The Christmas break up north with family was exactly what the doctor ordered!  It has given me the very necessary time to take a step back, slow down and assess things.  In my day-to-day life in London things just seem to take over, and especially in 2012 which felt like a whirlwind.  I don’t know about you, but it only seemed like yesterday that 2012 had started, let alone the dawn of yet another year – the year 2013.

December was a month spent with family, work colleagues and friends.  The work Christmas dinner and drinks was a very enjoyable evening – that’s to say I didn’t hear of many complaints, apart from my failed attempts at giving a speech (about six times I have been told).  So here are my words of caution now to anyone, do not ask me to give a speech, unless: (a) you want to find a cure for insomnia, (b) someone has spent time writing one for me, (c) you have the patience of a saint, or (d) you have a large alcoholic beverage to get through the pain.  So don’t say you haven’t been warned!

To describe Christmas in three words I would say: ‘a humble one’.  It was not a Christmas about giving and receiving big gifts, as has been the case in previous years, but instead one about people, and in particular FAMILY.  And you know what…. it has been very refreshing and one of the best I have had.  I had the opportunity to catch up with my parents and brothers and his respective partner, finding out what’s been going on in their busy lives, and I also got reacquainted with friends I haven’t seen for several years, including my dear friend Dave.  Without my family, and my friends, I would not be in the position I am now.  So I want to say here, thank you so very much for all your love, guidance, help and support you have given me over the years.

New Year was ‘a quiet one’.  And while I am only 26, it was spent having an early night and waking up all refreshed and energised without waking up with the hangover I suffered with last year.  Instead I was able to enjoy a lovely meal with Kraus, Jack and Joe, with wine and a good chat.  It was a very enjoyable afternoon and one I will treasure in the year ahead.

2012 was a year of change – a bit like arriving at your terminus with the driver going, “All Change…”.  It was a year with many great memories and treasured experiences.  It was a year that I learnt more about myself, and that includes the bad and the ugly in addition to the good!  I met new acquaintances and from it made some new friends that I am very grateful to have.  I secured a great job, and I got to play a small part in the delivery of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London, and most importantly, I had fun along the way.  So I want to thank everyone in my life, and those people that know me, for making it such a wonderful year.  While in some ways I did have my downs as well as ups, it was, on the whole, a great year and I hope it continues in an upwards tragetory for the year ahead, the year that is 2013.

So for 2013 I haven’t made any dramatic or drastic resolutions, but instead have opted to go back to basics (and NO – I am not talking about the Sainsbury’s food range!).  My resolution for the year ahead is: to be more patient, make time for my friends, relax more, cherish the things I have, focus on health and fitness, and lastly to smile.  Simple I know, but one thing this Christmas has shown me especially, is that I have, in the mad rush of last year, failed on several occasions to do this.

So without further a do, Happy New Year!  I hope it brings you all much happiness, joy, love, prosperity and success!  AND remember, enjoy life in the best way you can, focusing on the things you do have, cherishing friends and family and making yourself a better person.