Wednesday 24 December 2014

Christmas 2014: What’s next?

I am spending my fifth Christmas in a row by myself. This has become my new holiday tradition. I know for those who are going through a whirlwind of family gatherings, large meals, and endless visits from friends, acquaintances, and people you thought dropped off the face of the Earth, being alone may seem undesirable if not sad. Oddly enough, I’ve been looking forward to it. I have a little more than a week off and I have all this time for myself, to do whatever I please. Eat, sleep, think, and watch YouTube videos: the possibilities are endless. And therein lies the question to be answered. What’s next?

Back in October, I turned 62. Not that big of a deal unto itself, but I’ve joked how an acquaintance referred to turning 60 as starting the fourth quarter. I noted that in his football metaphor, the fourth quarter is the last quarter and we have no idea if there will be overtime. Saying you have your whole life ahead of you at 30 or 40 is not the same as saying you have your whole life ahead of you at 60. Or 62. (my blog: 62: 10, 9, 8… - Oct 20/2014)

I recently got around to writing about the suicide of Robin Williams. Most people covered the story from the perspective of depression and missed the subsequent revelation of Williams being diagnosed first with Parkinson’s disease, then with Lewy body dementia. Nobody wants to die, but there is an important discussion to be had about the quality of life. Whether we admit it or not, “Hell on Earth” does exist and leaving under your own steam is better than leaving under ignoble or painful circumstances. (my blog: Robin Williams: How Should We Face the End? – Dec 14/2014)

How are the two above ideas connected? I know I have a limited time left to me, so how am I going to make this last hurrah a good one? 2015 is coming up. What to do? It’s interesting to sit here in front of the figurative blank sheet of paper wondering what I can write to transform that blank sheet into something interesting, if not captivating, to the next person figuratively walking by.

But, 2014 hasn’t turned out to be all that productive. I sometimes think I’m getting bored with my own writing and I now see I’m repeating myself. Politics? Divorce? Sex? Heck, I don’t need to write anything new, I just have to pull out one of my old postings. Been there, wrote that.

I have found myself addictively spending my time doing non-productive s**t. While social media may supposedly be good for self-promotion, it is also a big time suck. Instead of doing something worthwhile, I seem to be seeking approval through Likes and Favorites along with Shares and Retweets by reposting all sorts of pretty much meaningless stuff. Oooo, I have X number of Friends and Followers, 99% of whom I don’t know, will never know, and probably don’t care to know, but that X is still important to me. Geesh, who gives a crap? On my deathbed, I’m going to be saying, “Wait. One more tweet.”

By the way, I see people with thousands of followers on Twitter and hundreds of friends on Facebook. How the heck do they keep track of their feeds and their timelines? Talk about information overload. Or is the truth that everybody is posting but nobody’s reading? Once again, how good my day turns out is determined by the number of Likes I get. Who cares?

I need to do a purge. Or maybe I need an intervention. No social media. Cold turkey.

So, here I sit by myself mulling over the possibilities. I’m going to go for a walk and look for some inspiration for the next big thing, the next big thing for me. On to 2015. What’s next?


my blog: Christmas 2013: I have options
The area gets hit by an ice storm and I go without power for now, going on four days. My office is a few blocks from where I live and the building has never been without power. I sleep at my apartment but I spend my time at the office with a frig of my food, a micro-wave, and Internet access. I can shower at the gym around the corner. I am without power but I have options.

my blog: Christmas 2012: Home Alone 3 - Dec 25/2012
Traditions change: death and divorce. ... Christmas number three represents my new tradition: another day devoted to me... Sound sad? It's not. As odd as it seems, I am enjoying the peace and quiet. I have at times enjoyed the holiday hubbub but right now I'm enjoying the freedom from tradition. Yes, I sometimes get nostalgic but one has to come back to that Zen master stuff (or is it bulls**t?) and move on. You have to enjoy life right now as it is, for what it is. After all, what else exists? Is the glass half full or is it half empty? Heck, it's the only glass I've got!


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