This year, same as last, I am not keeping Christmas. Or Stressmas as I prefer to call it. Scrooge? Bah humbug? Perhaps. But enforced jollity has never been my thing and podding out pounds for tat I can’t afford and no one wants is not my idea of fun. Sod the calendar. Have a good time at your own choosing I say.
It’s not been an easy decision to make. Despite having no living parents and no children between us, the other half and I have nevertheless found it difficult to put our foot down over this and have the kind of stress-free Christmas we want, not the one others decide we should have. Actually I’ve found it difficult; he’s just said, I don’t want to do it and I’ve never wanted to do it. Like many men perhaps?
So I’ve always been terribly torn this time of year. Do I do as others want me to, as himself wants me to or as I want? Sometimes, it’s very hard to work out what this actually is!
Best way to network now
Anyway enough about all that. Frankly I’ll be very glad to see the back of this year. That itself is cause for celebration. Don’t know about you but 2015 has been a real stinker for me. I have high hopes that 2016 may prove better and I hope it does for you too.
One good thing I have got out of this year though is that online networking is the new way to go. No longer having to pod out for expensive train fares, make sure my roots are done and my best frock cleaned and pressed. And a hotel room often needing to be booked. It can cost me up to £200 just to go to an event that might yield me some work! Well no more. For I have discovered this wonderful thing called Facebook groups. Where work is advertised and people network online instead of face to face.
I’m all for face to face. I do like people and I like parties. But when you don’t live in London, it’s a massive effort. With no guarantee of success at the end of it. Online networking is not only easier but free! And in these days of Skype or FaceTime, are meetings really necessary anyway? If you live in London, fine, yes you can just pop in or see someone at an event in the evenings. I can’t. And I can’t honestly say I miss them all that much. Reminds me too much of being single and searching, the fear of the wallflower, the going home empty handed. Brings it all back.
I’ve also been busy this year working on a novel. It almost definitely won’t make because I’ve been here before time and time again. We love the way you write but… we love your story but… etc etc. This time for first time in longer than I can remember I’m writing a novel about something I want to write about – have to write about in fact. All my other recent attempts have been at the suggestions of friends, authors and agents! Yet none of them worked. So who knows, maybe this one will?
But the thing is this… I am really enjoying it. I won’t go so far as to say it’s art for art’s sake but my writing days – usually weekends – make me very happy. Self actualised. Top of Maslow’s triangle. I’ve cured the Sunday blues at a stroke by using them to write. I began the novel as a way to try and cure a deep trough of despair I felt in May and as a result I end the year feeling considerably happier and in a much better place.
So make or not, my novel is already a success!
Have a very happy Christmas if you’re keeping it and I wish my half a dozen readers all the luck and prosperity in the world for 2016. See you on the other side! X