Yesterday I muttered on Facebook how I was waiting for the decade to run out, something which this period between Christmas and New Year’s just seems to accentuate all the more. I actually like this stretch of time in general and after the mind-wrackingly nuts quarter I just went through, followed by the decompressed though still pretty active break up north, it’s all the more useful for me to have this time, away from work but not out and about somewhere else in the world, simply doing a few things around here. Errands, shopping with some gift money to hand, cleaning up the place — I always seem to do a pretty thorough stove/oven cleaning around this time of year, and just finished that this morning — a necessary deck-clearing while not feeling obligated to do much else.
But it’s also a bit of a reboot on other fronts too. After a year’s work I’ve completed a long-planned importing of all my CDs, plus my cassettes, into my hard drive (that leaves the vinyl, but it’s a comparatively smaller amount), while I’ve started an early ‘spring cleaning’ designed at clearing out a slew of unneeded things from the apartment. A couple of bags of stuff are off to Goodwill today and larger donations are being planned, with an eye to some general redecorated/redoing of the apartment a bit. If I’m really lucky by the time spring itself arrives my seasonal cleaning as such will be pretty low key.
Meantime my only year-end/decade-end formally published piece as such will be up on the Stylus one-off site in two days’ time, and while in rereading it last night I was a little more unsatisfied with it than before, I think it will say what little I have to add to the whole subject. This decade has probably really been the most stressed and unsettled one I’ve lived through yet, and as much as there’s been lots of good to offset all that, I’m really into reflexively kicking it out the door with a swear word or two. (It doesn’t help that there’s been one last smack in the face from death on a musical front, due to the announcement of the passing of Rowland S. Howard, one of the finest guitarists to walk the planet.) Stupidity and foolishness on a grand sociopolitical front is hardly limited to this decade, of course, and familiarity must by necessity breed contempt, but I can’t say I will look back with huge fondness on much of this time when it comes to the wider world and its ways.
This makes family and friendship all the more important, of course, and I continue to remain exceptionally fortunate there, as well as in other areas of my life — those were and remain the key anchors. But this year in particular has taken a toll on my writing a bit, as I’ve mentioned before, so I’ve set myself a few specific goals as to how to get back into that, as well as other things on a creative front, more in the following year — nothing so formal as a resolution, but something designed to wake me up a bit and provide a bit of focus. There is going to be a slight challenge still in that I’m essentially unsure exactly how tired work will leave me given the number it did on me these last couple of months, but a little structure can’t hurt in terms of setting and maintaining a pattern. The first of these projects will begin on here on Monday, with an introductory piece on Sunday, and may well continue throughout the year — at least two others are planned, in slightly different media.
Two of these three projects are essentially retrospective, which given my Stylus piece will seem at the least contradictory, but they too will be ‘deck-clearing’ of their own kind, a way to acknowledge and then look forward from. The third is the one I’m most excited about but will require a little more planning and preparation, and may not start until well into the year — we’ll have to see.
With that all said, and since I might well be busy for the rest of today and tomorrow, I do want to wish everyone a quick Happy New Year in advance, and hope all planned parties or get-togethers are a blast. I am never entirely sure who all reads these posts of mine but I’m always appreciative, and I hope to reward your patience next year.