Well, here I am at the end of a huge year of writing, working and living. With just over a week left to say goodbye to 2014, the John Lennon song keeps playing in my head, ‘Happy Christmas’, as it always does each year:

“So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun…”

What have I done indeed. I know I have worked extremely hard at my day job, and at my fledgling career as an author. I’ve driven myself in 2013, all the while pondering the big questions: what’s my purpose, what should I really be doing, am I doing enough, am I enough… And so it goes on.

But it was towards the end of the year that I really got a burr in my saddle. I began to think about mortality. I began to think that as I was into middle age, I could no longer afford to muck about with the same stuff, doing it the same way, in the same patterns any longer. Something had to change; something was going to change in 2014 and that something would be me.

The only advantage of growing older is the getting of wisdom. After a while the same old dysfunctional patterns lose their meaning and become a little absurd in light of the reality that time is running out.

If I had intentions for 2014 it would be to live each day as well as I can. To say no more often; to cultivate my ‘spark’ of creativity instead of feeling it extinguished under the weight of the daily grind and other people’s demands that so often get put before my own needs, and to surround myself with positive, life affirming people more often.

I also need to spend more time at home, drinking the tranquillity and restoring the soul . Soon my children will go their own ways. Time is precious, it really is. I also need to spend time with myself, reflecting, making choices, deciding on ways to live, and living them.

This is called being true to yourself, and I need to focus on that too.

My creativity and writing deserve also to be nurtured because I’ve discovered that while I do that, life is richer and more rewarding. There is a deep satisfaction when I fulfil that particular contract with myself.

So, yes, John Lennon is going through the reel setting of my thoughts, over and over, and particularly the ‘Another year over, and what have you done…’ I should be satisfied with writing two novels in 2013, while raising three boys, keeping a home warm and welcoming and holding down a busy day job, while managing to put whatever energy I have into my special friendships with the women in my life.

When I look at it like that I’ve accomplished quite a lot really, and I’m more than thankful to myself for such a stupendous effort in 2013.

I’m determined though, that 2014 will be done with a little more time for ‘me’ because I deserve it and I’ve earned it. And because I simply want to stop for a while and reflect.

For those that celebrate Christmas have a wonderful one. And to all, a happy and healthy New Year where, when you find yourself in amongst the muddle that is sometimes life, you remain above everything else, true to yourself.

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