I don't normally shout about the fact it's my birthday, but this time I will. Not the birthday bit, specifically, as I've written before about how the number associated with it seems less and less believable as the years go by, but this time the happy bit.
Lots of people reassess their lives on key dates - New Year's Day springs to mind - and for me that date is my birthday. Here are some of the reasons why I'm happy this year:
I have a wonderful family and superb friends. (I've already had some lovely presents and over 50 birthday wishes via Facebook.)
Notwithstanding the as-yet-unknown result of a recent blood test, I'm actually pretty healthy. I'm fitter than I've been for nearly forty years and I weigh less now than I have done for over twenty years.
My first novel, Moses in Chains, may not have won any prizes but it's out there and the first draft of the second novel is nearly finished.
I've found a new direction for my poetry that is still quite challenging but also satisfying.
I'm going to be doing some more directing next year. I've missed that!
I'm feeling brave enough to consider some more solo singing this year. (The supportive friends definitely help with this.)
I may have added some more destinations to my bucket list but I'm lucky enough that we can still attempt to work our way through it.
I have a job I enjoy; my dad always said the secret to happiness was to find something you enjoyed doing so much you'd do it for nothing, and then to do it so well that someone paid you to do it. Tick!
I recognise that the little irritations each day are just that - little, and irritations. Nothing more. The problems that some other people face, now they're problems!
I read somewhere recently that happy people focus on the positive things in their lives, whereas depressed people dwell on the negative. During the depths of winter, I certainly found it harder to find things to be happy about, but today the sun is shining, the daffodils are heavy on their stems and I'm off to sunnier/warmer climes shortly. I'm being positive!
How often do you make a list of your reasons to be cheerful?