So, the end is nigh. This is my last week of official work, then from the 22nd to the 4th of January I'll be away from my regular duties, worried only about Christmas preparations, and then off to the remote cottage we've rent in the middle of nowhere in North Scotland. I'm already anticipating the many reflections and wonders that will certainly happen, as for the first time in years I have managed to accomplish, if not all, most of what I've decided to do this year. The strange thing is, although 2008 was the "No-plan Year", it gradually became the "Decision Year", as month after month I had to make decisions to climb steps, but only when they appeared at my feet. I loved living like this, wanting more from life, but waiting for it (her?) to point the directions. I can probably count the days on one hand when I wasn't happy to wake up and go about my day, doing what was expected of me. Of course, my errands and general routine were probably not ideal, nor were they amazingly satisfying, but the consciousness that they were results of my choices certainly made everything else easy.
I'm starting to find that happiness is partly created by being approved of by surrounding peers and loved ones, but on the other hand, if you're convinced that your acts and choices are the right ones, the idea rubs off on people, and approval becomes not a possibility, but a certainty.
And 2008 was definitely a good year for books (and almost no gigs or clubs). There was the beautiful Siri Hustvedt's What I Loved, then Donna Tartt breathtaking college novel The Secret History. There was the sweet and heartbreaking Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees, the memorable and relevant To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and the surprisingly enlightening A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo. And now, having just finished the masterly written and romantic Austen novel Persuasion, I felt I'm finishing my year in style.
I've read many others that I can quite remember just now, but most of them were books that I grived after turning the last page - a sensation only replaced by the thrill of reading the first page of another great novel.
It feels great to know that I'll have to choose the next ones to take with on my holiday away from civilization.