Lather, Rinse, Repeat
I’ve always given special significance to New Years and in the past few years this as been reinforced by the fact that we travel back to Portugal to celebrate Christmas and a large part of my annual leave from work is spent in this period.
I don’t exactly have formal New Year Resolutions, but I do take some time to brood over and examine my past 12 months and how I feel about them and I try to identify some pain points that I would like to address somehow — it’s usually a bad time to be around me because I become a little bit lethargic and a little bit sad. It’s not that the year has been particularly bad — it wasn’t — but 2016 has definitely been bipolar with a side of extreme feelings. The good bits have been great and invigorating, the bad parts have dragged me down a lot, and they’ve come from conflicting sources too.
The kids are great, my youngest has grown a bit and it’s much more independent and he’s a genuinely a fun kid to be around. As for his brother, we offered him a spare Kindle we had lying around and he took it like a duck to water, he reads at every opportunity and devours books — and I think we have similar tastes, so I might have a reading buddy in him. Together they’re great and they’re truly each others best friends. My wife is happy and we’re in a great place in our relationship.
We also travelled a bit, we went to Manchester to visit some friends, to London to visit family and we went to Portugal twice in the summer — the second trip we went without the kids too — and finally for Christmas. In terms of local tourism we rented a car for a long weekend and stays a couple of days in Wicklow and we discovered Skerries, both great places.
Related to all the traveling, me and Sara went to Trojan Horse was a Unicorn as staff members. My long term business partner aka second marriage that my wife puts up with organises an event geared broadly towards the Arts and after years of following it remotely we managed to attend and help out this year. It was probably the best, most tiring, exciting, exhausting, mental, inspiring part of 2016. I need to write more about this … I need to write more, period.
Photography played a big part in my year as well, I’ve put more work into this hobby of mine, bought a couple of new lenses, went to a few local events and won a couple of prizes that I’ll make use of this year — don’t worry, we’re talking Amateur level prizes. I almost almost almost bought the new EOS M5 but I was a good boy and kept my yearly budget decent.
I worked a lot this year and I didn’t exactly enjoyed it — not that that’s a requirement of course. In the company I work for me and my coworkers were heavily tested this year and although I believe we’re going to come out on top, it wasn’t without casualties and it definitely wasn’t easy. The next few months are definitely going to be difficult and are going to require a lot of effort, energy and clear minds. Our work is cut out for us!
The traveling, especially the trips to Portugal where we’re just going through all the routines are tiring. Airports are tedious, ugly bureaucratic shopping malls that herd people into flying buses with over priced meals and tiny windows. On the other hand, it’s really an efficient long distance transportation system and I’m really annoyed at the routine, not the magic of flight itself — don’t want to sound too millennial you see.
Health wise, both my parents had surgeries this summer, in fact, my first few days in Portugal in July were made up of remote working, driving the kids and wife to the Algarve for their holidays and driving back to help out my parents. Last year my wife’s grandmother health degraded rapidly and she managed to fly back to Portugal just in time to say goodbye. There’s always that nagging feeling for people living away from their family that distances, short as airplanes make them look, play a gigantic role in these times and that’s something that we need to deal with.
Socially I took one step forward by going to more photography meet ups and I had a blast, but I’ve taken two steps back half way through the year as entered — this is something I’ve identified now more clearly — a lethargic period where I merely stopped talking to people. I have chat windows that go on for months without me replying, I have multiple friends I care about where I want to say stuff to them in my mind but never seem to do and finally I didn’t even said proper goodbye to some of the people that left the company that I held especially dear and close to me. It’s not that I don’t miss or like these people, I do, some I miss so much it hurts, but whatever I’m going through makes me shy away aggressively. I don’t know what to say to people and I can’t hold a conversation for long, I rather disappear than be awkward. This has been affecting me greatly.
This also affects my Internet verbal presence, I shy away from posting on Twitter / Facebook or blogging altogether because I can’t put down words or sentences without sounding awkward. So much that I’m writing this blog post besides my wife and every time she asks me what I’m doing I feel embarrassed. This makes no sense, but I’m not trying to explain it, I’m merely stating and recognising it.
Finally, going back to work with my partner and my own company brought back conflicting thoughts as the majority of my adult life was spend running and living it. There’s a lot of extra work and worrying involved in running your own company, it’s hard and when things go bad, you can be sure they’ll be very bad for you on a personal level, but you’re also in (some) control and you’re definitely in the know about things and that makes up for a lot, if your personality is so inclined as I think mine is.
This all sounds depressing but really, I understand it’s a vast collection of First World Problems. Factually, 2016 was a good year and the troubles and choices I have to make won’t lead me to bad things, only different ones. I also realise this blog post is negatively charged, but I’m ok with that if you’re ok with that, I need to put certain things out of my head and like I said, New Years are — for me — good excuses to do just that.
Like the Captain in Wall-E once said and I quote
I don’t want to survive. I want to live.
Wise words fat Captain, wise words.