The thing I think I'd like for myself for 2012 is to be a bit more BBC Classic FM and a bit less XFM. “A-ha, young McEvoy, you exclaim, this sounds like a promising metaphor: do tell me more!” Alright then.
The nice thing about classical radio channels, which, let it be known, I don't have a long history with, is The Gap. You know what I mean. A longlonglong, story-telling, soaring piece of orchestral wonderment finishes... and there is a breath... a moment of silence... and then that calm voice comes in: “...that was... François-Joseph Gossec's 'Six Symphonies' performed by the National Chamber Orchestra of Andorra...” (I'm not going to lie, I went totally Wikipedia mad just then.)
This contrasts quite heavily with XFM and similar commercial radio stations. Katy Perry/The Vaccines/Ben Howard's latest hit nears its end- *OVERLAPPED CLIPS OF PREVIOUS DAY'S BREAKFAST SHOW HIGHLIGHTS DISPLAYING JUST HOW COOL THE RADIO STATION AND ITS PRESENTERS ARE!!!* *20 SECOND ADVERTISEMENT!!!* “It's 8.45am here on XFM, and coming up this morning, SO MUCH EXCITING STUFF!!!...” It appeals to our need for everything to be snipped and clean and fast-paced and constant and upbeat to keep us pepped up on the way to another day at WORK! (“ONLY FOUR DAYS, 6 HOURS AND 23 MINUTES UNTIL WE CAN ALL GET HAMMERED, LISTENERS!!! IT'S OK, WE ALL HATE WORK!!!”)... It's just a bit hectic. All light and no shade. Exhausting.
I don't feel a need for constant excitement as perhaps I once did. I'm OK with just sitting on the couch sometimes. I quite enjoy quiet times by myself. I've become One Of Those People who “prefers nights in with a glass of wine to crazy partying.” Vomit. No, no, it's a good thing. And it's not just about what I physically do with my time. I'm comfortable enough with the person I am, and assured enough that there are a few people who love me quite a lot, to not need to be as extroverted as perhaps I was. My nature has always been to be a conversation-filler and let's face it, a bit of a show pony at times. But as I get all old and wise and shit, I can appreciate that filling gaps and keeping conversation going doesn't always make other people more comfortable and certainly, it's pretty bloody tiring.
I suppose as I write this I realise I don't really need to resolve to make a metaphorical flick of the radio switch from am to fm this year. It's sort of already happened to some degree for me over the past couple of years, especially since being in the UK. Maybe though, I'm a bit worried that once back in Oz sometime in the next 6 months, it will be hard to keep this BBC Classic FM, take-a-breath pace and approach going, because it's hard not to be what I was before (“what I was before”? What am I like? Wanktastic, that's what). I certainly had a tinge of that feeling when visiting Oz last month. Admittedly, Christmas time is sort of the stupid time, isn't it, so it's hard not to get swept up in the craziness. And it has to be said I don't have as many wonderful people in my closer circle here, so there are less catch-ups to be had. I think once back in that big bosom of family and friends who have been around forever, I'll just need to find my feet a bit, and sometimes those feet will need to be up on a pouf.
Look, I can recognise that I'm a bit of an onion in the sense that under this relatively-new-found sense of being OK with not doing so much is another layer of Claire that does feel the need to be a bit constantly stimulated, under which is yet another layer that fights against that, and under this is yet another layer... we're all like that, aren't we?
I think too much XFM and 'waiting for the weekend' conversations and London vibes in general can leave me feeling like I should be more constantly switched on at times. But it needs to be OK to not always feel hip, hop and happening. And just to sit without talking. And to go to work some days and not be overwhelmed by the sense that every hour should be world-changing.
In conclusion there is no conclusion. We are all onions, and onions who can have 'on' and 'off' times; onions who can listen to different radio stations.