Whistlin’ Past The Graveyard

A quiet weekend – one I’ve been decidedly grateful for. My experience of the run-up to Christmas has, for various reasons, evolved into an operation on an almost industrial scale that naturally expands to fill whatever space is available – I finally got everything done on Friday, and after a frantic time in the dimension-warping labyrinth that is the Arndale Centre I got everything sent off – 20 minutes before the end of that postal day. Okay, I could conceivably have sorted it on Saturday, but I really didn’t want to cut it that fine, and considering I was running on only four hours sleep, it’s an understandable impulse. I did have fun sorting it all, however, and I’m hoping that what I’ve done goes down well – but while there’s the little voice at the back of my head that does want to get a positive reaction, most of me knows that this is about the giving, and that it was important to me to do Christmas right this year. Just because it’s my first Christmas for a while where I’m actually on my own, it doesn’t mean I can’t still do things right, and have a good time in the bargain.

Shopping today – stocking up for the next three weeks, plus some official Christmas treats – and while I have indulged myself a little, I don’t have a mountain of chocolate to work through, and I think that’s probably a good thing. I’m going to have a relaxing time, catch up on some TV watching, and enjoy myself. There’s also been some DIY happening – after last weekend’s epic effort from Anna to finish her laminate floor, we’re now onto finishing the new wardrobe in my room, and have been encountering Ikea’s interesting attitude to providing screws that actually fit in the holes you’re supposed to fit them into. A slightly busted screwdriver didn’t help, so Anna has high-tailed it to B+Q, and will soon be returning to put the finishing touches on the piece, and I’ll finally have somewhere decent to hang my clothes and store more stuff.

It’s an odd feeling to have gotten to the point where I don’t have much to do, and can legitmately take a breath – everything in the writing and publishing world has essentially shut down for the next couple of weeks, and aside from an outstanding review (of the deliriously nutty Korean film The Good The Bad The Weird), I don’t have any major work to do. I’m also basically sorted for my monthly wages until March 23rd 2009, so I can genuinely pause here – I’ve got to kick myself into gear once 2009 commences, but right now, I can simply be.

I’m also doing better in myself. Last weekend was very, very hard, and I did feel somewhat stuck in a frame of mind that didn’t seem likely to shift – but then, I woke up on Monday morning, and suddenly everything seemed a little easier to deal with. Since then, I’ve had my ups and downs, but I’m still feeling balanced, and better, and certain that however traumatic the last year has been, I’ve made the right choice, and I’m heading in a direction that I actually want to go. Sure, I’d rather be doing it in company – but if these are the cards I’ve been dealt. I can complain, and I can moan, and I can be miserable – or I can remember that none of that is going to change the past, and concentrate on making a better future.

And however many gloomy predictions there may be for 2009 – and there are plenty of voices shouting “Doom!” – I’m going to do my best to have an excellent year, get my life back on track, and have some serious fun into the bargain.

That’s my plan. And I think it’ll do me for a while.

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