Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Stars Die - Review of the Year (part 4)

There's so much I'd like to talk about this year, but I'm big enough and ugly enough to realise that some things just can't be discussed in a public forum; not if you want to have a better 2010.

2009 has been dominated, for me, by two things - the deaths of many friends and acquaintances and my own miserably bad health.

Death visited no less than 5 times; four times it struck people who were close to me and the 5th time it struck someone who was close to people I felt close to. The oldest of these was 56; the youngest 42. As I type this, another long time acquaintance of mine and good friend of my brother-in-law, is fighting just to be able to see a glimmer of 2010. That's the problem when you get older, people around you shuffle off; but I sort of expected that to happen when I was about 70 (and be one of the first so I didn't have to put up with all the others), not before I marked even my 50th year.

Obviously, self-pity has been big on my agenda this last year. I started the year with a really bad cold... in fact, if you look at my 2009 desk diary, you'd be hard pressed not to make a case for me being put down.

The weird thing was that from about March to August, I could well have been transported back to the 1980s, a time where my memories are so fragmented (from all the drugs!) that I'm not totally sure I was there. I actually went to work through March, April and half of May before everything just got on top of me. I think, actually I'm convinced, that if Therese hadn't suggested I go home on the day I finally went off sick, I probably would have cracked up, broken down and fallen apart... It was, in fact, the drugs that were causing it. Yeah, the constant pain was a bummer, but the uber-strong painkillers I was prescribed actually fucked me up considerably more - hence not being able to remember much from that period - apart from the emotionally charged moments.

This blog covered a lot of the pain my shoulder gave me; the hassles and the frustration and with hindsight, I have to say, I could do with never revisiting a period like that ever again. I think I summed it best up when a colleague said, with an element of disdain in his/her voice, 'but you've had the whole summer off!' and I replied, "Tell you what. I'll swap you your summer for mine, right now - no strings attached!'

Of course, I now doubt that it was all 100% successful, but I also have to take into consideration that I also have arthritis in my shoulders; so I can't really expect it ever to be 'as right as rain' again.

Like I said, there are elements of my life that are just not for repeating here; but the hassles with work seemed to get resolved, eventually and I go into 2010 with a lot of enthusiasm and a little bit of trepidation - my new project needs to succeed.

I got fucked about a lot by friends this year. I ended up giving money to some of them - lending is just too stupid a term to use when you know damn well that the person you're 'lending' the money to has no way on earth of actually paying it back. I witnessed other friends willingly exchange their happiness for commercial and materialistic wants; which, I have to say, really made me question the journey that human nature is taking in the 21st century.

I got used. I got abused. I got threatened. I got attacked (albeit by a friendly dog, but I did still almost break my nose). I got insulted. I got a new car. I had my ego massaged. I had some fucking awesome sex and learned how to be really crap at poker. I had my integrity questioned... actually, that was one of the few things I didn't have happen... I made some new friends, I remained alienated from some old friends (and as time flies, I see no bad thing in this any longer) and I identified a human being that I would gladly like to see suffer for the rest of his life - a life that would have to be long, so he could suffer for longer than your average cuntbag.

But the year, to be fair, has been dominated by ill health and a year that I'd like to forget. I said, I kicked off 2009 with a stinking cold; I'm hurtling out of the year with a stinking cold. The kind of cold that leaves you shaking your head in disbelief. On December the 18th, I woke up with a really snotty nostril - singular - so blocked, I couldn't breathe through it. It stayed like this until the following Saturday when it opened like the floodgates of a dam. By the Tuesday it had sunk down to my chest, leaving my nostrils free to breathe again, but not my lungs. By Christmas Eve, I was hacking, coughing and had a splitting headache. Yet, by Bank Holiday Monday my chest was clearing and my throat was now red raw. It seems that for 10 days my cold couldn't decide on a plan of assault, so it just threw some feelers out. This morning, I believe the results of the experiment were processed and it was decided that I should NOW have all of the symptoms at once, rather than in handy little bite sized chunks.
So, I'm writing this with snot dripping from the end of my nose, a raging sore throat, a chesty cough, a stinking headache and I'm cold! I fucking hate this!!!

I'm not about to make an New Year's resolutions, but I am seriously considering taking a break from smoking for a month or two; just to repair some of the damage. The worst thing about the chest infection has been the obvious mirror image of what I'll be like - every day - by the time I'm 65, if I don't do something to improve my health. I'm sure that some wag will show some correlation between my arthritis and bone problems to my smoking; but the fact I've had FOUR colds in a 12 month period, suggests to me that I'm going to be the first to die if we have a massive flu pandemic...

If health was the motif for 2009, then my lack of achievement in 2009 has been its understudy. I was off work for 3½ months and all I seemed to do during that time was play Texas Hold'em, Farkle or Scrabble. Because I couldn't sit at a keyboard for long, nothing got done. I didn't write; I didn't imagine; I didn't do much at all. It's far easier to sit around and feel sorry for yourself than it is to try and do something; I failed, because I didn't really try.

Now, the end is near and 2009 faces the final curtain. I've had some pretty shitty years in the last 11; deaths of family members, the advent of arthritis, upheavals and major life changing events; but overall 2009 will probably be the nadir of bad...

That is until 2010; when England don't win the World Cup; Liverpool scrape into 4th place, breaking the hearts of Spurs, Man City and Villa fans; the Tories will be back in power; the council taxes will go through the roof, the weather will be shit again; friends or family will die or become seriously ill. 2010 offers so much, but will probably only deliver a percentage of goodness, the rest will be sheer misery.

Happy? New Year!

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