It has been five and a half years since I embarked on my last trip. I am now getting to the point where it is a personal challenge to see how much longer I can last without throwing in the towel, proclaiming “I need a break!” and actually taking one. This final part is important: I have had many moments where I have complained that life is too hard and I need to temporarily tap out, but I have not done anything about it. Partly due to complacency and being comfortable, partly due to me being a cheap f–k who avoids spending lots of money, partly due to the aforementioned ‘challenge’, partly due to my own indecision (What would I do? Where would I go? Who would I go with?), partly due to feeling guilty for not living up to my quest of being an Energizer bunny. See, I come from a long line of people who simply do not take holidays. It is a tough mould to break.
I have never been good at running. There is a lot of internal childhood trauma associated with primary school cross-country competitions. I remember Hamish Blake writing about it one time - how he faked having asthma, or something like that, so he did not have to compete in the dreaded race. Recently, though, I have decided there is no time like the present to try and learn something new, so here I am attempting to run a measly 5km. I think 2020 will be my year for it.
My newest and most favourite technique for dealing with stiff, somewhat awkward and somewhat impersonal social situations is to just keep talking. It does not bother me all that much if I am perceived as being someone who never shuts up. I figured this is better than having to endure those deafening silences in conversation. I feel for my acquaintances the other week, who were subjected to a discussion about Mad Cow disease, and for all the Uber drivers who were subjected to my late night ramblings about the price of gold, the battle along the Indian-Pakistani border, and the global slowdown in economic growth.
I cut my hair 3 months ago and it has already grown out. I think it’s time to cut it again - shorter, this time.
I am thinking of trying out a new investment strategy. Something to run alongside my IDPS account, something independent of mutual funds. Call it an attempt in portfolio management. Call it boredom and having money to burn. I have some nice correlation matrices, some historical data, some Excel graphs and calculations. There is no time like the present.
My current favourite comfort-food meal is as follows: one piece of toast, cut in half. Vegemite on one half, raspberry jam on the other. Spread the toppings right to the edge of the crusts. Accompanied by a mug of tea with one teaspoon of sugar, immensely milky.
2019 has been the most difficult year of my life. Similar to previous musings following Christmases past, I am in a state of mourning. Quite certainly, mourning those who we lost this year, but also mourning the life I used to have. There are waves of grief that follow immense trauma. I remember the first wave. My mother’s surgeon asked me if I had any questions for him, and I broke down in tears. I remember the second wave. It was a long time after, possibly six months even, and I had one week of foul behaviour and mood and tears. This is the third wave. The holiday season, where you are immersed in family and tradition, and the realisation that this year’s Christmas story could have had a very different ending. My gratitude outweighs my sadness, but it is still there.