The end of the year marks a time to pause, reflect and get our bearings.
Regret is one of the most painful feelings any of us can experience. It hurts because regret is, more often than not, based on our own choices and not external events. We can't fix it in retrospect and it's hard to know what the catalyst will be. As Kurt Vonnegut put it, the saddest words anyone can say are 'It might have been.'
Clearly no-one heads to a date hoping that it will go badly. It's also very unlikely that in the moment tumble weed is spiraling past you, you're thinking to yourself, "what a blessing this moment is!" But hang in there. With a little space for reflection, often these dire, awkward moments can teach us something.
As I grew up, I realised that superheroes really did exist. They don't wear capes or spandex, though. You won't seeing them flying in the clouds, riding neon-coloured cars, or swinging across buildings. Some of them wear stethoscopes, some of them wear a uniform and some we will never know their names.
'Change or die'. When 2016 began this was the only thought passing through my foggy mind. I was at a friend's New Year's
In one week I will be 50 years old, half a century.Old! It's not surprising then that I'm reflecting on my life right now. There is this sense that the occasion should be marked in some way, and I don't mean a party.
I say marks rather than marked because ever since she died I have always found myself in the habit of speaking in the present rather than past tense and despite her tragically no longer being here on this earth, the 27 October will still always be that day of ours. It will never cease to be.
Transformation is not about what happens to us but what make of it. Inevitably, we have to decide what we want our lives to be about apart from everything we have known. We need to consider that we have the right to create something with our own hands and our own thoughts. We might have to leave everything, we might need to invent our lives but in any event the first step is to lay claim to ourselves.
Readers may be aware by now that I had a great affection for my late father and we got on very well. My father came from a large family- he was the eldest of thirteen brothers and one sister.
All day as I pack up and contemplate returning to my parents' house, one wonderful quote from my favourite wise bear, Winnie-The-Pooh, sticks in my mind: 'How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard'.