Well the turkey is a distant memory, the pigs in blankets have gone into hibernation for the winter, and the decorations while still up, seem a little incongruous to the general grey, drab, post Christmas celebrations. However, all is not lost, the New Year brings with it fresh optimism and hope that 2019 will offer better than 2018. And depending on your experience of last year that will either happen or it will not.

As for me I cam honestly say that last year was a challenge, it was after all the year that apparently I almost died, my life being saved by the professional skill and expertise of the NHS staff at Warwick and Stratford hospitals. At Warwick a tumour the size of the surgeons fist was removed even though it had already exploded, potentially sending cancer cells off on a free for all, extremely luckily for me the tumour was discovered by accident in a CT scan, that was looking for something else completely different. Sometimes life has a strange way of giving you a life line, but not in Who Wants To Be A Millionaire kind of way.

So, to be fair dodging a bullet, does tend to change your perceptions about a lot of things in life, not least, what is important going forward and what is not. Stuff like money, possessions, cars do not really matter any more. What I have come to realise is that people and how you interact with them are far more rewarding and enriching than than what youn earn, or what you have. To be honest we strive for stuff all our lives, but why is that so important? What does all that really mean, compared to feeling well and not have to use a storma bag to go the loo. Indeed as the good book says “ For what profits a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul. “

Interestingly I just watched an article on the BBC news about a rather lovely couple of people who had just won just under £115,000,000 in the Euro lottery. They were down to earth, funny, and seemed to realise that they were now able to improve the lives of others as much as themselves. A refreshing and human approach, after all how can you really spend so much money, and what benefit would you derive from it. I recall having a chat with one of the chaps I was in the cancer ward with, his name was Steve, he was a postman, and he was an inspirational man. He had been in hospital on three separate occasions for different cancers, he was always in a lot of pain, and used to cry at night when the pain got unbearable. We were chatting one day and I said to him if you could chose one gift in life what would it be. Without hesitation he said my health, that is all that counts, he was a marathon runner and was already planning his next race. Superb attitude towards life, and indeed death.

So, will I be making any New Year resolutions, well, no, I never do. What is the point, if you are going to do anything then just crack on and do it. My simple resolution is to manage having cancer, getting better, then reevaluating all that matters. Be that professional life, private life, indeed everything.

I have come to realise that the best things in life are free, as the song says, your well-being, happiness, and contentment in life should not be about the money in the bank, or the latest gadget, more likely your ability to exercise, laugh, and be happy. These as far as I know do not come with a price tag, they are free of charge, all you need to do sometimes is adjust your mindset to appreciate what you have, once you lose it, you cannot get it back. With that I will wish you a very happy new year.

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