Inspired by the many uplifting and moving words of others, my small contribution to Nurture 1415. I awoke this morning and had to ask myself that wonderful question- “What day is it today?” I like that. Time no longer sets the agenda, the mechanical contrivance of two rotating hands can, at least for a short time, be largely ignored. Then. We don’t need to measure or define how much time we get to spend with our family, time becomes the family again. I love that.


1. It’s been our first full year since we returned from Hong Kong and by far the most pleasing aspect of that has been how my children have become happier ‘little people’ again. They weren’t unhappy in Hong Kong yet the smiles and carefree laughter means only one thing; they are home. They have a glow of warmth that comes from being surrounded by their family- aunts, uncles, grannies, grandas and of course- ‘The Cousins”- all 24 of them. I love that.

2. This next part of their lives, I love, but with mixed and most probably selfish feelings- the teenagers grow less and less ‘needy’ of mum and dad and the umbilical cord though never broken, seems to stretch and stretch and stretch…Family DVD nights (Family Apple TV night doesn’t have the same ring even though more accurate) grow ever more special to me. I love that.

3. Our first full year of having my Princess live with Type 1 Diabetes …grit, resilience, perseverance et al? Was going to use them to describe how well my youngest daughter has coped with her new routines. But, they are now such a part of our daily life that they have almost become the wallpaper we don’t notice; she’s Ava not Ava who has Diabetes. I love that.

4. A very tough year for my wife…she has gone through so much this year and yet, she never complains. Many dark moments that all conspire to define her as a person, but she never lets that happen. Her family, her children, her matriarchal intuitions always manage to put life’s events into perspective and indeed, reinforces that family both defines her and she helps define it. I love that.

5. They started as 34 pupils who as one asked the same question; ‘What is Psychology?” When the envelopes were furiously ripped open almost a year to the day later, they must have known a little of the answers to that question- they did so well, and I was a very proud teacher. They were of course my pupils in our Psychology class, but I was the Deputy Head who had overall responsibility for the Year Group, and they grew so much in that year beyond a measure of grades. I love that.

Reflecting Forward

1. Spending time together as a family is so important to me. We always eat together around the dinner table and I tend not to say so much at those times (if you know me, you’ll understand the miracle nature of that comment)- instead, I like to just sit back and quietly appreciate every glance, every word, every smile, every frown…five becoming one is getting a rarer event and I want to slow that time down and stretch out every moment together. I’ll like that.

2. Saturday and Sunday becomes our time. Like all teachers, planning and marking consumes so much, way beyond a measure of time. For all the right reasons, it wrongly preoccupies. What can be done, will be done, but family and switch off must take priority on the two days when the automatons of our wrist cannot dictate the emotions of our heart. I’ll like that.

3. This may appear now at dissonance, but. I love Psychology and I love learning. It never has felt like a chore, in fact the opposite. It was moments of freedom and enjoyment. It felt liberating and empowering, a wonderful world of escapism- My Narnia in a world of growing up in times of chaos. The escapism part no longer rings true, but the rest still does. So, genetics and intelligence beware- I’m coming to find out more than I currently know about you. I’ll like that.

4. Speaking, Writing and presenting…I was very fortunate to be invited to present at a few high profile events this year. Unfortunately, circumstances meant that many I had to decline. My hope for the next year is that changes. It means I get to see more Twitterati in 3D and It also means that some of those high profile events may roll into my own city- watch this space, but many excitings in the pipeline that are very close to peeking through into reality. I’ll like that.

5. To appreciate the yesterdays as the future is merely an illusion we make in the now…not really an ontological perspective, more a reminder to me to appreciate what I have. Was once told that the world is not enough for Mark Healy, and maybe there in lies a degree of truth. However, the many smalls contribute to a pretty rich picture for me, and I want to appreciate and remind myself of that more. After my first full year back in the UK, I am so happy that my family are home- for me though, it has never really felt like home, and still doesn’t…so who knows where the tomorrows will take us.

Thank you for reading if you have managed to last this long. I wish everyone a wonderful 2015 and I hope that the many ‘tread softly on your dreams.’

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