our family held the traditional family party, and, for a change, no one else did. This meant that there was no competing party, and therefore no need to pick which one to go to. This made family politics a lot easier…

It was a good affair, with our traditional singing of Auld Lang Syne in the street. What has amazed me as the years go by is that no one else does it. I remember when I was young we’d either all join together, all the neighbouring families in one big circle, or there would simply be other people singing it in their own circles from their own parties. Just another sign of the fragmentation of society? Ironically, our version of it was rubbish this year as we seemed to split into two groups, singing at different times. That was probably just too much alcohol though.

I was, as usual, asked to get the guitar out. I still feel the pain in my fingers today. It was good, and everyone always says I should sing more often, but life just isn’t great for that. It could have been something I pursued, when I had oodles of time in University. Now, however, I have to just be content with what I have. I don’t actually think I’m that good. But we’ll see.

2015 will be an interesting year. The tradition in my New Year post is to project for the years to come. But first, even though, I probably say something like this every year (I could check really but I am lazy) it’s now 15 years since the year 2000. A new year celebration that I now can’t even remember. That’s bad. I remember vaguely the feelings around it, but I cannot for the life of me remember where I was and what I was doing. Only 15 years ago, and I was 15 at the time. I should be able to remember that.

My memory is not good at long term recall, but my brain has always worked a bit differently to others. I am, even if I do say so myself, pretty good at short term memory recall. I attribute much of my success in life to my ability to recall recently processed facts, figures, and even a whole line of argument. Luck, I guess. Certainly helps in exams.

I digress.

2015 will contain a number of significant events.

First, in business, which makes up 90% of my life, I should conclude my first land purchase, and, with a fair wind, also complete my first house sale. I hope it will be as profitable as we project it will be. It will be a challenging but exciting job, and I know it will be a big distraction at times, but I can’t wait to get started.

The “other business”, as I usually call it, will hopefully have a good year. It is certainly starting the year with a decent order book, which is the extreme opposite of last year. I am reasonably confident about this, but there is a lot of potentially difficult challenges ahead. I think we are up to them, but if the first new business project goes well we may be distracted from this.

My main business, my computer one, I hope will continue to tick along without me doing a great deal. I have almost no time for it any more, but I must continue to service it, which is crazy considering the amount of work it does bring me at times. I need the cash to live, but also to help me to grow the other businesses. Depending on how things go I may be stupid and think again about bringing someone in, but it would only be for someone I considered to be the right person. Someone with a bit of character and a bit of spark. Unsociable nerds need not apply. I say that knowing that that’s exactly what I was, and still am to some degree, but I’m afraid that I don’t have time to allow someone to mature…

From a personal point of view, I am extremely conscious of the fact that I will be turning 30 years old this year (188 days to go) and this as usual makes me think two things. One, is that, just like New Year, it’s actually just another day. There’s nothing too special about it.

But that’s usually the defensive statement of someone in denial. It could also be viewed as a significant point at which I definitely definitely cannot get away with being called “young” now. There is a new generation below me, one that thinks differently, and has its own ways and means. I don’t think I am young now, but 30 would definitely be the end of it. I worry significantly that I only really have another 5 years in which to do all the things I could possibly get away with whilst in the first half of life: i.e. while being biologically and physically able to do so.

So being 30 concerns me. I wonder whether I could pass off lying about my age for a couple of years. I think, when I’m clean-shaven, I can pass for a couple of years younger than I am. But the dreaded hair is starting to give the game away.

I hope for a better 2015 for my hair. Which seems a bizarre thing to say, but it’s true. I hope things aren’t as bad as all the woe it’s caused me this year. What’s really strange is that I have an uncle and a cousin, both of whom I saw only yesterday, who are 10 and 6 years older than me, who both have better hair than me. I blame my dad’s genes.

I predict I might do something a bit unusual this year. It might be just actually going away on a real holiday. Or it might involve an external relationship. Hmmm. Maybe not. It’s not like me, on either score…

More likely, maybe, is that I do that thing which I’ve always wanted to do around music: get some proper equipment and get recording. Maybe even put the results online. I think I could gather a small following. Who knows what could happen? Hmmm. Maybe not. The YouTubes are only interested in sub-21-year-olds with attractive features.

