So, next week it’ll be next year, and it’s about time to take stock and identify a few goals.
What do we want from 2018 – and what can we reasonably expect? If the past is a foreign country, then the future is terra incognita – utterly inscrutable and unknown. All we can really do is hope for the best, but maybe a few hints to whichever higher power orders these things would not go amiss.
So here’s my 2018 wish list, partly sincere, partly tongue-in-cheek – I’ll leave you, gentle reader, to distinguish the one from the other.
If I can be completely serious to start off with, our daughter and her partner will be embarking on their first full year in the house they’ve dreamed of, after a few cramped years in a tiny flat.
They were very happy there, but their move has given them the space and potential to make a real home, and for them we wish all the happiness in the world as they settle in and put their own stamp on the place. Helping them move in put me in mind of when we moved into our first house from a flat, and what it meant to us all those years ago.
Now, it’s time to move onto the “me, me, me” bits of my 2018 wish list. My own hopes are divided among personal, professional and sporting considerations. Health and happiness for the whole family and our friends is a standard wish that I’d extend to anyone, anywhere. Experience has shown that, if you have your health, happiness can reasonably be expected to go hand-in-hand with such good fortune. So, as long as we’re wishing, let’s ask for this most important blessing.
As ever, I’ll also be hoping that the new year will bring me a break or two in either the acting or the writing game. Both would be nice, but I won’t be greedy here. If a letter were to drop onto my doormat, saying “Dear Rob, you’re quite the wordsmith, aren’t you? Here’s a fat cheque, please write us a book and we’ll make it a best seller” - well, then, I’d be more than merely content, I’d be fulsomely, incredulously grateful.
It’s not particularly likely to happen, but as long as we’re just wishing. Equally, if one of these pesky auditions came up roses, propelling me into a more rarefied sphere of acting, I’d be most appreciative. Even a commercial or two would do, we don’t have to shoot for the Old Vic (but as long as we’re just wishing...)
In the meantime, I’ll earnestly plod away, and simply keep hoping for the best – or, at least, better than 2017 provided.
Speaking of earnest plodders brings me onto the sporting love of my life, Leeds United. I’m really not quite sure what to wish for my white-shirted heroes. On the face of it, I could say that I wish for promotion. But it’s a whole new ball game today, compared to the last two times Leeds gatecrashed the elite.
On those previous occasions, United barged in, took a brief look around, and set about winning as though they owned the place. It would be a different story now, and in my more pessimistic moments, I wonder – do I really want my club to be Premier League whipping boys? That’s alright for the likes of Huddersfield – but, as Leeds fans, don’t we expect and deserve a bit more? Perhaps I should have more faith in the indomitable Yorkshire spirit of United, but I’m starting to wonder if it isn’t better to be a biggish fish in a small pond.
So, that’s my modest little list – and, whatever you might hope for yourselves, I wish everybody out there a very happy and prosperous 2018.