In this issue:Moments of reflection – Alive with activity – Uncertain emotion – Senses working overtime – Keys to love – Sensitive skills – Gratitude is a feeling – Glimmers of hope – Let the light in – Travels without my smartphone

Uh-oh. One of those milestone moments has arrived. Regular readers might have spied this after a glance at the magazine’s spine (no one wants to pick up the last issue, after all) and collectors might even have been anticipating the event, pondering whether there would be anything to mark the occasion and what the cover illustration might be (nope, no candles). In the event, there’s no big splash, but there’s much gratitude and pleasure that Breathe has reached the big 5-0.

How did that happen? Where have the years gone? Has the title reached its goals? Is it still the best it can be? Where is it going? The questions, hopes and doubts are not so different from those explored by anyone who’s reached a landmark birthday or anniversary. But everyone’s different (a refrain with which regular Breathe readers will be familiar) and how someone chooses to celebrate milestones – if, indeed, they decide to do so at all – is personal.

For some, it’s a quiet thing (a few paras in an opening comment and a couple of anniversary-related features). For others, it’ll be that big splash. Cake, candles, party tunes and fizz – all shared with family and friends. Then there’s everyone and everything in-between.

Marked or not, big birthdays are often a time of reflection. Ambitions achieved, opportunities missed and taken, friends made and lost, lessons learned, mistakes put into context. As the years mount, whole decades are reassessed, sometimes with unexpected conclusions. The late British rabbi and broadcaster Lionel Blue, for example, once said: ‘To my surprise, my 70s are nicer than my 60s and my 60s than my 50s, and I wouldn’t wish my teens and 20s on my enemies.’

Hopefully, Breathe’s early issues wouldn’t be judged quite so harshly! But with the big 5-0 here, what’s certain is that its message – to ‘make time for yourself’ – is as important now as it ever was, regardless of whether it’s your birthday.

Cover Illustration: SpaceFrog Designs