If someone had asked me as an eighteen year-old what I would be like, a whole lifetime away, I would probably have said that I would be happy, amused and comfortable. I certainly thought I would be richer than I am now, and I definitely thought I would have finished the book I started thinking about all those years ago.
My life’s journey has been fairly typical except in the detail; on by birthday I had travelled 13,149 times around the sun, which means 12,360,060,000,000 (twelve trillion) kilometers. Couple that to the rotational velocity of the sun around the centre of the galaxy, and I have in effect (just adding the two figures because the cam-speed rotation calculation needed is beyond me) travelled 262,296,252,000,000 km (two hundred and sixty two trillion) during my lifetime.
Thinking less enormously, I have just in the past year cycled a little over 2,600km at a little over 24km/hr, which is up on the 18km/hr average before the catastrophe.
The catastrophe was almost a year ago – the sudden and unannounced passing away of my dad. Between them, my mum and dad were 3/4 of my world, and he was absolutely the die from which I was cast. I miss him every day and I wish he was still here. There are days I share with my friends who have also lost their fathers, where the pain is too much to bear, and where the simple will to get the fuck on with making people happy kicks in. How bizarre that this should, in the end, be the thing that gets me through. That and my mum – a tower of fragile strength whom I have grown to respect more and more with every passing week.
In other matters, I am fitter than I have ever been. I still wish I had listened to Brian McLaughlin and not turned into the fat bastard I was for a few years. I haven’t shaken off the size yet, but my heart is reassuringly strong and small steps are taken every day for the purposes of making life a little longer, because life is fun. My desire to stay active and do something a bit stupid every month is paying off.
Work is work – we get paid for the difficult stuff, but the fun stuff we do because we’re allowed to. I’m blessed to work in an organisation where work is valued and progress is measured in successes every month – and where failures are learning experiences.
I am grateful for the people around me. The Producer is a constant grounding influence, and after more than a decade, we will have the ability to make one another laugh, and sometimes it’s even ‘with’ rather than ‘at’. My brother has never been taller in my eyes and I love him dearly, even if we don’t see enough of each other.
So, this is thirty-six. I miss lots of the things I had when I was 34, but 35 has been about coping with losing the thing you couldn’t live without, and discovering, with amazement, that thing was what set you up to live anyway.