South Park Self

retrospective

That was 2010, that was. Now it's old and grey and tottering towards the finish line while 2011 sits in the wings and plots. At the end of last year I said that 2009 had made me sad, and politely requested 2010 to pull its socks up. In a weird sort of way it's sort of complied. Given that my major resolution for 2010 was "survive", I can pretty much say "mission accomplished", but it wasn't much of a mission.

I lost my father this year and, however merciful his release was from his horrible illness, losing a parent is something of a major life event. His death has freed me to start getting my life and finances back on track, but I think I'm still trying to absorb the implications of his absence; it all feels strangely distant and unreal, as though he's actually live and well and pottering around France somewhere. I suppose that's almost inevitable, when the relationship I've had with him for the last ten years has been across distance and with infrequent contact. Loss takes a while to sink in.

The usual scorecard:
  • Things achieved by me this year: a conference, a published paper, a serious amount of academic validation from complete strangers. Paid-off debts to bank and sister. A house in France, and an actual tenant in it. Survival of giant renovations. A far more vicious stranglehold on this job, it's starting to become routine, and to give me something approaching headspace, making it vaguely possible that I will be able, in the near future, to think of it as a day job and do more interesting things around its edges. A reasonably effective management plan for life with chronic sinusitis/glandular fever, although I'm still working on the "while not whinging about it" part.
  • Things discovered this year: Star Trek, Smallville, Plants vs. Zombies, Catherynne M. Valente, tempura batter, Death Cab for Cutie, Echo Bazaar, Scott Pilgrim, Transmetropolitan, Fiasco!, netbooks, how to cook fillet, Microfiction.
  • Things not achieved by me: as usual, fleeing the country, crushing academia beneath my booted heel, enough writing, enough exercise. In addition, I have not seen enough of all my friends; I've retreated into a sort of exhausted hermitage thing where I socialise only if someone actively pulls me out with hook and line. I've missed everyone.
  • Resolutions for the new year: trample job under my booted heel and find more energy for more interesting things, including headspace in which to write. Do some bloody exercise. See my friends far more actively and often. Travel more.

2010 had extremely horrible moments, but I think its overall arc has been slightly upwards. I am cautiously hopeful about 2011. Tonight a small gang of us see in the New Year in our traditional fashion, which is to cook giant, elaborate meals on the distributed plan while imbibing alcohol freely and allowing the conversation to wander hither and thither at will. I hope that you all have equally pleasant prospects for the evening, and that 2011 will bring you wonderful things.
Thanks for the extremely well-timed Fiasco! game - it was a hoot :)

Happy new year!