********* WARNING - this post contains stream-of-consciousness rambling and depressed feeling-sorry-for-myself stuff, so if you hate this kind of thing you might want to skip it.***********
I had a good, quiet Christmas with my brother and father, just as I hoped. I baked more and ate a little less than I have during past Christmas seasons, which is a positive development, apart from the fact that I have to push more of my cookies and fudge and marble squares on family and friends.
On a completely different note, I've noticed that my free-time reading lately has been shifting somewhat from history toward science-related subjects. This isn't actually surprising - even before I loved reading about history, I loved reading about various types of science, especially anything having to do with astronomy and biology. In the end, I never became a scientist or a historian of any type for a variety of reasons - lack of focus and self-discipline, a fear of failing that is so strong that I generally don't try at all when I believe that I might fail, the distracting effects of obsessive compulsive disorder which ensures that I am often spending at least half of my time and mental energy worrying about things that are mainly irrelevant to the "real world". Or, if I am in a more harshly self-critical mode, I suspect that it's just because I'm lazy and not very bright. In any case, when it comes to some fields of history and science, I'm one of those people who, as my father used to say (not about me in particular), "knows just enough to be dangerous". Actually, I don't think I'm very dangerous, because I know that I actually don't know very much - it's the people who know a little but think that they know a lot that cause the most trouble. Occasionally, being relentlessly self-deprecating is a good thing, if it keeps a person from getting a swollen ego. If only it didn't go too far in the other direction, and leave me sometimes thinking that I am the most useless person around (or at least in the most useless 3-5%).*
Speaking of self-confidence and ego versus self-doubt, my political beliefs used to be somewhat of an exception. That, though, will require another post at another time, because it's after 1:00 AM here and I need to get some sleep.
*To give you an idea of how pathetic this can get with me, I often focus on blog entries where people express frustration with the cluelessness, viciousness, or incompetence of others, while I avoid reading entries in which people talk about major accomplishments by themselves or others. This is because I vastly prefer reading about people acting even more stupid or insensitive than I think that I do, while reading about people doing things that I can not or will not do just gives me a treasure trove of new reasons to hate myself. The good news is that I don't always think this way - the bad news is that I do pretty often.