In 1986, I was devastated when my A level results were not enough to get me into university. I had to go back to school and take my A levels again, and I thought my world was going to end.
Only a year later, I knew that this failure was the best thing that had ever happened to me. It was while I was retaking my exams that I rediscovered a love of learning that I had somehow lost on moving from primary to secondary school but that has shaped my career since then.
In 1991, I had a couple of crushing disappointments. I applied for a scholarship, and everyone was stunned when I didn't get it. I applied for a job, and wept buckets when I didn't get that either.
Six months later, what I got instead was way better than anything I had imagined the previous year, and set me off on a path which led to spiritual and intellectual fulfilment, a stimulating career and some wonderful life-long friendships.
In 2005, I had the worst three months of my life so far. My unhappiness led indirectly to a new career, a new home and ultimately to my meeting my now husband. Although there are day-to-day frustrations in any job, this is my dream job. My house is a real home, and I've made more wonderful new friends in my new neighbours.
Over the last few days, I've been thinking about 2008. The end of the year didn't bring me what I wanted, and I've been quite sad about that.
But my life changed for ever in the middle of the year. I loved the first five months - planning my wedding, looking forward to the day when all the people I loved would be gathered together and I would stand in front of them to profess my love for the kindest, most caring and patient man you could imagine.
And I loved the next seven months, as New Man and I got used to living together, lived through countless new experiences together and looked forward again to many more.
I would have been delighted with a honeymoon baby, but I see now that it wouldn't have been right for us. We're both getting on a bit, and had lived alone for long enough to get set in our ways. We've learnt more about each other and about ourselves in the last seven months than we could ever have done if we'd been preparing for the imminent arrival of a baby.
I often tell people that everything that's happened in my life makes perfect sense - but only in retrospect. And yet here I've been, desperate to move on to the next stage before I was ready. I was bursting with impatience, but God knew the time wasn't right.
I hope and pray that it will happen for us in 2009. I know that each month it doesn't happen, I'll still be disappointed. But I know if it happens, it'll be in God's time, not mine. And at last I think I'm OK with that.