I’m not one for looking back on the past year very often nor am I one for making new year’s resolutions but for once I’m proud to look back on a year just gone. Looking over the 363.5 days just gone I can honestly say I didn’t think I would be at this point right now. Back then I was still off work, I hated my job and would have done anything to get out, I was scrabbling around trying to find some sort of purpose in life with little success and generally finding only fleeting moments of pleasure in an otherwise bland and disorientating mess. Fast forward to today and though I still have my hang ups and foibles its great to look back on the progress I have made. Not long into the new year I started taking pictures again for the fun of it. Now I’m about to launch a photography business. I went back to work in March. I went back part-time and though that return was handled far from well by my employer things now are quite exciting with a change of department, new projects to undertake and new friendships in the making. 12 months ago if you’d talk to me about change I’d have hidden double quick in terror. And the bike is most thoroughly reclaimed, settling back into my life and giving me the freedom that deep down I crave. Its all a balance and been won through taking initial tentative steps, facing up to what had previously seemed daunting and over bearing and grasping new opportunities. I’m still a way off the balance I’d like but on the whole feel more positive about what the future holds. Merely writing this now is a real help in lifting the onsetting January blues which I’ve felt descending since the snow melted and the Christmas Capon was finished off. And I suppose that is what it is all about and my bigest lesson learnt to date – that its balance we are seeking not utopia. That doesn’t mean a serious of awkward compromises. Far from it. It takes courage to find out and acknowledge what you want and to pursue it but knowing you can’t have it all. It means prioritising about which bits to have now and which to save for later. That might sounds selfish and self-centred but for me the lesson has been giving myself a little more of what I need whilst being able to meet some of the needs of others. That is the balance and we all need to learn to move in one direction or the other.
So, its almost new year. This one Mrs AB and I are staying in with some hearty food, some great company and maybe a few glasses of something nice. Tomorrow we’re off for a walk. I can’t think of a better way to start a new year. Thanks for sticking with me this year and I hope you continue to enjoy the stories in the year to come. Happy New Year folks and as a guy from my childhood cycling used to say, “Forza!”