Somewhere along the line (forgive the pun!), I have worked on the idea of my life, and in particular my career, as a "network", thus giving a sense of purpose and coherence to my many professional roles that had previously seemed a bit scattered and lacking in coherent purpose.
In my current job, I am required to network across seven counties of Mid and West Wales. Me being me, I have purchased a large map of Wales to go on the wall behind my desk. Each new meeting or contact gained is assigned a sticky post-it note in one of four bright colours, and stuck on the appropriate part of Wales. It's a bit geeky, but it looks very pretty! More importantly, it represents a map of personal and professional progress, and a new network that ultimately will help people with learning disabilities across the region of Wales for which I am responsible.
Every time I look at this increasingly colourful map, I think back to two years ago, and whisper a little prayer of thanks.One really exciting part of my new life is not knowing what networks await to be discovered over the next 30 years of my working life and hopefully beyond.
And - remarkably - the knowledge that I will stay sober in ALL of those new future situations, due to a sudden yet deep-rooted decision that was taken in a single moment back in 2015.