An appropriate heading for this, the final day of this year. How was yours? What was good? What happened that you would you like to change? What is worth persevering with? What would you like to do that is new? And what would you like to stop doing altogether? These are age old questions at a time of reflection. All of that aside, today’s diary entry is all about (and I’m being selfish here), this is about what I am proud of and what’s been accomplished for me in 2018!

This time last year, my life was very much more, a private affair. Who would have thought that by the end of the year, I would be three months in to writing an online diary, pretty much showing openly, a little slice of my family life, here in The Shires. Back then my (historical) memoir was written and I was organising the timeline into a readable novel. But the book was something that I was reflecting on. My present day life seemed to be separate to what the history was of how two guys set about making a family and about the choices they made and how they were committed to seeing things through, even when the ending or endings came with a certain toll. I realise now, that like all books and stories, the life I am living comes with a beginning, a middle and an end. The novel is merely the beginning of ‘This Story’. I completed the novel in August, so for me, this year has been fruitful. Rather than eighteen months of memories spanning three and a half years, I had something tangible, a chronological order to the things that had happened over that period of time. At the present moment, having moved on, I am just considering the last twelve months. Only three of these months recorded in this diary, but I can assure you that I am proud of each and every single month over the last year. The end of my story will always be tomorrow – thankfully another day, one yet to come. I realise that it’s the middle of a story where you find the real backbone. As a family, these last twelve months have had their accomplishments and setbacks, but we have all moved forward. And moving forward is achievement. So tonight at midnight, I will raise my glass to moving forward… will you toast the same with me?

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A Gay Dad reflecting on life in the Shires of England with my not so famous five and two rapscallion Dalmatian hounds

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