When I was a minigeek I was obsessed with stats. This is normal for boys: see Top Trumps, Motty, etc. My mathmo/compsci skillz meant I drew graphs, or wrote programs, or wrote programs that drew graphs, to feed my obsessions. Add some kind of event into the mix (World Cup, General Election, etc) and I was in stats heaven, my silver wings woven from the wavy grey hair of noted fascists Norris and Ross McWhirter.
Thus it came to pass that one bored New Year’s Eve I wrote a program that watched the clock and displayed various tedious time-based percentages, updating every second: how much of the year had elapsed, how much of the day, how much of the hour, how much of the minute. The idea being, of course, that only at midnight that night would all values reach 100% (at which point they’d all be 0% again). This amused me in a way that only a 16-year-old at home on New Year’s Eve writing pointless computer programs will understand.
That program’s currently running in my head, I think. And every now and then – probably when one of the percentages cycles back to zero – an event fires that triggers an introspection process; or more likely it’s a garbage collector. The minutes, hours, days and years appear to be converging on 100% in exactly five weeks, when I turn 40.
I think it’s natural to be a little introspective at this delicate time: to look back, to take stock, and to think about what comes next. All while avoiding the classic mid-life crisis. Rest assured that messrs Harley and Davidson will not be receiving a visit, and neither will I be sporting a trophy girlfriend any time soon. But I wouldn’t be surprised if my navel-gazing does have some kind of effect still fomenting in the deep recesses of my subconscious.
However, there’s introspection and introspection. And I do have a tendency for the latter.
Introspection, analysis paralysis, death by a thousand buts, whatever you want to call it, it’s in my top three least-favoured attributes. (The mere existence of such a list proves that I take self-assessment into realms that HMRC wouldn’t have a form for. Even though, of course, I’ve just made up the list for the purposes of bloggage. However, had I such a list, its existence would, ipso facto bingo bango, ensure its presence on itself. A self-inserting list, if you would. New Year’s Resolution #1: Stop Making New Year’s Resolutions.)
So here I am, introspecting my own introspection. Matryoshka madness. Before long I’ll be busywaiting in my own skull, rocking in a corner of a bouncy white room with a beard and a mad expression on my face, reciting world records ad nauseum to a signed photograph of Roy Castle.