The last couple of months has flown by. Now, deflated and tired, I’m coming up for air. I’ve neglected this blog. Hello world! I can’t believe we’re so close to Christmas, again. Last year’s turkey is still fresh in my mind. There are meant to be shortages this year, which won’t disappoint too much. I’d happily settle for cooking a lonely ham. So long as I get to have the ham. No complaints.
It might seem to you that it is a bit premature to write a year in review post when we’re not quite in late November, but here’s the thing. I don’t really get a lot done in December most years. I don’t see myself getting much more done this month, either. I’m in the maintenance mode of ordering content, editing it, publishing it, and general minutiae of running my websites. My sites are growing nicely, so I’m going to read and relax. Therefore, now is as good a time as any to write this, I feel.
So without further ado, here are some highlights.
One thing you should know about me is that I don’t make new year’s resolutions, but it just so happens that the new year is a great time to re-evaluate. At the beginning of the year, I decided that it would be a good idea to do some revisiting of things I hadn’t visited in years. You’re probably thinking places or something like that. Au contraire, almost the opposite. I mean books, music, television, movies, and so on. Those secondary experiences that people tend to overlook as being important to our self-development. I made pretty light work of it, actually, it wasn’t the same, but I’m glad I did it. It showed me that for the first time in my life that I’m ready for change rather than having it thrust on me unwillingly.
I learned that I’d lost interest in a lot of what I’m doing within my career, then I learned that was okay. I love being a publisher and creating websites that help people. Helping people is what guides most of my business decisions, probably not the smartest. I’m not so sure that I like the marketing side of things these days. The industry as well, for the most part, is full of no good dirty rotten mercenaries. I’ve been pushing myself hard to expand my programming knowledge, which is fun and does help with my websites. No matter how much I dislike some parts of what I do now, I’ll always be building and running websites. I was fortunate to have loved every aspect of it for a long time, is all.
Life is change. So that’s that.
In recent years, I’ve been quitting everything. It sucks. When I smoked, I was probably drinking around 20 cups of tea daily. I have a high tolerance for stimulants. However, I discovered this year that any amount of caffeine was making my myoclonus worse. What’s that, you ask? Ever wake up in the night gasping or feeling like you’ve been unceremoniously dropped off a mountain? Yup, that! Only, I would get that 20-30 times a night. Quitting caffeine was an experiment, and it helped massively. So I’ve stayed quit. Will it stay that way forever? I hope not. Maybe next year, I’ll try introducing a single cup in the mornings again.
Strange though it may seem, this blog has meant a lot to me. I’ve published hundreds of personal blog posts over the years, but this year was the first one when I stopped caring about how it would affect people’s perceptions of me. I stopped caring whether it should be a tool for my career, what career? I build websites and answer to nobody. So I rebuilt the blog two or three times this year until I got it how I liked it. Then I wrote whatever I wanted. I also started a journal this year in one of those old flexible Moleskine notebooks. I used to do that all the time when I was in my teens. I’d carry it around with me everywhere. I’d find old benches, prop myself up against them on cold autumnal days, and write haikus. I’m a better communicator with others and with myself when writing. It helps me decipher the complicated noises inside my own head. I’ve also been writing more for my websites again. Finally, I’ve discovered an interest in writing fiction.
As part of the whole revisiting thing, I tried to reconnect with some old friends. It didn’t really work. I don’t think I ever expected it to, but it ended up being a depressing reminder of why I can count the people I care about on my fingers. It is apt for a German word I learned this year: Verschlimmbessern – To make something worse by trying to improve it. That is something I’m an expert at when it comes to relationships of all kinds. Never change, people say. Instead, what happened this year is that I strengthened existing friendships.
In 2021, I was skateboarding a lot more again, but nothing really crazy. For several reasons, I’ve been drinking more; that’s probably the problem – I have too many reasons to drink. I find myself drinking a few times a week now because I’m bored, sad, or anxious. I’ve found myself drinking more because I’ve quit everything else, because I want an easy way to relax, or because I can’t think of a good reason not to. Less of that next year! What else? I’ve learned that you get to an age where all the memories and lessons of your youth begin to feel irrelevant. I’ve accepted things I always knew about myself that I’d been avoiding. I’ve developed a fear of unknown unknowns, especially forgetting memories – because you don’t remember what you’ve forgotten.
I’ll start with something positive. I’ve managed to continue down the road of self-improvement this year, and I’ve achieved a lot. I’ve improved my habits across the board, I’ve lost a lot of weight, and put myself in situations I was too scared to in the past. There’s been a lot of growth. It has been a year of change, and of course, that’s not always an easy thing. It hasn’t been the easiest year for lots of reasons. Also, I can’t remember a time when I was so lost. I’m not sure that I’ve ever been lost, actually. I’m learning to settle for knowing only a little at a time and placing my faith in doing what feels right. That’s hard. Still, I’ve figured out some things I want. Things that are important to the core of my being, not the shadows we all chase. All progress is progress.