Think of the most remote, distant place you can possibly imagine. Can you see it? Good. Now drive a further half a mile down the road, and that is where we stayed for the New Year.
The whole of my wife's side of the family descended on a clump of small cottages in Sticksville (ok, it wasn't really called Sticksville, but it does sum up the isolated nature of the village) for my Brother-In-law's 40th birthday on new years eve.
It was an incredibly manic time, with an excessive amount of laughter, and I have come away from there with a renewed insight on life and the way forward.
If ever I'm asked to describe myself, I usually come up with something along the lines of being an optimistic optimist. That I believe that everything will always work out right, no matter how bleak things may look. I also like to think that I'm a lucky, and that always see the positive in things. (no body ever actually asks me this, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared.)
Over the last couple of years, I have to admit, I haven't fitted that description. There's been dark clouds on the horizon, and I've tended to look towards the negative side of things, and not taken opportunities that have come my way.
Usually at this time of year, my only resolution is not to make one. This year, however, I did some navel gazing, and realised just how lucky I am, and that the good things in my life far outweigh the not so good. I've realised that I have an incredible family, and that I'm lucky that my kids who are in their late teens, still choose to hang out with me. I have learnt a tremendous amount about the art of crafting a piece of work to get it near ( or hopefully up to) a publishable state. I've also found a whole new bunch of writing friends who rock and offer the most amazing support and inspiration at a level I never dreamt was possible. Like I said, the pluses greatly swamp the minuses.
With these thoughts in mind, I'm going to break with my tradition of traditionally not making resolutions, and I'm working on a set for this year. When I've reached a handful that I'm pleased with, I'll let you know.
I hope you all have a prosperous and exciting New Year.