As December draws to a close, I can't help but once again reflect on the year that is ending. Unlike 2007, which was a stellar year for me, 2008 has been . . . shall we say no more than average, and my mood is a little melancholy as I write this.
I am going to try, however, to write a constructive post, rather than one which lists all the bad things that happened and all the things I didn't do. Yet I must be honest with myself and acknowledge that, if 2008 is to be labelled a 'dud' year (as I am already doing), then just about the whole of the blame lies with me.
Certainly I embarked upon this year in high spirits, buoyed by the achievements of 2007. And it certainly hasn't all been bad: I have managed regular trips down to Phillip Island, including several writing retreat weekends with various members of my writing group; the kgs have stayed off, despite being sorely tested by the myriad cafes in Elsternwick that enjoy my regular patronage; the home 'driveway community' has come closer together, yielding a secure and warm living environment; I got away to Singapore for a week-long work trip/holiday; and I've spent quality time with my 5.5 year old niece, getting her prepared in my own inexperienced way to start school in Germany imminently.
But I do confess I had to scrounge to write that list. That's the thing about this year. It's been a year of 'I'm going to . . . (renovate bathroom . . . finish redraft of novel . . . read a gazillion books . . . see certain movies . . . get in control of my garden . . .)'. I've allowed myself to be distracted/exhausted by work, and I've probably spent too much time socialising. Yet I also feel as though I haven't seen some of my friends enough. How is that possible?
I dunno. All I know is that I'm going to be more disciplined and focused and in control in 2009. I am not going to let work rule my life, nor am I going to let my weekends slip away into the ether. I am going to achieve stuff.
That's the thing about this annual transition into a new year. As arbitrary as it undoubtedly is, it provides a line in the sand. We can wipe the slate of 2008 clean, shed off all our residual baggage and embark on the new year filled once again with resolve and high spirits.
NOTE: I should perhaps explain that another reason for my melancholy mood is the departure of my sister and her family to Germany yesterday. Although I know I know their three-year adventure will be a wonderful experience, a large, selfish chunk of me will miss them terribly.