This April I turned 50. Not a big event in the great scheme of things. Hardly even a great age these days, when we have a populace that is healthier than ever and expected to live longer. But, to me, it felt momentous.
But since my birthday I've been trying to make small positive changes in my life. Drinking less alcohol, working on my flexibility and my karate kata, meditating, reading more, attempting to write more...small things, little changes that, when I add them all up, should improve the quality of my life.
I'm currently working on a novelette titled A House With No Windows, and a novella called The Noble Rot. I've made a lot of hand-written notes, mostly with a fountain pen. It's nice to be working on paper again rather than directly onto a screen. It feels like I'm trying to connect with my younger self, the kid who wrote frantically, like a maniac, and never seemed to run short of ideas.
I've started sketching. I used to draw a lot when I was a child but once the writing took over I abandoned it. My father was an artist - a pretty good one, too - but a frustrated one. That frustration formed part of his problems. My own sketches are, in truth, a bit crap. But I don't care. That isn't the point. The point is that it makes me happy, and I'm slowly beginning to see an improvement in my technique. It seems to be helping my writing, too, the creativity fueling more creativity, which will hopefully help me power through the two above-mentioned projects.
This April I turned 50. Nothing much changed. Everything changed. I'm trying to change all the time; trying to improve in all the ways I can. I think that's a good thing. And in this life, we need to grab all the good things that come our way.