If this year has a theme, it's balance. I'm spending more and more of my time thinking about, and trying to balance on, the thin line between two extremes.

This isn't unusual - I've found that life is a constant series of tradeoffs between competing priorities. However, it's been particularly on my mind of late for a couple of reasons, all involving tradeoffs between short-term goals and long-term goals.

* Financial - for the first time, I've made holiday plans for an entire year. To be able to do what I plan to do, I'm going to have to save up. Saving is not something that I'm particularly good at - spending exactly the amount that I earn in any given month is. Thus, I'm being forced to pay attention to how much I'm spending this month because of how it's going to impact my plans for the month after next

* Relationship - near the end of last year, I found myself suddenly with a Significant Other for the first time in years. While this situation was unlooked for (and if you'd asked me 20 seconds before we met, I'd have sworn it was unwanted), it's proven to be very, very nice.It's now so nice that I'm forced to consider my long-term relationship goals - over the last few years of singleness, I've had a lot of time to reflect on what I do and don't want in a relationship, so I've a good theoretical understanding of what I think I want, but it's never been tested. I've always known that some of my long-term goals are things that won't come easily and will require work and have the potential to cause short-term pain and annoyance - but this is the first time I've had to actually do that work and endure that pain. I'm a little surprised by how much work is actually involved, but thus far the payoffs are fantastic.

* Pleasure - well, this isn't quite so easy to describe. Let's just say that I've been making the mistake, over the last few weeks, of pursuing quite assiduously short-term pleasure, thus jepaordising many hopes of long term pleasure. Hurrah for self-destruction.

So. I'm home earlier tonight than I have been for about 3 weeks, after having not gone out at all (but taken a very long journey home). I'm about to go to sleep and get the best sleep I've had in those 3 weeks. Tomorrow, I'm going to push myself and get better work done than I have in weeks.

That's the plan, anyway...