Each day is a gift.

Lets imagine different scenarios for the question posed by the video title.

What would you do differently with the decisions that you’ve made?

What would you do differently, if?

If today was the last day of your life? If today was the last day of a relationship that has run it’s course? If today was the last night in a house that you’ve lived in forever? If today was the last day in a job that you can’t wait to be rid of? What if today was the end of the life of someone you loved deeply?

Choices are difficult.

You need to pick or choose though.

In the words of Ewan McGregor, Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin can openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose a three piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Choose your future. Choose life.

If you had 24 hours until your life changed forever, what would you do?

Tonight, I ask myself that question and I couldn’t be happier.

What would you wish for?

A wish is a hope or desire for something.

If you said to various people that they could have three wishes, you could be sure that many of the responses would be the same, yet many would be different.

World peace, financial security, to fall in love, to have more wishes. Many of the wish requests would be generic and that’s cool. We’d all like to be happier, richer, more comfortable in our own bodies and to be with that one person that we’re destined to spend the rest of our life with.

Other wishes will likely be more personal.

“I wish my team will win the league”.

“I wish that girl/boy from work would look at me the way that I look at them”.

“I wish that I can give you everything that you want or expect from me”.

The wishes are endless, we all wish for something every day.

Tonight, I wish that someone close to me could get better.

I could really use a wish right now.

Life is an interesting journey.

I’m not a fan of birthdays.

I should quantify that, I’m not a fan of my own birthday. Every year, I get asked what I want as a gift and I never want anything, I don’t want any fuss, I don’t want people fussing over me or spending money on me when they could be spending money on themselves or others. It’s not something that I feel comfortable with although if someone wants to get me Scalextric or Subbuteo tomorrow, I may well change my opinion.

Birthdays are like Hogmanay for me. I look at the year just gone and judge how it’s been. Have I been a good person? Have I made the people closest to me happy? Have I had more successes than mistakes? I make resolutions on the 22nd of March rather than on the 31st of December.

Is it an age thing? As I get older, I worry less and less about how the day will go and what gifts I receive. Tomorrow I’ll be a year older, although I don’t think that it is one of those birthdays where I’m suddenly in a new age bracket for any survey that I might take.

Friday 22nd of March 2013 seems like a lifetime ago. So many life decisions have changed in the 364 days since then. I’ve moved house. I’ve changed job. I’ve committed myself to someone, that barring any unforeseen disaster that I’ll marry.

Voltaire said, “God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well”.

It’s a quote I like and one that I fully intend to adhere to. Today, someone that I respect greatly sent me another quote that relates to this.

“Above all, I would like to be remembered as a man who was selfless, who strove and worried so that others could share the glory, and who built up a family of people who could hold their heads up high”

It’s not the full quote but it’s from Bill Shankly and it relates to his time in charge of Liverpool.

If I can do that, especially as I grow older, then I’ll die a happy man.

Live your life.

The only resolution and the only joy.

Apparently, one of the most important choices of your life is deciding who you marry?

I’ve probably only ever been to half a dozen weddings in my life. It’s never been my favourite event or celebration but I can’t really put my finger on why not. It’s likely a male pride or bravado thing and that has got me and my friends into trouble on plenty of occasions.

One of my friends will announce that they’ve got engaged and immediately the cry will go up, “What are you thinking” or “Man overboard”.

In reality, although none of the boys would admit it out loud, we all want that special someone to settle down with and who will share with us the rest of our lives together.

We are now mostly all at that stage where we’ve identified the girl that we want to be with .

That said, truth be told, we’ve all been picked by a girl that has realised that for all of our faults, she’ll know that one of us is the man that she wants to make her husband. Most of my male friends are now married, a lot are engaged and a couple of them are single. The single ones are now jealous of the ones who are with someone, changed days indeed. Some are even saying that they look forward to their respective wedding days!

I’m one of those people that doesn’t take to a lot of people straight away. I take time to suss people out, to decide if they’ll play a part in my life or not and I wish it’s something that I could change. Some people mistake it for arrogance but it’s not, I’m just suspicious given the way that some people have treated me in the past. I hold that against potential new friends to be and I hate that, it’s not cool on my part.

Despite that, Jay Z has said something that resonates with me.” I’m a mirror. If you’re cool with me, I’m cool with you, and the exchange starts. What you see is what you reflect. If you don’t like what you see, then you’ve done something. If I’m standoffish, that’s because you are.”

That predisposition of mine can make me a nightmare in social situations. Picture the scene, I get invited to a wedding to a couple that I don’t know. I’m the plus one invite. I’m incredibly grateful for the invitation but I’m immediately scared that I don’t do my female partner justice.

These are her friends. What if I don’t like either the bride or the groom? What if I get drunk and make a fool of myself? What if a bridesmaid comes onto me and I find it difficult to refuse her advances?

