2004 is turning out to be a cracking year. It’s not going to be one of those years where, when New Year’s Eve comes and we are all pretending we know the words to Auld Lang Syne, I sit moping over my beer about ‘yet another year wasted’.
For a start, I won’t be moping over beer, wine or anything else for that matter. One of the first major changes of the year (and possibly the biggest change of the lot) was both of us giving up the booze. I found myself at the start of 2004 feeling like crap – I was picking up every ailment going and had a load of time off sick. I felt miserable and unmotivated, which ultimately made me decide that working full time was the problem, so returned to my previous part-time job. Yes, the one that I spent half of 2003 moaning about. On a doctor’s visit I was advised to consider diet, exercise and cutting down on the alcohol (but I think they say that to everyone, soon the GPs will be replaced with machines that just repeat ‘Diet! Exercise! Give up drinking, smoking and casual sex!’). For once I decided to take the GPs advice and cut out the booze, with almost instant benefits. Not least an increase in disposable income which I proceeded to spend on self help books – more on that another time.
I’m doing my best not to become a preachy teetotaller or a ‘rehab bore’, but that change did turn my life around and gave me the motivation to look at the other areas that need work. Diet and exercise are still topics that I find difficult to talk about, let alone do anything with, but I’m working on it. Honest.
The work thing was continuing to be a problem. I had announced to anyone who was willing to listen that I had no intention of working full time ever, ever, ever again and would devote my non-work time to writing another MBLM book and working miracles on our living space to transform its current faux student house to something altogether more grown up. At the end of May I had changed my mind. Non-working days were becoming wasted at a screen (Popcap Games and My Comics Page share equal responsibility on this) and the now five separate MBLM projects were getting neglected. Realising this, I chucked in the part-time job I hated, and started working full-time again.
In the meantime, I’d applied for the job on Reception, asking on the form if I could work job share. By the time of the interview, I was comfortable with working full-time again, which was fortunate as none of the other shortlisted candidates for the job wanted to job share. Had I stuck to my guns, I wouldn’t have got the job. I started the new job last month, and for the last three weeks have been sharing duties with the temp who had been keeping things ticking over since the last Receptionist’s departure back in March. From tomorrow I’ll be working alone and I feel like, at last, the work thing’s sorted too.
They are the changes that have been, and I know before the year’s out there are plenty more to come. In September I start college, doing Level 1 British Sign Language at New College Nottingham. It’s been a good 12 years since I last stepped into a classroom, so that should be fun. I’m also doing NVQ Level 2 Customer Services at work, and at home I’m attempting to learn how to play guitar. And, of course, I’m still learning how to be a good blogger.
So, as a year goes, 2004’s being quite a hoot. Lots of changes and new experiences help make life more interesting. But some things are best staying just as they are, and as I look to my right and see Michael, clad in his 2002 Metallica Fan Club t-shirt and hammering away at other parts of the site, I can’t help but be glad that after 8 years, we’re still together in our little pigpoggly world.