According to my extensive internet-based research, a blog post at the tail end of one year or the beginning of the next is legally obliged to include some kind of list. Top ten achievements, number of words written, number of kilometres jogged* – that kind of thing.
So with that in mind here’s a list of blog-relevant stuff I didn’t do enough of in 2017.
End of list.
2017 was a very weird year for me and subsequently 2018 seems to have kicked off with the inevitable hangover. Somewhere during the course of the year I misplaced my ambition and I’m having a bugger of a job finding it.
Don’t get me wrong – it wasn’t an awful year and I feel very lucky that it wasn’t filled with events that so many people will have had to deal with such as bereavement, illness and so forth. If I focus on one aspect – running – it was actually my most successful year by far. But equally if I shine the spotlight on what I achieved professionally or in a writing sense, 2017 was pretty dire.
Subsequently I’ve done a lot of thinking over the two week Christmas break as I simply cannot start 2018 the way I ended 2017.
The root of the problem is a simple one – I’ve allowed myself to stagnate. It’s an accumulation of many things over a long period of time but really it boils down to mutely accepting my career path and rationalising the portions it lacks. In short, I put my ambition down for a bit and now I can’t seem to locate it.
The kicker here is that I’ve realised over the years that I need to be stimulated in the 9 to 5 (haha – like that normal job exists) time period in order to be stimulated in other areas. If not, any time spent on more creative pursuits starts to feel like a chore – and when that happens it’s a whole lot easier to have another bottle glass of red and not bother with them at all.
My challenge for now is simple. I need to work out exactly what it is that I want to spend my days doing and to then have the balls to make it happen. Bemoaning the fact that I’m almost 45 and am getting too old to change, hiding behind endless excuses or blaming others for where I am are all easy options and, like a hobbit who remains unsharpened for the entirety of his natural life, ultimately pointless.
I do still believe that I have stories to tell, and I also believe that I will rediscover the feeling of magic that sometimes happens when one word follows another on to a page. Much like my working life however, I need to decide what it is that I love, what it is I want to achieve and then go and make it happen. Sucking at the dopamine tit of instant gratification is not why I started writing and that’s really what I need to rediscover.
But enough of this whining. One thing I haven’t done is to say thank you, and that’s really the most important part of any words I commit to virtual paper this evening.
The reason I’ve kept the thank you part until the end is so that it bypasses one section of the subscribers to this blog – you know the type, we’ve all got them – I’m talking about the zanybadgergifs and insanelycuteandfluffycreaturepics dot coms that we all count on our list of followers. If you’ve managed to get this far you are without doubt one of the wonderful, real people who have, over the last twelve months and beyond, “liked” something I’ve written and, in many cases, taken the time to write me a few well-chosen words. Even if those words are to simply say “give up and find a new hobby” the fact that you took the time to write them down means a great deal to me.
So thank you to everyone who has crossed my virtual path in 2017. I hope to have a little more to offer in 2018 than I did last year but far more importantly than that I wish you all a year where you fulfill your ambitions, whatever those may be.
Assuming of course that in most cases they will be within the confines of the law and/or not require more than a small tub of goose fat…
*2089 give or take.