The Good... Clint EastwoodMerry Christmas! Or Winter Solstice! Whatever!

As the last few days of 2009 and the decade dribble lazily through the hourglass’s pinch of incessant, unstoppable time, my focus turns inward. I’m not prone to introversion — really, it’s sometimes a little worrying how little I stop to care; least of all care about myself. Obviously, the delicious irony is that the moment I try to think about why I don’t care, I stop caring and think about something else. I guess it’s something deep-seated; or perhaps it’s just not good to care about all the small things?

God knows I’ve done OK so far, without the over-analysis, without the stopping-to-think. Water off a duck’s back. Don’t stop in a storm or you’re liable to get drenched. Maybe nothing bad has happened to me because I’m not waiting for it to happen? We make our own luck, right?

2009 has been a fantastic year; the best of my exciting quarter decade [oops -S] of living. I feel incredibly grateful to have shared it with all of you. I have this blog to thank — or blame — for almost everything that happened to me this year. I have this blog to thank for good, for bad, and for the ugly.

I have a lot to write, and not a lot of time to do it in (damn Christmas), so I’m afraid this will spill into tomorrow’s entry, and maybe even Thursday.

From the top then:

The Good of 2009 (#1): The Blog

Let me gush for a moment; don’t try to stop me [it's late as I write this, so I might ramble]. I’ve been writing for years — but probably not as long as you think. I stopped writing creatively back when I was 16. No real reason: my interest just moved on to other things. I kept a LiveJournal through university, mostly for my family, but it wasn’t particularly deep nor was it well-written. This year… I have begun writing properly, for the first time.

Seriously, before this year, the last thing I wrote was an exam for GCSE English, aged 14. If you look back to the beginning of this blog — way back in January 2009 — you’ll notice that my, er, control of the English language has improved! I can’t read back without wincing; it’s a bit like looking at old photos with bad haircuts, I guess.

Anyway, at the start of the year I gave up my previous job, website design and programming, with the intention of writing. I didn’t really have any other ideas at the time. I just wanted to write.

Basically, I feel like I have something I should share with the world. Writing is a very good way to do that. Speaking is even better, but people that know me in real life will tell you that I’m already good at the speaking thing. I’m rambling. My hope is, by reading, that you feel slightly better off than if you didn’t read.

The Bad (Angel Eyes)... Lee Van CleefThe Bad of 2009 (#1): No Girlfriend

Yes yes… cry me a river…

It’s now been, shit… three years since I had a girlfriend? No, it must be two… surely…

Anyway, it’s been a long time. If fault must be ascribed, I suppose it’s only fair that it should sit squarely on my shoulders. I mean… I could’ve been more proactive in the whole girlfriend-seeking thing. My mother usually chimes in around now to say ‘Seb, you won’t get a girlfriend if you never leave your room’ and she’s not wrong. If this was a New Year’s resolution thing, I’d probably be saying, at this juncture, that I need to get out more. Fortunately, it’s not yet New Year, and these aren’t my resolutions… so I won’t be getting out more.

I simply like my own company a lot more than that of other people. Sad, I agree. Perhaps I haven’t met the right person yet? (This is to do with friends too: I have no friends, thus no girlfriend.) Obviously I have to go out to have a chance at meeting the right people. Catch-22 (which is a good book by the way, if a little crazy; reading it at the moment).

Perhaps I should just travel more. I didn’t travel enough this year. Or maybe I shouldn’t work so hard so that I can get out a little more and recover the friends I once had. I do hate general ‘out’ places though: pubs and clubs are so banal, so pointless. Cinemas are a little better. Restaurants are great — but you have to get to the restaurant stage. It’s hard for me to describe, without you being inside my head, the actual issue. I won’t bother right now — let’s just leave it at ‘I like my own company’.

But I’d like someone to snuggle. Definitely. And maybe some sex. But more the snuggling. Actually, it’s more so that I have someone to bounce my crazy plans for world domination off, but let’s keep that one quiet for now.

The Ugly (Tuco)... Eli WallachThe Ugly of 2009 (#1): Working Too Hard

Ah the double-edged blade of effort. What is too much effort? And what is not enough?

Can a man of such young years, still without a solid career, even consider the idea of working too much? Surely these are the years when I should be working my (sadly) flat ass off to make a name and a position in the world for myself.

But at the same time, I am an artist, I am creative. All work and no play. So far I’ve got by with making sure work is creativity. With my new writing job (I’m now a lead/editor!), and an urge to actually get the cogs turning on a few grandiose machinations, playtime has taken a back seat.

I can’t help but think that kicking back and enjoying well-earnt and delectable pleasures is something I ought to do. I just don’t know if I should take a break now, or in another year. I’ve done so much this year that I probably shouldn’t stop now, but I don’t want to burn out.

* * *

More tomorrow!

With apologies to all the women I have loved this year
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I am a tall, hairy, British writer who blogs about technology, photography, travel, and whatever else catches my eye.