I worry about my family, who also aren’t getting any younger. I worry about my 15 year old nephew, who is totally confused about what he wants to do with life, but won’t admit it. I worry that he is getting himself into unnecessary relationships with girls at an age where the brain is completely unable to cope with it. He wants to do his own thing, and he doesn’t want to listen. I absolutely was not the same at his age. I made some mistakes, but they were not in any way risky or dangerous to me or my future. He needs to be careful. I respected my parents, and my peers and my extended family of aunties, uncles and grandparents. They taught me a lot. He doesn’t want that.

I hope that my younger sister can find some direction this year. I hope that my brothers work out what it is they want with life, or at least make some efforts to. I hope my mum and dad have a healthy year, free of trauma and unnecessary distraction. On that same score, I hope my grandma doesn’t have anything seriously wrong with her eyes.

A lot of hopes, and a lot of dreams. An awful lot of worries.

A lot can go wrong this year, but it can also go right. I am never the optimist, but I just have a sneaking feeling that maybe things will turn out OK.

Here we go.

2014

Happy New Year.

Last night arrived with all the pleasantries one associates with the New Year celebrations that this family holds. I would always prefer to celebrate New Year – arbitrary arrival of another day though it be – with my family. Some like to go out and spend hundreds of pounds in bars and clubs, and have a nightmare trying to get home in taxis. Takes all sorts, I suppose.

2013’s new year celebration was much better than 2012’2. This time the atmosphere, despite family traumas, was much more friendly, thanks in the main because the party was held at my aunty’s. There were quite a few people I didn’t know, but, once the guitar comes out, the frost seems to melt. I was surprised at how well singing a One Direction song would go down with the crowds… but children and parents alike were all singing along.

One rather sad aspect was that I met a small boy and girl, aged 6 and 3, who are currently being fostered by a relative of my uncles. I was absolutely saddened by hearing what they had been through. They were such lovely children, in spite of all the absolutely horrible things they must have seen. I sat talking to the boy for about 5 or 10 minutes, which, I was told by his foster parents, was actually a big surprise to them… since he is generally hyperactive in all aspects of life. He was really charming. I’m so glad that they are getting a fresh chance at life. There must be so many others who don’t.

The tradition now, though, is to project, rather than reflect. I look forward to this year. I genuinely think that, once again, it will be another crucial year in my life. Every year brings something new, some new challenge, and always something unexpected.

This year, I am hoping that both businesses do well. The new base of operations from the office is working out well, and I hope it will lead to further prosperity this year.

The big question for me will be whether to take the plunge regarding buying a house. It’s a determination I will have to make soon. I think I have been operating for long enough now to be able to get a mortgage as a self-employed person, but the big question will be whether or not this is a wise time to buy. Is the housing market already overheating and due another correction, or is it only up from here for at least a few years, making this, possibly, my last time to buy before prices go way beyond what I could possibly hope to earn.

Unless, of course, I am to achieve a big increase in income this year. I doubt that. I suppose the other business I’m involved in his a possibility of bringing this, but I am increasingly filled with worry about it. I am concerned that this year may expose the position I have taken in this business. If it does, I will probably come out of it with a small net loss.

That’s all the reason for me to keep my existing computer business strong.

If I’m having a really good year, I will consider taking on someone to help me with my computer business. This would be good for my home life and my sanity. I could do it now, but only if I was to accept a real drop in my income in the short term. Potentially, I would be left earning just a few thousand pounds. Some might say that that would be great, especially if you don’t have to do anything to earn it, but it would never be like that. I know I would always want to stay involved in the business I had created. So it would be totally insufficient. Not when Life (TM) costs over £1,000 a month.

So realistically, it’s likely to be a year to try and achieve stability. I recognise I’m coming to the end of my third decade… but I’m trying not to think about it. I’m trying to just keep enjoying my life while it’s here.

Here’s to 2014.

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…