As I sit here reminiscing over the year that was 2013 I have a song currently playing on repeat. “Band On The Run” by Paul McCartney, an enduring tune if ever there was one and a song that sums up the year as a whole, on the run!
Days have passed into weeks which have morphed into months which have left me settled in on New Years Eve content with my year that has been constantly “on the run”! So many wonderful events and happening have dotted themselves along the way that it is going to be difficult to encapsulate the entire year over just a singular blog entry. I’d never imagined that. when commencing my happiness project way back in January that it would have such a profound effect on my life.
Perhaps the most appropriate way to summarise 2013 would be done by listing some of the key going on as my happiness project unfolded. So here it is, in a somewhat muddled order….
David Bowie releases his first album, “The Next Day” in 10 years. The album promptly reaches the number 1 position in the UK and number 2 (his highest ever chart placing) in the USA. Being such an obsessive Bowie fan, when news broke on January 8th that my life long idol was back it would have been safe to assume that my year could not get any better. It did…..
Completing 4 marathons between mid April and early September provided me with sublime satisfaction. Whilst not quite reaching my goal of 6 marathons for the year, I am however left with something to build on for 2014. Completing these 42.2 km runs not only came down to the 5 am training runs on the roads, it was made possible by the encouragement and belief from and amazing friend, Steve Kanowski, Always there for training and running advice, Steve was also an amazing source of inspiration for life in general. He’s an incredibly intelligent individual who made those treacherous winter road runs under the cold and dark morning skies so pleasurable. I could not have achieved what I did without Stevie!
Helping those less fortunate than myself proved to be a wonderful source of enjoyment. I very much embraced buying homeless people lunch, offering small change to help others with bus fares or buying friends and strangers coffee. More than anything it felt amazing giving money to the Red Cross that I would have otherwise spent on Christmas gifts to help with those affected in the Philippines. Opening doors and offering my seat was met with many smiles, the main aim of the game. It’s something i’ve always placed a great emphasis on yet this year, with more focus on it I came out the other side so much better for it.
Embracing new projects at home. As I settled into my new residence I began putting more time into mini projects like building CD cabinets, reading an endless supply of books and watching a bevy of fine films. Then there was the task of discovering new music and embracing albums from my past. I pulled out records that I had not listened to in perhaps ten years or more. At the other end of the scale I was diving head first into artists that I would of happily passed by before this year. Broadening my horizons within music enlightened me and almost always left me happy. I also spent a jolly good deal of my spare time scanning and cataloging my photo and music collection, both of which will keep me busy well into 2014 and beyond I am sure.
Something that was on the top of my happiness project in January was the tricky task of just being me. It’s something that is easier said than done and in the process I lost a few friends yet gained so many more as I became comfortable in my own shell. I am extremely passionate and vocal with my feelings and views on the world around us. This approach isn’t always the one to endear you to everyone but as they say, the world would be one incredibly boring place to live if we were all the same. I’m still working hard at realising it’s ok for other people to hold views I may not agree with. Definitely more work to be done there next year and beyond.
Part of being me was spending time with quality people. Throughout the year i made a concerted effort to catch up with old friends, many not seen in years whilst keeping with new found friends acquired through the day to day happenings of life. Having the right people in your life can make al the difference on every level. Those who inspire you, encourage you and embrace you for who you are. Those are the people you want in your life.
I was fortunate enough to spend three months on the road enjoying my travel adventures . Not always flashed with cash I was forced into somewhat of a survival mode whilst away this year and again, it was the beautiful friends and strangers who helped me along the way that made it so very special. Almost everywhere I ventured there was a smile and plentiful dishings of help that greeted me with every step along the way.
So just off the top of my head are a few elements that made 2013 one of the best on record. There were indeed many goals I failed to reach during the year though I guess I ran out of time. Often it was the simple things that made me happy which, in turn helped the year become such an enjoyable twelve months.
Still, there was one more life shaping event that occurred during 2013.
A very special person stepped into my world during the year. Life took a sharp turn for the better from the moment Katarina and I met. We’ve grown so close over the final months of the year and a very special life together is on the horizon. We finish each others sentences, laugh at the silly things together, stick together during the tough moments, enjoy every moment spent together, miss one another desperately when apart and share a deep love and respect for the other. More than anything Kat has become a beautiful grounding for me. She’s taught me so much about what it takes to be genuinely happy. We don’t have, nor need much money as we both hold an incredible imagination and appreciate the simple things in life. Kat has become everything I could have wished for in a soul mate……