Fuck. It’s December.
I’m not a big fan of waking up cussing. But I’m human. I’m hormonal. I’m easily agitated and so it happens every now and then. Most recently this past Saturday, when I woke up and realised yet again that the end of the year is upon us. One would think that with every passing year, this feeling would get easier to digest. That by now, I ought to be rolling out the red carpet with finesse, and welcoming this feeling like an old friend who visits once a year. Giving him a warm hug, inviting him in and staying up long into the night chatting. That’s what old friends do. But the horrid truth is that every year this feeling creeps up on me like and unknown guest who drops by unannounced. There is that same vaguely familiar panic, from having done this before, and yet there is all new surprise. Like it is the very first time. All over again.
Yep, it’s that time of year. When that constant din in my head builds up to a crazy crescendo. When I want to sit down and pull its many strains apart, tell one apart from the other, look at each one of them separately. But in reality it feels like every thought in my head has been blitzed up in a blender and poured into my head. Churn, churn, churn and the resultant din is actually the cacophony of going over this routine again and again and again. It’s that time of year when I go over the months. Take stock and all that jazz. When I realise some horrifying truths about the twelve months gone by.
2013 will forever be remembered as the year VC and I didn’t travel.
2013 will forever be remembered as the year I was
unemployed self-employed funemployed.
But that’s pretty much it. Yes, my feet are itchy. My mind wanders in a split second, to golden beaches against purple skies, to the swishing swaying lilting movement of sitting atop an elephant meandering through a jungle, to the milky mist of clouds passing through a hill-side cabin. To all the places we wanted to be but didn’t make it. But it was a conscious choice. To realign our priorities, to live out our decisions and to stick with them.
When I wasn’t travelling and being unemployed I was working. On my own projects, on assignments and I enjoyed the benefits it brought. But it also meant there were lean periods of less or no work, when I didn’t chase after it, when I channelised my energies elsewhere and asked VC for pocket money. It will forever be the remembered as the year I learned it was okay to depend, to sometimes feel “broke”, to crave things and to not be able to do all that you want to, in a jiffy. Because we also learned to weigh in our choices, to prioritise and see some things through to life.
It’s how Hungry & Excited took shape. It was an itch we wanted to scratch for a while, but one that took its own time in reaching that sweet spot. Right between being a home baker and a part-entrepreneur. I am not all there yet, I have plans and am being a little lazy about letting them take shape, but I’m on the road that 2013 started me off on.
Being at home and not having a job meant I could finally indulge in some of my loves. I have written like never before. Both on and off the blog, words have become my best buddies. When I had the odd writers block, I felt physically asphyxiated only to be relieved by a good, vigorous release of words. Thank you for bringing me back to where I belonged, 2013.
I rekindled my love for reading. Even though, not in the most natural way, I am glad I surpassed my goal for the year. At the start of 2013 I made a plan and drew up a list of 12 books I wanted to finish by the end of the year. The first half was stupendous and I read more than I imagined I would, but in the second half of the year, things slowed down for obvious reasons. I haven’t finished the 12 books I intended to, but I have read nearly double the number, including other books that caught my fancy along the way. My list for 2014 is already being prepared.
Tunnel vision. I think I finally learned what it means. And no, its not always a bad thing. This year, I pared down my life to the bare minimum that is possible right now. I have learned, to some extent, to let go of some things, in favour of others. I came closer to figuring out my rhythm. The delicate balance between having a super fine, single minded focus on one thing, and letting others fade into the background, and picking them up only when the time is right.I started small with a few mini goals, and the hope that they will take me to the next step. I think that plan is working well for me.
So even though I didn’t do much, and we didn’t travel and I haven’t had a steady job, it has been a busy, productive and very fulfilling year. Having so much time and space to do as my heart pleased meant a significant build up of keedas. 2013 will forever be remembered as the year that seeded oh so many ideas. You see the beauty of not doing much is that you suddenly have all the time in the world to think. To dwell on your thoughts. To test them, sometimes. To chew on them, long and hard. To repurpose, regurgitate and fuss over them until you are happy with what you have. Some found their way to fruition, but so many lie nestled in the nooks and crannies of my hyper-active mind. It’s that wonderful combination of finding your groove and settling into it just long enough to get a hang of things, and having the agility and the ability to know you can fly if your mind so wished it.
It’s that time of the year again. Looking back, looking forward, looking within. And just like that, a gentle panic takes over. I say gentle because it is the inevitable agitation that follows the realisation that no matter how much you accomplish, there is still so much that begs to still be done. It comes in slowly, almost sashaying its way into my consciousness, gently reminding me of all that we have managed to do, and immediately of everything that remains to be done. While I’m at it, a sweeping sense of thanksgiving and gratitude for all the forces that made this year possible. For working in tandem to make things turn out the way they did.
So when the momentary anxiety, complete with utterances of the choicest 4-lettered words, was done I realised that the wonderful thing about taking stock is that deep sense of gratitude and a resounding reassurance that this past year gave me a sense of purpose and direction.
And I’m choosing to take that as a good thing. Stuff might get crazy. It might get loud. It might get downright mad, around here. But I suppose it means I’m alive and kicking. And I’m not ready to settle as yet.