Another year passes, the smile is still as wide as before and a few unexpected twists and turns have been taken in my stride.
It is 12 months since I turned 40 and compiled the “40 List”.
So it is high time I took stock and see what (if any) progress I’ve made on the list.
There have been some significant changes over the last 12 months, which have indirectly impacted on some of the things on the list.
I’m currently in the middle of a sabbatical from self-employment. I got offered a 12-month contract with a locally based organisation and a combination of factors (not least, I like the job and the people I work with), together with a slight improvement in Rachel’s health, convinced me to take up the opportunity.
But I’m delighted to say there has been plenty of progress on some of the list, although it was never my intention to do as many of the items as possible in the last 12 months.
Some of them can wait – flying lessons; learning to play the guitar; building my own house – for a time in the future when I’m better placed to try them.
Others I’m well aware I might never get to do – write a song; find out if I’m a secret carpenter; busk – but that is perfectly alright as I’ll keep reminding myself of No.21 (don’t have regrets).
But there have been some successes.
I took a canoe lesson (courtesy of Rachel’s 40th birthday present) and got the bug. Although I haven’t done any since, the techniques I picked up are still fresh in my mind so I remain on course to canoe the length of the River Usk one of these days (well, more like a week or so).
I’ve written a lot more over the last 12 months, for myself and currently in collaboration with my friend Nick. One of these days our efforts will see the light of day.
I’m still head over heels in love with my wife and remain determined to take her on the honeymoon (No.2 on the list). Also, as Rachel sells more of her art work, I’m on the way to becoming a kept man (No.8).
We possibly haven’t explored as much as we would have wanted (No.14), but we did have a great 10 days up in the North-East. It was a trip to break routines, see new places, enjoy being together and have fun.
(Welcome to Hartlepool – pic by RachelCreative).
But the biggest progress has been with No.1 on the list – get back on my bike.
It was always going to be the easiest one to succeed with, but I have been pleasantly surprised with just how much progress I’ve made.
I’ll be taking on the C2C Challenge this summer and I’m currently getting huge enjoyment from my training regime.
All in all, therefore, a busy 12 months and plenty of progress on the 40 List.
I’m looking forward to ticking off a few more things over the next year.