It’s taken me a while to write this post. OK, OK……… It’s taken 49 years, right? Yeah, I hear ye……. It’s taken reflection and a bit of mental and emotional sifting. There are things I have adapted and changed along the way. Stuff got dropped. Stuff was superseded by other stuff and, well, here it is, for better or worse……. and in no particular order.
1. I love my life. I love being alive. Even when things hurt, I know I am alive.
2. I got to celebrate my grandmother’s 100th birthday with her. She was dancing at her party and setting a good example by giving some guff. She is a feisty, funny, and wonderful woman.
3. I have 2 gorgeous daughters. They have guts, they are fun and they are off ‘doing their own do’ in the world. I have learned a lot by being in their lives and having them in mine.
4. I have had the courage to change my life. While life is more uncertain and less predictable, I regret nothing.
5. For the things I have let go of, I am grateful to have been there and done it.
6. There are birds singing in the night.
7. There are still many things to be curious about.
8. I still have a sense of wonder.
9. People still have the capacity, the need and the desire to play…… regardless of how old and maybe more so with age.
10. I love ironed napkins and bed-linen – domestic porn it may be. I love it.
11. Dogs make the world a better place. So do horses.
14. I appreciate solitude and quiet and I live that way now much more of the time. It’s only in the recent couple of years that I came to understand how much I need time and space to be still and to reflect……………. and that I need them very much.
15. My friends – we have come long roads together and many of you have been in my life a long time. Between us we have thousands of years of lived experience to draw on – good people, doing good things, making the world a better place.
16. My family of origin – you have had me in your lives whether you like it or not. Clan McManus, I am amazed at us…… we kinda do put the funk in dysfunctional….. but in a good way…….. and don’t we love it?
17. Willie Wagtails are brill.
18. Hares still blow me away when I see them.
19. I feel like I have had the best of everything I needed – that not to say life hasn’t been tough sometimes and that it isn’t still tough in someway; it’s not to deny stuff will come around again to challenge, but I feel like I have had the best of everything.
20. Good health – I have good health.
21. The internet – my world has expanded and contracted simultaneously. There must be a term in quantum physics – a metaphor of the universe……… happy to be informed……enlightened, educated.
22……. which reminds me…… I am still curious about the world, about stuff I don’t know, and that there are still books to be read, music to be heard, and more film and art and architecture to experience than I will ever get through in a life time….but yay to all that! I will give it a go to do it all.
23. I like not knowing what is going to happen.
24. That I know life has limits, encourages me to reflect on what really matters. I make different and mostly better choices, as a result.
25. Life doesn’t have to be fancy and it doesn’t have to be extravagant. Simpler is better.
26. I have more courage than I ever imagined.
27. I regret nothing.
28. Maps are fascinating.
29. Doing Geography at A level has been such a great thing to do. After all these years, I still love to read about the weather, populations, politics, geology, soils, settlements, economics, topography, landscapes, town plans, minerals and resources, policy, populations, development, cultures……..
30. I love that I know where I have come from.
31. I love that I know to whom I belong.
32. Small pleasures – home made soup, flowers……. fresh air
33. Sometimes the ‘dishwasher fairy’ gets there before me and its one less job to do…..
34. Emergency surgery when I was 22 saved my life.
35. The NHS – it saved me, looked after my health and that of my family, and it gave me employment for many years.
36. Public libraries – I spent much of my childhood in the library. Libraries – the best place to be lost……….
37. Knowing that people choose me, and choose to spend time with me.
38. Sometimes, rain in my face is a good feeling and a pleasure.
39. Shit happens, but eventually it passes.
40. Walking is a perfect pace for thinking.
41. Flaws have a value.
42. Things that count can’t always be measured.
43. Being aware that I only live once, is an incentive to live well.
44. Somethings are worth fighting for.
45. I appreciate that I grew up in a unique and truly beautiful place.
46. In the spirit of Dylan……. I too was ‘so much older then; I’m younger than that now…………’
47. Losing can be a good thing.
48. I still like to take away ‘the learning’ from situations.
49. Optimism……… I just cant help it, I’m optimistic.
……………………………….and apart from anything else……………. the sun has been shining………….. we haven’t had anything resembling summer in so many years………. woo !! It’s good to see.