My customary approach to Christmas, for many years, was jocular cynicism. I loved the game of pretending to despise everything that Christmas was about while, of course, thoroughly enjoying it. It was, I think, expected of me; and it would never do to let people down, right?
This was how it was. Over recent years, however, I have let the façade drop somewhat—and this year, in particular, has seen it completely torn to shreds and discarded. Christmas will not be a lavish, twenty-four hour party affair. It will be relaxing, family-oriented (predominantly with my wonderful parents) and cheery. Much as it has always been. What will set it apart this year, however, is knowing that in a little corner of Cardiff there is a beautiful woman who feels about me how I feel about her. This knowledge, this unexpected certainty in a world where doubt so often rules supreme, has made me even more thankful than I usually am, and more forward-looking than I’ve ever been.
And so, a brief list of my reasons for being especially happy right now:
- My parents—their enduring love, patience and support makes all things possible.
- Ceri Davies—who came along when I was least expecting her and, with her love and trust, has given me the greatest reason for being who I am.
- My health—okay, so it isn’t perfect. I often wish I had more energy but, by and large, I am well, without significant discomfort and generally don’t have to think about it all that much. Which, at forty-seven, with Type II SMA is pretty good going, I reckon!
- My writing—I’m doing what I want to do. Yes, the books aren’t selling anywhere near as well as I would like, and, frankly, mainstream publishing has let me down significantly, but I’m fortunate enough to have the freedom to write exactly what I want to write. My latest project, The Architect, is halfway complete and should be ready to submit by the middle of next year. It is my most commercial piece to date, so fingers crossed.
Christmas 2013, and the year that will follow, look like being good ones. I’m determined that they will be. If I have a resolution, this is it.
It therefore only remains for me to thank each and every one of you for continuing to read my ramblings—whether here or in book form—and to wish you a very merry and safe holiday period, however you may celebrate it or even if you don’t, and a healthy, happy and fulfilling 2014.
© 2013 Gary William Murning