Derek's view as he wraps Christmas presents

…and to all a good night. (Also, Glædelig jul!, Joyeux Noël! and ¡Feliz Navidad!)

I am sometimes not entirely sure where my talents lie. I am, however, by process of elimination, ruling out the things I am not very good at, and hopefully whatever remains is what I should be doing with my life.

Sure, it's not a very big tree. But then I haven't been very well behaved.
Sure, it’s not a very big tree. But then I haven’t been very well behaved.

I have already ruled out “applying screen protectors to phones and tablets”, and I should probably add “wrapping Christmas presents” to that list. However, I am getting better at “not buying new rolls of Christmas wrap when I already have enough to last three or four years”.

And I’m starting to think of things I can work on for 2018. I’m pretty sure it’s some violation of the “War On Christmas” if I start talking about New Year’s resolutions this far out from January 1st, but then someone in the Woolworths down the street from me is already baking hot cross buns. I figure I can fly under the radar on this one.

It’s been an odd year for me- for the first time in a long time I have a lot of freedom to try and pursue passion projects, the kind of things one always wants to do but can’t quite manage due to pesky things like “work”, “paying bills” etc. The challenge is that I’ve only managed to get rid of the “work” part; the bills keep coming, and sadly I think the market for “People on YouTube playing video games for a living” is a bit crowded at this stage. (Also I’m not sure the job pays terribly well right now.)

But mentally the last few months at work were a bit draining, and my mindset was basically “just get through this week and we’ll reset”. And it never quite happened that way. Hopefully, in 2018 I can not worry so much about “just getting through stuff” and try to concentrate on “doing stuff”.

The catch is that now I have to really throw myself into the projects I have, in case the money runs out and I have to go back and work for a living. This is at once exhilarating and frightening; exhilarating because I have Really Big Plans in my head for stuff, and frightening because there’s still only so many hours in the day to actually try and bring those to fruition.

And I actually want to finish some of the things I’ve started. I have a novel kind-of written here and a few settings knocking around in my head that I wouldn’t mind exploring, so maybe I try to sit down and write a bit more often, and maybe not worry so much about this morning’s Penguins game. Especially given their current form. (I’ve already managed to wean myself off insisting on watching my Buccaneers.)

There are the usual resolutions to look forward to, like “looking after my health” and “actually exercising rather than making Excel spreadsheets with proposed exercising” and “not trying to somehow pretend that Mint Slices are a breakfast food”. These will possibly be tougher than you might expect- the first of those goals actually won’t be too bad, although a great deal lies in how much I can follow the third one.

Finally, because we don’t have Thanksgiving over here, I can combine that with my New Year’s resolution. I am very grateful that I have close friends, friends whom I can always rely on to help me and have my back- even if sometimes I don’t know how to ask for their aid, or just feel like I should soldier on. Asking for help has never been one of my talents, and something I need to work on in 2018. We’ll see how this goes.

Thank you all for reading and listening to my stuff in 2017. May you all get to spend the day surrounded by friends and family, surrounded by what really matters- love, laughter, and your host’s Wi-Fi password. And if you’re working today (because someone has to keep society moving while we stuff our faces in the air-conditioning), thank you for your services to us all. Hopefully, your day is free from incident and stress.

Merry “Bob”smas, everyone.