The Answer To Life, The Universe and Everything.

42.

If I’m totally honest I haven’t see a huge difference between 42 and 41. No grand moments of enlightenment – although I suppose it’s still early and I haven’t had a drink yet.

As birthdays go this one got off to a flier. My daughter, son and wife all in tears for various reasons before nine o’clock and it wasn’t even my fault. Rhys cried because he didn’t want to brush his teeth, Arwen cried because she is sick and T cried because she had to cancel Arwen’s birthday party.

I fell back on my years of training and inherent Welshness and followed the only logical course of action available to me.

I put the kettle on.

The day has been up and down since then. I got some lovely presents. A bench capper was the highlight – I’ve capped enough beer bottles with a wing capper thank you very much. I also got a new jersey (I like to have a new jersey at least annually), some socks and some shaving oil as befits a man of my years. On the negative side I unpacked an easy-up gazebo only to find it was broken (I left it on the lawn in a huff) and my wife now has a headache the size of a Jupiter moon. We’ve also had to cancel our dinner plans.

Still, if all else fails and everyone has to go to bed early I also got chocolate, Glenmorangie and a Lauren Beukes novel today so my evening is looking peachy.

I’ve been feeling pretty down all week so when the morning started badly I could feel myself settling in for a good old mope. I’m not sure what’s causing it – I suspect it has a lot to do with feeling a little isolated and lonely. Being away from family – especially my brother – takes its toll every now and then and seems to come into greater focus on happy occasions. I’m prone to thinking about what’s lacking rather than what works (I can sense your shock) and at times it can utterly paralyse me.

But today a few bits of magic happened and my mood lifted. In the space of a few minutes:-

– my in-laws arrived with noise and nonsense

– a very dear friend told me a Brazilian joke and got me laughing

– I got phone calls, messages, and a ton of good wishes

– I had a coffee

It’s the small things.

As my mood lifted it got me thinking. This is often dangerous for me but for once it was a good thing. I thought about what I would do for the rest of the day and realised that I’m lucky enough to be able to indulge in most of the things that make me tick. I’m happily tapping away at a keyboard writing this blog and have started scribbling some notes for new stories. When that’s done I will go for a run on a beautiful day in an equally beautiful city. There’s no wind so a late afternoon dip in the pool with my family is on the cards and when that’s all done there’ll be a home brew and some drops of the good stuff.

I’m starting to learn that there are two things I need to change (don’t ask my wife or there’ll be about fifty others on this list).

– I need to stop belittling my worries and playing down my anxieties and dark moments. Sure, there’s always someone worse off but it doesn’t mean your own problems are any less real or any less powerful because of it.

– I need to be grateful for what I have and less concerned about what’s missing.

Maybe I am getting older and wiser…this kind of wisdom normally takes at least three drinks to attain.

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