Well, I added it up and it turns out that 2014 was a bit tricky, with rather more grief than expected. Some years are like that.
On balance though (a balance of love and compassion), I have to say, that it really wasn’t all bad.

Alongside my cancer recurrence and my father-in-law’s excruciating death and the deaths and illnesses of other much-beloved ones (and obviously, they do skew the year) … a whole lot of things also went really well in 2014.
Even where things didn’t go well, there was such love and support and help, that I end 2014 feeling very hopeful for 2015. A bit tired, but definitely hopeful.
(And yes, I do admit to some trepidation about 2015. After all, 2014 brought some brutal surprises – but it brought some astonishingly brilliant things too. So I know we can do this one. We have to – we have no choice.)

This time last year I didn’t know I had cancer again, I got the phone call from the hospital on January 3rd.
I have no idea what 2015 will bring. I doubt it will all be sunshine and flowers, but I do trust that I have my Buddhist practice and that my determination – my choice (and constant re-choosing) – to find the gifts in the rough will help.
I wish you a peaceful new year and all the hope that 2015 can bring.
We can make things better, together. Let’s keep trying.

2014, from this :
1012662_10152305082863969_724358557_n to this : IMG_2660

– cancer #2
– not healing from surgery #1 for ten weeks
– my father-in-law’s painful death
– my wife’s losses
– my brother-in-law’s death
– all those things above happening at the same time
– other dear family and friends with illness and loss
– younger doctors not being very good at bedside manner
– getting married to my wife and Paris honeymoon weekend
Fun Palaces
– brilliant buddhas supporting me through cancer #2 with their chanting
– brilliant family & mates supporting me (& Shelley) through cancer #2 and grief with love and food and spare rooms and Fairy Godmother gifts
– an amazing hospital bed view
– great nurses, excellent and kind cancer and plastic surgery consultants
– incredible recovery nurse who kept me going (& out of a return to surgery) for 7 hours post-op, after 8 hours of surgery, when wound wouldn’t stop bleeding
– yoga, with special thanks to Marianne Elliott for her gift of 30 Days of Yoga to get me started (again again!)
– healing well from surgery #2
– holding my mother-in-law’s hand as we sat beside her just-died husband
– working all hours, all days, on Fun Palaces, because I can, because it matters
– small skin cancer was benign
– chez Tony et Martin
– camping!
– getting strong enough (in 3 weeks) to stand up and make vital Fun Palaces speeches
– Fun Palaces giving me something mega to aim for & meeting amazing people through it
– Lucy Pitman-Wallace & her company Three Legged Theatre commissioning a play that is a load of great new learning
– working on Fun Palaces with a glorious team (& learning how to be a ‘leader’ on the job)
– HBO re-optioning the Theodora books
– WYP with Lisa & Rachael
Murder, Margaret and Me off-Broadway
– Nigeria & the Ake Festival
State of Happiness film rising from the dead (hopefully, maybe)
– Salt publishing my short stories
– writing a Doctor Who novella!!
– starting a new book two days before the end of the year
– remembering that gratitude really does help