It's kind of hard to believe that this video was shot two years ago. I look at the person in it and smile. I can honestly say that it is such an accurate time capsule for where I was at. Two years from now, I will have moved on even further, constantly growing in the direction I want my life to go. I believe that in a world that has gone completely mad and consumerist, the greatest gift this time of year and every single day is the ability to reach out to others. When I was drinking myself to death and doing all manner of drugs, it was pretty easy to be selfish. I turned my back on the world with ease. Deep down it hurt me, but that's what the booze was for, to take away the pain. Facing up to sobriety is more than just stopping drinking. Every relationship in my life had to be looked at in a new light. I had to rebuild old bridges that I had incinerated along the way, others I had to evaluate if they really were in my best interest. I also had to reach out and make new ones and see if the sober me was as fun as the drunk me. Relationships have been one of the key factors in my recovery. I have an obligation as a good friend to be there for people when they need me instead of bailing out of something if it isn't going to benefit me. I remember earlier this year when I was really pumped about meeting the singer of Incubus, Brandon Boyd, at a book signing in Paris. On the same day, a friend happened to be closing up his apartment with his family before moving back to the States. He asked for help and I went. Man, I was bummed, but reflecting on it, I am so glad I put him before some rockstar. Five years ago I would have not even given the guy the time of day. The way my friends love me is a spectacular thing, really. I have had some brutally frank conversations with them and been told truths about myself that made me cringe, all done, though, in my absolute best interest. I cannot believe the sheer love I have been shown by those closest to me. I don't do yearly reflections or make great predictions/declarations about the plans I have for the future. The present moment is the most important. Right now. No resolutions to to do anything because the 1st of January is around the corner. The time is always now! Quitting smoking or drinking, pledging to lose weight and get fitter, breathing life in to relationships..... that stuff is all 'now' stuff. By forgiving myself and letting people get closer to me, I have been blessed in many ways. My kids are growing in a way that makes me proud and this year I married my wonderful Val. I was not ready to be a husband when the above video was shot, but time, patience, and faith have brought me great rewards that continue to give and give. Thanks to my loyal readers and supporters for putting wind in my sails each day. Wishing you a sincerely wonderful Christmas.