This day begins the fortieth year of Chris.
I’m thirty-nine. I know that’s not, in the scheme of things, a very large number. I’m younger now than my father was when I was born. I can have reasonable hope that this is less than half my life. But wow, thirty-nine. From where I’m standing, that’s a very complicated integer. It contains a whole lot more smaller numbers than you’d think.
Thirty-one years living with PTSD. Twelve years in recovery.
Twenty-six years living with sporadic traumatic psychosis.
Twenty-two years living with suicidal depression.
Sixteen years living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Ten years living with severe anxiety.
Three years since recovery started to take.
Dreams on the dancefloors. Cuddles at afterparties. All the glitter.
Several thousand ales. Four mountains.
Many Angels. Three Chills. One Imaginarium.
Stargazing in the bush, campfires in the forest.
Twenty-three years since I came back to live in England.
Three continents, thirty-three addresses, five cities.
Seven proper jobs. Three careers. Three years unemployed.
Eleven weddings. Seven funerals.
Three years with the band.
Ten years learning to fall in love. Ten years living in love.
Two years ago.
So many things to learn:
Personal isn’t the same as important.
Listening matters. Compassion is key.
Be here, now.
Never treat people like things.
Eat better. Remember to breathe.
Sleep brings good luck.
The cake is not a lie.
Twelve years a bard. Ten years a Druid. Three years in the British Druid Order.
Two years a guitarist, after twenty-two as a hobbyist. Four years of song-writing.
Three years in harmony (well, mostly counterpoint).
One novel. One good start. More short stories than I care to remember.
Ten songs. Fourteen ladies. One squirrel. 
More friendship than I have words for, with better friends than I deserve.
More love than I can measure.
Thirty-nine years. It’s a start.
 May not contain actual squirrels. You know who you are.