I see that Ilya and Brian have already beaten me to the annual “twelve sentence” meme, in which you repost the first sentence of the first blog entry for each of the previous 12 months. Not wanting to be left behind, here are my twelve:
January 2009: One of my three loyal readers sent me an instant message this afternoon which said, essentially, “update your damn blog already.”
February 2009: You wouldn’t know it based on the type of music I usually talk about around this place, but I went through a phase in my late-high-school/early-college years when I was simply mad for the stuff that’s usually categorized under the catch-all term “oldies,” i.e., the early rock-n-roll artists of the 1950s, the girl groups of the mid-1960s, and the Motown sound and blues-influenced hard rock of the later ’60s.
March: Sometimes, when everything is grim and the world is going to hell around you, the best thing to do is just try and regress back in your mind to the age of about fifteen or so.
April: I like Star Trek. [Ed. note: Funny, this makes it sound like I was much more positive on J.J. Abrams’ remake film than I actually was…]
May: Via Evanier, I see that the final bits and pieces of the late Forrest J. Ackerman’s collection of movie memorabilia have gone under the auctioneer’s gavel.
June: A story that began on a cold April night nearly a century ago has finally come to an end with the death of Millvina Dean, the last survivor of the RMS Titanic.
July: I’ve had a couple inquiries from Loyal Readers as to my whereabouts and condition; apparently, the lack of tributes for the plethora of recently departed celebrities (which, as you all know, are usually like catnip for your humble host) has them worried about me.
August: I think I mentioned recently that I’m coming up on my fortieth birthday in a few weeks.
September: One of my pals from the old movie-theater days recently tagged me with this meme over on Facebook.
October: Wil Wheaton posted up an item this morning that he called “the coolest picture you’ll see all day,” and indeed it was so: a vintage black-and-white photo of Leonard Nimoy in full Spock get-up, lounging against the front end of a ’64 Buick Riviera (presumably his).
November: I was planning to do a whole string of Halloween-themed entries last week, followed by some long-overdue business (such as a tribute for the late Patrick Swayze, whose premature death moved me to a surprising degree) this week.
December: As a bit of an Anglophile and an unrepentant nostalgic, I’ve been bummed in recent years to learn that the iconic red telephone box is fast disappearing from the British landscape.
Unlike the previous years in which I’ve conducted this little exercise, there were clearly some recurring motifs in 2009. There was, not unexpectedly, my ongoing fascination for popular culture, particularly the stuff I grew up with, and also my weird sense of duty for noting the deaths of people I find interesting and/or admirable. There was a big dollop of melancholy over the passing of familiar institutions; again, no surprise to anyone who knows me or pays attention to my blather around here. But the thing that really stands out to my eyes is how often I expressed feeling like I was falling behind and/or trying to catch up on my blogging. This feeling is directly mentioned in three of the 12 entries quoted above and I can remember it nibbling around the edges of many, many more entries… not to mention the entries I never got around to finishing. Or had in mind but never even started.
It’s a familiar sensation — it seems like I’ve been trying to catch up on something for years now, whether it was school work or an offline journal or any one of a dozen projects that just never seem to get finished — but in 2009 it seems to have finally reached some kind of critical mass. I can’t recall ever feeling so consistently, constantly frustrated as I have during this past year at simply not being able to find the time for the things I want to do. Even the things I need to do, household chores and paying the bills and such, started slipping. For the first time in my life, I missed paying a couple of bills. Completely blew them off, and didn’t even realize it for days after the deadline. Not such a big deal, maybe, but out of character for me and thus worrisome. And deadlines aren’t the only thing I’ve been blowing off, either… conversations, movies I’ve seen, errands I need to run… I’m getting downright absent-minded, at least for me, and I’m convinced it ties in somehow with this time-anxiety thing. And the worst part is that I don’t know how my life got this way, or how to fix it. I only know that I seem to be constantly busy but I never have any sense of accomplishment. I do, however, have a sense of being overwhelmed and exhausted.
Moving forward into a new year, a new decade, I’ve got to find some way of changing that…