The one exception to this is foreign travel. If I ever go abroad, I like to memorise maps, learn the local language and refresh my unarmed combat training. It's a jungle out there.
Planning the year ahead was a particularly depressing experience. Four weeks holiday. I saw a whole monochrome future laying ahead of me, with only brief, tantalising glimpses of colour to taunt me. Is that living?
I was reminded of this banned British Xbox commercial:
As adverts go, it's a shocking, visceral masterpiece and it's fascinating how, in an age in which nudity and swearing are no longer taboos on television, the D word is still unacceptable for many.
Death is popular on television, but only within specific genres that present it as an aberration that can be resolved once the perpetrator is detected and caught, or defeated in battle. Real death, it seems, is too unpalatable.
But death is there, behind everything, looking over my shoulder as I peruse the 2010 year planner, sitting next to me in the car as I drive to work and quietly laughing when I talk about the future.
There are so many things that I want to do with my life and I'm not sure if I can stand to devote two-thirds of my life to a full-time job, putting my dreams on hold until retirement.
At the moment, I feel like Max von Sydow in this film:
I know that ultimately, it will always end in checkmate, but I can and least try and take control of the game for a while.