Professionally, I've been going from strength to strength. I started teaching my new business course for mobile developers at Full Sail. I wasn't sure how well it was going to work out, whether I was asking too much of my students, whether I'd pitched it totally wrong for students who were essentially programmers or whether I was actually doing a good job of teaching. In the event, it worked better than I was expecting. They loved it, and told me how much they appreciated what I'd taught them. I've now been asked to teach a Master's course as well, starting in May, so obviously I'm doing something right.
I also landed a new writing job as a regular contributor to Engineer Jobs, also providing advice on business and career topics. It's odd to think that this is what I've ended up doing, but so it goes. It feels good to be appreciated for what I've learned in 25+ years of business.
March was also the month I took care of a lot of the boring paperwork that's been hanging over my head. Preparing the last set of accounts so we can finally get Draco Felis closed down was a major headache, but at least it's done. And at the end of March I qualified for Full Sail's health insurance, so we've now got the whole family signed up. That's a huge relief, after five years of being here uninsured and nearly dying of pneumonia a year ago because I couldn't afford to see a doctor and get a prescription for free antibiotics. Plus we finally paid off the debts to the accountant and the psychologist, which is another big weight off my mind.
My main project this month was to redecorate our bedroom. I've wanted to do this for about two years, but finally I had the time, the energy and the money to do it properly. Anna went away to MegaCon for the weekend, and when she came back, I'd changed things just a little.
It's also nice to be able to afford to go out. Okay, I overspent slightly, but I think I did more in March than in the whole of 2013. I went to the movies and saw 300 (which I enjoyed and am not ashamed of). I saw two live bands, Orlando legends the Genitorturers, and Led Zep tribute band Get The Led Out.
We discovered a new Turkish restaurant near work which does superb baklava and kedeyfi, finally made it to the Smiling Bison and had the best bison burgers I've ever tasted, went to the mariachi night at Senor Tequila where they played a Mexican version of Santana's Oye Como Va for me while I drank an absurdly large margarita, and revisited my favorite local dive bar, Odin's Den.
I also went to the Orlando Turkish Festival, went to see my friend Janae at an art show, went to Fantasy of Flight and the Tico Warbird show and clambered all over various planes, and took my stepkids shooting for the first time.
That lot would make for a pretty damn good month, but wait - that's not all!
Last week, I finally made a dream come true. I flew a biplane. That's me in the pilot's seat, just getting ready to taxi off down the runway.
I can't think of anything else I have ever done in my life that has made me so happy. Being at the controls of a vintage aircraft, with Richard Bach's Illusions constantly in the back of my mind, feeling so totally free and relaxed - it was just incredible. It was like the first time I rode a motorcycle, but better. I could have stayed up there for ever. Even if I never do it again, that's a memory that will live with me for ever.
Oh, and I stopped smoking.