I think that maybe last week I wasn't bringing quite as much festive cheer as I could've done. While the big day itself may have gone, we've still got a few days of Christmastide left, so here are my Christmas playlists for this year: Apple Music, Spotify. Some really strong stuff in here imo!
The last few days with my family in Dorset were really lovely. I had a lot of time to chill, meditate, work out where some of my fretting is coming from etc. I'm genuinely feeling like I've had some breakthroughs, that I might be able to fundamentally change my orientation toward some of my anxieties etc. I'm feeling better.
I also spent a fair bit of time with my brother working on our Heywood Prize entry. We're pretty happy with it and we're hoping it's a springboard for us doing more stuff like it. Not sure if they like it being shared before they've done all the judging—but watch this space!
For reasons that are too complicated to go into, my dad and brother have a small boat moored in Poole Harbour. As far I've been able to tell the thing is just a money-sink; constantly leaking and in need of costly repairs, but Dad took me out to it the other day, and do you know what, I think I get it? We didn't go anywhere, but I sat on the deck for a while with my thoughts and a notebook and it was peaceful and lovely and a bit sunny and a bit chilly, and I was able to isolate the root of one major componnent of my burnout. Boat therapy! I'm not sure I want one myself—I need to sort out the whole "getting a house" thing first, and I cannot spare the money for a floating caravan—but I have definitely decided this boat is "the Englebright family boat" in the same way that Lola is "the Englebright family dog" (I get to visit and get all the fun benefits but don't have to pay for any of the expensive stuff).
Speaking of Lola, she was a bit poorly (in pain and not eating her food!), and I was very worried, but she was doing a lot better by the time I left.
The day I left we went down to Studland, where we used to go all the time in the summer when visiting my grandparents. We had a lovely walk along the beach then managed to get lost in the dunes coming back. We also stopped briefly on the drive back to take some pictures from the top of the hill, where you have absolutely stunning panoramic views of Poole Harbour (that's the picture at the top, but it really doesn't do it justice).
Long train ride back home, but I spent the time productively (reading about e.g. Paul)
Once home I left almost immediately the next day to a slightly different bit of Susex to see a bunch of old schoolfriends (always lovely!) before bouncing back home to help the recently returned CM carry in a large stack of Ikea flatpacks. The days that followed were trying, but we (mostly her, tbf) ultimately succeeded in defeating the flat-pack menace, and now have a lovely new kitchen table (+ chest of drawers and shelves)
I also got my Christmas present from CM's mum which is this extremely sick jumper that I have been wearing a lot. I also used my Christmas money to buy some lovely new socks. Middle age can't come soon enough babyyy
I spent a lot of time messing around with websites and domains, including this one. The full fruits will not be visible until the end of the week, probably.
We had our gang's New Year's party, with Josef dubbing the new year 2023D, and decking their flat out suitably. I realised that it was the first proper New Year's party we've had since before COVID, and it really felt like a return to form; a really smashing time spent with my favourite people.
2022 was a complicated year but on the whole one with an overall upward trajectory across almost all axes of my life. I might have a bit more to say about it next week, as in true Adam fashion I have managed to not yet complete my year review/planning. That's tomorrow's job now, I think. That said, I think 2023 has the potential to be much better, and I'm going to do everything in my power to make it so.
After church this morning, CM was suffering from a New Years-induced lack of sleep, so she had a bit of a nap, so I took the opportunity to start re-seasoning my cast iron pan. I then realised that re-seasoning is an apt description of what I've been doing to myself this week, actually: taking something useful but that's a bit rusty and dusty and beaten-up, cleaning off the gunk and stripping back some of the layers to the good, solid core, then building it back up again to its full normal shiny self. I'm getting there. Happy New Year, folks.