Don’t look back.

2015. A new year. A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. For all of us, there will be many questions to be asked and pondered. There will be many new answers to be embraced and discovered.

December 31st and January 1st are typically the two days of the year where we resolve to change the things going on in our lives that we want to be different. Many of us make resolutions that we’ll never keep but the whole process of making those resolutions in the first place is cathartic. It can be incredibly rewarding when you decide to take a step back, look at your life and realise what you want to change, what and who you want to leave behind and make a list of all the things that you want as part of your life in the year ahead.

Personally, chances are that all of the events that I experienced last year and probably in my lifetime have been created by my beliefs that I have held in the past. They were likely borne out of the thoughts and words I used last week, last month and last year but maybe it’s time to look forward than look back. It’s been a bit of an epiphany type moment but when better to appreciate that than at the start of a new calendar year?

I met some amazing people in 2014 and my life has been massively enriched for the experience. I strengthened relationships with people that I had known already but I learned more about many of them, got to know them in greater detail and definitely became a better person for the things that they taught me. 2014 was a year where the people around me told me how much they loved me on an almost daily basis and I’m not sure that I have the words to express how much that means, especially when those people were not necessarily the people that I expected to be there. Family and friends are so important and I know that I’ve been incredibly guilty of taking that for granted in the past, time for a change.

At points when I struggled last year for one reason or another, so many people stepped up and made me realise that I wasn’t alone and that I had a network of friends that I hadn’t possibly fathomed or appreciated.

There are many things that happened last year that we all probably wish could be different, but 2015 is an opportunity to move on, not look back and to cherish and appreciate all that we want from life or even just over the next twelve months before going again in 2016.

I have a close group of a few friends and the questions that we want to ask and have answered in the next year range dramatically. Some are heartfelt, some are touching, some are weird and some are downright daft! For example:

Will I finally pluck up the courage to tell the girl that I’ve known since I was a teenager that I’ve been in love with her ever since the day that we met? If I do, what will her reaction be and will it spoil our friendship?

I want to ask my girlfriend to marry me but I know her parents don’t approve, so what do I do?

Do I interview for my dream job in Dubai, despite knowing that whilst I want it, I’ll have to leave my girlfriend and all of my family behind?

Is it possible for me to complete every Man v Food challenge in 2015?

If I buy a dog like the one off of the Anchorman film and call it Baxter, will my missus let me away with it?

Despite the nonsense, all are things that we’d like to be able to answer in 2015. My thoughts? Go for it, better to try, sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever. Now and again though, it might be the biggest or most difficult, but nothing ventured and all that?

The last line of this song is “Don’t you understand, that I’m never changing who I am”. Personally, I’m sure that 2015 will be a year of change and I can’t wait.

Enjoy your journey and have an amazing 2015.

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So this is the new year.

Here we are.

For some of us, we are on the 365th and final day of the year. Some of us have already or are currently enjoying the celebrations as midnight has come and gone depending on our respective locations.

I know for some people the 31st of December is just another day. It’s always been a personal favourite of mine as I think about all the exciting things to come in the year ahead. Not once does the possibility of everything not going completely to plan enter my head, this certainly can’t be put down to youthful naivety!

I’ve only ever experienced the clock chiming midnight on December 31st in three different countries, Scotland, Italy and the USA. All three countries have very contrasting traditions for this most special night.

In Italy, it’s tradition to wear red underwear to ring in luck for the year ahead! This goes for men and women!

Four years ago tonight, my girlfriend at the time and I were sat in a little restaurant in Venice called Bacaro Jazz, enjoying our meal before heading to Piazza San Marco to join in the celebrations. Those who know the restaurant know that it is also encouraged for female diners to donate their bra which is then pinned to the ceiling. Cue the scenes as midnight approached when pretty much every single women in the place undid their bra, red of course, and handed it to a beaming barman to hang up. Let’s face it, all of us men would have had the smile he had on his face at that point!

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Two years ago tonight, we were in New York. Probably the most famous tradition in the United States is the dropping of the New Year ball in Times Square, New York City. At 11:59 pm, thousands gather to watch the ball make its one minute descent, arriving exactly at midnight.

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It was a great night, although rather bizarre to watch Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Pitbull perform in the flesh. I’m convinced not one of them sang live!

And to Scotland. Whether it’s been quiet nights in watching Scotch and Wry and Only An Excuse or street parties in which ever city I’ve been, each one has been memorable for it’s own reasons.

Tonight will be a quiet one, reflecting on the year just gone and the twelve months that are ahead. 2013 has been a year of change, job, house, relationship status, apparently the three most stressful changes in life. Roll on 2014!

I’ve been fortunate to meet some incredible people this year whether through work, play, even meets that have been instigated by social media.

Things change, some important people to me and a lot of others have passed away. Some new additions to my family and friends have entered the world and I look forward to those boys and girls growing up.

To everyone that has met me, spent time with me or interacted with me in one way or another, I hope that 2014 brings you every happiness and success that you deserve.

Enjoy the celebrations tonight, I’m excited to see what 2014 brings for all of us.

Bliadhna Mhath √ôr.

These streets will make you feel brand new.

Trying to find a work/life balance is hard, right?

Working in recruitment, I hear stories every day from jobseekers who are desperate to move on from their current role and employer because the hours demanded of them have just become too much. Work has taken over, there is no quality time outside of work, definitely not the best scenario for a balanced life.

I’m more than sympathetic because I know that we all need to work to keep the lights on, to pay the mortgage and to meet our financial commitments. That said, it is always good if we can get a holiday or a break to recharge those batteries to set us up for the rest of the year. Who doesn’t love a holiday?

Last week, I had hoped to be in New York for a week or so with the single most important person in my life, my daughter. Due to my work circumstances, I ended up breaking a promise to her and that hurts so bad. Our time away didn’t happen and it was down to me not being able to find that balance. Needless to say, you all know what that feeling is like when you disappoint someone, it is heartbreaking. Do I need to make it right? Absolutely.

The dates were difficult in the end due to work and it’s all the more disappointing now that I can manage a holiday, having got through the crazy spell of a busy time. Having had a hell of a year, I’ve now been able to book some time to go away.

Chicago is the first port of call, somewhere that I have never been. I hear that it is a beautiful city, I’m sure it’ll be amazing.

From there, New York beckons before some time in Boston. Having been to New York many times before, the anticipation is amazing. It’s a mindblowing city, constantly evolving and full of some of the most friendly and incredible people that I’ve ever had the fortune to meet.

The US Open tennis is on, I’ll catch an MLB game and I’ll tick some more things off of my bucket list.

I can’t explain the reason why but I’ve always wanted to climb the Statue of Liberty and see out through the crown. This has not something that has always been possible due to the horrific terrorist attacks on 9/11 and the natural disaster of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Someone close to me today booked us a chance to be able for me to experience this. Whilst she wanted to do it herself, she knew that it was something that I was eager to do and it was done for my benefit, how cool? Given that this normally needs to be booked months in advance, I’m staggered that someone would do this for me. How good to us are our best friends? One thoughtful gesture can really make your day.

I leave seven weeks today to have my main holiday for the year. I’m so excited that I probably couldn’t put it into words.

That said, it is more than tinged with sadness that Emily won’t be with me.

Another time soon hopefully, fingers crossed..