The following consists very much of personal musings on the year unlikely to be of interest to anyone other than myself – they form part of that blogging activity which for me is part-diary, part-meditation. I just wanted to chronicle a few of the things which have happened in my life in 2009.
First, I have become ever more involved in public activity in the form of the Birmingham LINk. In many ways this has happened to me, rather than being the result of any conscious choice. From a peripheral involvement in the Mental Health Group I have become one of its leading members and have then extended my activities beyond MH to the whole spectrum of Health and Social Care, and got myself elected to the ‘Core Group’, responsible for running the whole LINk. Indeed I am currently standing for Chairperson/Vice-Chairperson of the LINk although it is highly unlikely that I will be elected. As I say this vast growth in what might be called political activity, which involves all sorts of meetings and social contacts, has been wholly unexpected. It has certainly not been without its costs both in terms of increased stress, which was probably the source of some bouts of illness, but also in a drastic reduction in the time that I have been able to give to reading and writing.
This reduction has been compounded by the fact – as is self-evident – that I have taken up blogging in a much more consistent and determined way which is really the second big development. The casualty which has had to make way is my List life – I am now but an infrequent participator in ECW, Trollope-l and so on. I do feel the loss of those lists and of the time I can give to the ‘life intellectual’.
In general we have been going to more classical concerts and watching more films (having discovered Lovefilm) and less television (regular readers of this blog might not think so but it is certainly true!) than heretofore.
These are really the major changes which have taken place in my life over 2009.
In terms of Depression I can now complete my end of year analysis. Even given an extremely bad start (an awful January which lasted some way into February) 2009 was the best year of the 5 I know have figures for, just ahead of 2007. This was due to three blocks of two months which were really well above average (over 6) – March/April, July/August and October/November. Apart from January and February the only months which dipped below 5 (my scale is 0-10) were June and September. The really unfortunate thing about this is that those were months in which Chris had her holidays. However I should be grateful overall for a good year. Looking at the new 5-year averages the months tend to flatten out. Indeed the whole 5 year average comes to 5.03! The worst month – now by some distance – is January (which ought to make me wary of the next 31 days!) and the best – marginally – July. As a whole the 7 months from February to August form a block with averages all over 5, while the 5 months from September to January form a block all under 5. I do not know if this really has any significance. Or indeed if any of these figures do. They may merely be part of an obsession with pattern-forming and list-making.