Big day for me today, looking back over the year and all that, taking in the sight of the buds on the tree outside my room just about to explode into bloom, listening to Happy by the much-missed Jackdaw4, immersing myself in, well, things, taking stock.  This has been an interesting year for all sorts of reasons, not without its stresses and strains, but still with many great rewards.

The key change since this time last year has of course been the death of my father.  I knew this was coming so had time to prepare, but there are still many loose ends to tie up.  It has brought me back into regular contact with my brother, though, which is a good thing, even though we were never estranged, just that life kind of happens when you are getting on with other stuff.

All told, though, I feel pretty good for my age, exercising regularly, mixing composition with reviewing and other things that are all about quality of life.  With 50 as my next significant stop it is becoming more important to me to focus on what is best for me and those around me and to leave behind those incessant days of up before dawn and back after dark that were so much a feature of my life a decade ago.  Building foundations can be hard work.

By the standards of my younger self I think I have probably done OK, although the uncompromising me of my early twenties would likely think that I have sold out along the line.  Still, what did I know?  Somewhere in the back of my head, though, I like to think that young me would be happy with what I have done.  While I would never say that I am totally relaxed about things, I am certainly seeking more of that calmness that comes from experience.

So on we go.  I like where I am now and most days I like who I am now, and I think my work/life balance is admirably tipped in favour of the latter while never neglecting the demands and obligations of the first.  It’s been a long and bumpy ride to get here, what Freddie would have called “a worthwhile experience”, but the view is good…and it is going to be even better when those buds come out.