Happy New Year!

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Yes: Happy. I know that 2016 has been a bit of a shitter in general for many of us, there’s nothing we can do about that anymore. Politics has become a horror show, beloved celebrities are dying left, right and centre, people are being killed in wars and worse all around the world… Do we really think this is going to just stop at 00:01 on January 1st 2017? Of course not. But look on the bright side: Now we’ve got a whole year of experience in dealing with the shit (expected and not-so) that modern life has to throw at us.

From a personal point of view 2016 has been a pretty good one. In fact, on balance, it’s been a very good one. We found out we were going to have a baby, something we thought we would have problems with for various reasons I won’t go into here. But no, everything went swimmingly and Aimee enjoyed (is that the word?) a very healthy pregnancy. On 15th December she gave birth to our son, Keir. It was what the midwives call “a normal birth” though from the business end, where I was stood for some of it, I found it hard to believe it was normal for something that big to come from there.

What has been a true “Annus Horribilis” for many was saved for us with the birth of our boy. It was the most emotional, most joyous and most frightening moment of my life. We are now responsible for the life of an actual human being. And not just any old human being, but the one that means more to us than any other in the whole world. I didn’t even mind missing Rogue One in the cinemas for him. That’s love, folks. True love. 2016 started wet and miserable for us – a leak in our roof that soaked our kitchen and living room saw to that – but ended with us happier than we ever thought possible, despite the lack of sleep.

So if you’ve had a shit year, welcome to the club. I don’t mean that sarcastically, or flippantly; we’ve all been through the ringer. I’m lucky that a nice end wiped much of the misery away for me and my family. 2017 isn’t going to magically improve things in the world, but now we have the tools to at least get on with things while other things crumble. Take time to appreciate your friends and family, your workmates, your pets and the people you meet, be it only once. They all have their own problems. You are not alone. But be kind. There’s nothing to be gained from mouthing off on Twitter about this or that, or arguing in pubs about the state of things. Life is something that happens around us and all we can do is make our little corner of it something worth giving a shit about.

Happy New Year, people say. They wish each other happiness. Unconditionally. And the reason is that they deeply wish the same for themselves, they sincerely hope it means something. So make it mean something. Be kind, be thoughtful, be patient and, above all, be careful. And have a Happy New Year, x

On January 2nd I’ll be “relaunching” this blog – in the same place, don’t worry – for the new year. I’ll be drawing a happy line under 2016. The resolutions I make every year are almost always forgotten, often because I make quite a few promises to myself. This year I am making just two:

  1. Read More
  2. Write More

I’ll be doing Number 2 right here, hopefully more often that I’ve managed in recent months. And by number 2 I mean… Well, you know… Oh, grow up.

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