I’m kidding about the bridesmaid bit!

I was at a wedding recently as a plus one guest and knew neither the bride nor the groom.

I was introduced to the groom though as soon as I walked into the hotel and I warmed to him immediately. This was someone that I had never met before but I knew from the way he was with me that this was going to be a good day. I took to him immediately, a rare thing for me, we seemed to have the same sense of humour.

The bride was stunning and has the most amazing personality, how could this be a bad day?

The weddings that I’ve been to in the past have been different. As I’ve known at least one of the wedding party previously, I’ve not had to focus on the day and all that has unfolded before me. This time was different and in the best way possible.

I got to sit back and enjoy the day. The family of the bride and groom were absolutely box office and treated everyone magnificently.

As I watched on, I realised that the bride and groom were suited to each other beyond belief. They were clearly in love with each other and every single person couldn’t say enough nice things about them. It was true though, I watched on and was envious about their love and feelings for one another. That should be what we all aspire to.

It’s something that all of us should have.

Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your wedding, I’m blessed to have shared your day.

Everyone should have someone that holds them close.

Need something that I can confess.

On September 20th of 2013, I wrote a bucket list of 100 things that I wanted to do before I died. I’m 43 things down, the more arithmetically clever of you, may have noticed that this means that there are 57 to go.

This is number 89.

89. Tell the absolute truth for 24 hours, Liar Liar style.

I haven’t done that yet but it’ll be ticked off by the end of the weekend. It’s probably cheating to include sleep as part of the 24 hours so I’ll calculate it by me being awake for that whole period.

Some people may not understand or get the thoughts behind this but I think about my bucket list on an almost daily basis and I really want to tick those 100 things off. I must get checked for OCD!

Number 89 came into my head today after bumping into an old female friend. After the usual chit-chat was done, the conversation between us turned to relationships and old times. Many of our mutual friends have ended up together, symptomatic of coming from a small town, I guess.

After a major catch up, she then asked me if I wanted to go back to her house to spend the night. If anyone reads this, and they are male, they will likely be screaming at me about my thinking but I said no. I don’t like her in that way and it would be unfair to lead her on. I was bizarrely truthful about this and I told her that. Am I a chump?

This made me think about number 89. It made me think too about confessing about some sorts of secrets or confessions, big or small. Don’t get me wrong, I have loads of secrets but here are a few:

1. CB. In Primary One, I did pinch your yellow miniature NYC taxi car. I’m incredibly sorry. It’s doubtful that you’ll read this but I still know where you live so I’ve already bought a replacement and will post you the new one in the morning.

2. FB. You were my first girlfriend in primary school. I did kiss Claire at the pantomime, even though I said that I didn’t, sorry.

3. CS. You were my best friend and I’ve shared so many experiences with you. We’ve not kept in touch as much as we should have and for that, I apologise.

4. VC. You were the biggest mistake of my life. Mostly my fault, not a lot to do with you.

5. CC. Timing is everything, I guess. It was never meant to be and I wish that I had told you that.

6. EW. I miss you more than anyone in the world.

7. AK. Despite me denying it at the time, your Mum did hit on me. In the words of Brandon Flowers, “It was only a kiss”.

8. JT. I should have asked you out for drinks at the very least.

9. CM. I’m smiling wryly at an opportunity missed.

10. LS. Will I ever get over you?

Secrets no longer, 44 down.

I search for the resolution.

Frank Ra, author of the new year’s resolution book “A course in happiness” says that “Resolutions are more sustainable when shared, both in terms of with whom you share the benefits of your resolution, and with whom you share the path of maintaining your resolution. Peer support makes a difference in success rate with new year’s resolutions”.

News to me, I’ve never made resolutions in my life at this time of year. Until today. This year, I’ve made two resolutions that I’ll make sure that I keep. I want to be one of those 8% of people who achieve their new year goals.

Today, I placed £10 into an online betting account and made 10 £1 bets. My aim is to take the winnings from today, large or small and to make another bet or bets tomorrow with whatever winnings are in the account. I’ll then look to make a bet or bets during every day of 2014 so that on December 31st, I’ll then be able to donate what I hope is a sizeable amount to charity.

The other resolution I’ve made is a far more personal one. A friend recently introduced me to the website, 1secondeveryday.com. The basic premise of the project is, “What if you could remember something from every day of your life?”.  It doesn’t seem like one second is enough to remember much, but you’d be surprised what one second of visual and audio information can bring back to your memory. You record something in your life every day and then the app lets you stitch these together to make a video of your week, your month, your year or your life.

I’d do well to be able to remember to do this every day for the rest of my life but I really want to make this happen in 2014. Personally, it’ll be one of the biggest years of my life so I’d like to sit back at the end of the year and look back on the highlights.

Hopefully it’ll be six minutes and five seconds of highlights, fingers crossed.

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 Ùr.