x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

The Air Bag: in 2012, appreciate what you have and vow to do better

I've spent my time alone on the couch, thinking about my life in 2011. And though there may have been a few bumps, it's generally brought a smile to my face.

It's already December 31; my, where does the year go? It seemed like only yesterday that we were ringing in a new year, then complaining about the dripping heat. As a conscientious and responsible editor, I have already scheduled tomorrow off; you'll thank me when you read cohesive, sensible stories in next weekend's Motoring.

Traditionally and sentimentally, it's the time of year for two things: a look back and a look ahead. And the two are tied together more than you might think, because what happened in the past year will affect your outlook of 2012.

And I'm no different; I've spent my time alone on the couch, thinking about my life in 2011. And though there may have been a few bumps, it's generally brought a smile to my face. There was the off-road motorcycle course in Hatta that really opened up the UAE and Oman for me, allowing me to experience much more of the beauty here than I normally would and many people would never see. There was the Paul Pietsch classic car rally, and driving a wonderful old 1952 Mercedes-Benz 170 DS around the German countryside; what a thrill. There was seeing the Geneva Motor Show for the first time; cruising around in a Maserati with the affable Italian ambassador to the UAE, Giorgio Starace; driving the outrageous Bugatti Veyron Super Sport in Liwa; as well as the rest of the cars I've been fortunate enough to test. And let's not forget the highlight for me of 2011, my Himalayan motorcycle tour, one of the most incredible adventures of my entire life. In fact, I'll always have a reminder of that trip, in the form of a metal plate and six screws that are holding my broken collarbone together. Ah, memories.

The more I think about it, the more I realise that many of the good times I've had in 2011 - and indeed, in the last few years - have revolved around cars and my job here in Motoring. And that's a good feeling, when you realise how much happiness you get from something that takes up so much of your life.

It also reminds me how important it is at this time not to beat yourself up over what you perceive to be your failings; life isn't easy, and some years can be harder than others, but look around at the blessings and bounty that you actually have, and think about nurturing those as the years progress.

And so, looking forward to the new year, I can't help but vow to go to the gym more often, put away more in savings and be nicer to my fellow man. Those will be the difficult bits. But, along with celebrating good friends, I'm vowing to keep on keepin' on when it comes to these pages and my motoring life. And that will be easy.

From all of us here at Motoring, have a safe and happy new year.