Not 39 Forever: No.12 - The first of many lapses

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There you have it. Two weeks amiss. I’m terrible for this, to be fair as per usual there was a pile of shit to deal with at home and at work which isn’t for public consumption but this is how it goes now: starting stuff I never finish. I knew it was going to happen. I am a lost cause. Like when I get texts off people and forget to respond for days. Or I get emails asking me to do football match previews for some of the sites I write for and then I find the email in my inbox three weeks after we lost 3-1.
But due to the hours demanded by my chosen vocation and my chosen employer (I didn’t choose them second time around, I got made redundant elsewhere and had to go back cap in hand with a 6 month old baby at home and mortgage to pay) things fall by the wayside. It’s a job and for that I am grateful and it can be a brilliant job at times but the dream of being my own boss and doing a job where my heart truly lies feels as far away as ever. Developing the Mudhuts ethos into a global brand arf, well maybe.

Would you work if you had the choice to do so or not? We had this thread on here a while ago and something similar popped up recently and my answer is always along the same lines: If I won the lottery I would develop my hobbies into a job so technically, yes I would carry on working. Possibly even harder than currently. I’ve got more than enough ideas to last me a lifetime but like most people have a full time job with a hefty commute and what time I have left I spend with my missus and daughter. This isn’t a moan, I am a lucky man but you asked the question or rather I asked my question and that is my answer. Everyone needs goals in life to keep them sane it’s just many people deliver them into their employer rather than having the freedom to find their own. And money is an issue: whenever I see those self made men of Wigan in the local papers it doesn’t take long to establish that actually daddy bunged them a hundred grand to start their business up on a “no win, no fee” basis so being successful was a foolproof plan. Anyone who genuinely has built themselves up from nothing, even more so if they went self employed due to an employer giving them the push deserves a lot of accolade but probably doesn’t get it due to the Wigan Lane rich kids positioning themselves as thus. Not to sound bitter, just saying that I if I had money to play with – not to be rich just enough money to pay myself what I earn now but to do what I want and set up a company of my own, that would be amazing. But I’m as skint and confused as ever.

A website I contribute to somewhat infrequently has the strapline “We can’t concentrate so why should you?” and it’s the story of my life. Always too much going around my head – work, life, home, other interests otherwise all confusing whatever it is I should be doing. Full of big ideas and dreams dragged back by the realisation that I’ll probably work for big companies for the rest of my life and spend very little time pursuing what I want to do. I once went three months over my car MOT, I simply forgot about it. As one of our Mudhuts brethren on here says “I’ve got a to do list longer than a Leonard Cohen song”. Writing is my release, something I’ve always done and will hopefully continue to do whether anyone is arsed about reading it or not. But life is demanding and some of the shit I’ve got going on at work and at home would test the best of people, even though I suspect behind closed doors every family and individual has crises to deal with and obstacles to overcome and I’m talking the serious stuff not the shitty attention seeking “OMG I’m so ill” look at me nobheads on Facebook. Basically I can’t keep up with life and it’s many dimensions and the long hours I do at work mean that it runs at a frantic pace which means time goes in an instant. It’s amazing how many youngsters out there like to tell the world they are bored – before you know it they’ll be at an age when like me, there aren’t enough hours in the day to do a tenth of the things they want to achieve in life. Sorry to go all maudlin on you with what was what meant to be a light hearted canter through my first thirty nine years but life accelerates exponentially the older you get, a scary prospect highlighted when my mother in law cheerily told me the other day “It only feels like a few years since I was 40” She’s 67.

The upshot of this is I find myself, twelve articles in, questioning why on earth I should put something like this online – a blog talking about myself and random daft shit that has happened to me. Why would anyone want to peel back the layers of their life and share it with strangers? Attention seeking? Maybe but anyone who takes the effort to write deserves a lot of credit in my book, a million miles away from the “look at me”, “look at my kids”, “OMG how drunk was I last night” and “I demand sympathy” approach to some areas of social media. All this is fairly superficial but what possesses people to put their more structured thoughts up for consideration? We live in an information world and choose to expose ourselves willingly when we all have enemies out there, known or otherwise. Giving unknown conmen and known adversaries who resort to infantile behaviour because my views on life (football) might be different to theirs and I’ve had the audacity to stick my neck above the parapet for many years running a fanzine with all the pot shots that brings.

But that passion for writing is still there and I’ve got lots lined up, stuck in a mid life crisis. My 40th birthday just three weeks away now, I don’t think I’m going to get another 27 blogs knocked out in that time, I’ll probably be 41 by the time I’m done but I’ll get there eventually. Just like I’ll finish that TNS Top 50 Latics players piece. And finish three books I’ve started in the last three years. And respond to all those people asking me to blog and write articles for them. And read that paper mountain of newspapers, fanzines and books causing my bed to sit off the ground. And respond to 300 unread and unanswered emails (It's mor elike 1,800 in my work inbox mind you) And invoice for the fanzine ads. And pay the printers. And get advertising the next one. And get a spare tyre for my car – as I’ve been riding around without one for the past two months. See what I mean. Priorities eh?



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