My difficulty with social situations might be my undoing in my job. My last job wasn't a lot of fun at times, especially when my boss changed last August, but obligatory social events were mercifully rare. With the move and Christmas on the horizon, I'm likely to find myself in many more uncomfortable spots before 2014 is out.
As I get older, being socially "abnormal" becomes more of a problem. I'm always having to bluff my way through situations, and it's exhausting. I'm actually better at bluffing than I realised - I suppose I've had a bit of practice by now, and because I'm shy and retiring, people don't expect me to be bluffing. But bluffing my way through an 80-minute interview is a completely different matter from several months or years of work.
I'm already looking forward to 2015 (but see below). My flatmate should be gone by Christmas. I got another letter in the mail today from the neighbours, complaining about the noise. I'm starting to getting used to Kevin's noisy habits. Less so his smelly habits; the whole downstairs reeked when I got home today. I won't miss the assault on three of my five senses. Next year might also be the year I get to go on holiday.
I was disappointed with 3 News tonight. They whipped up the Labour leadership battle into a political soap opera. Shock! Horror! The knives are out and it's carnage! Report the news guys, don't be the bloody news. Don't just make up a story. That's not what the news is for. In all fairness, things aren't great for Labour right now, and it's hard to see who can unite the party and challenge the immensely popular John Key. One supposed truism that I hear over and over is: "He/she's just been an academic and a politician and has no experience of the real world." I think that's overblown; the corporate world (which is many politicians' taste of "real life") can be just as far removed from reality.
When I came to New Zealand in 2003 I felt a real sense of optimism. I wasn't that optimistic about me, but the country seemed to be vibrant and exciting and forward-looking and progressive. And caring. Eleven years on, I don't feel optimistic about my future or that of the country. NZ's "care factor" has taken a dive. If you're struggling, there's no-one to blame but yourself and your stupid decisions. The truth is we're all a product of both the hand we're dealt and how we play it. The choices you make in live have a huge bearing on where you end up, but having those four aces in your hand to begin with gives you one hell of a head-start. And it's very hard to make good decisions when everyone around you is making bad ones. People don't seem to see that anymore.
After 68 months of this blog, and on that pessimistic note, I've had enough. I've run out of things to say and ways to say them. If something earth-shattering happens (perhaps literally), I'll be sure to write about it, but otherwise it's game over. Here are some pictures from the tunnel at the weekend: