Sunday, January 1, 2012

My review of 2011

For me, dear reader, 2011 has been a year of change – or at least anticipation of change (isn't every year, though?).

The big change for us is the fact that wifey is pregnant with JC no. 2. After several failed attempts at fertility treatment, we were surprised to learn that it had worked after the third and final go. Of course, the main change will come in March when the little one is born, but it has given us the impetus to get on and do things (such as clear out a big pile of junk from the soon-to-be babyroom!). Second time round doesn't feel as emotional as before. I guess having done the pregnancy thing before makes it seem less of a big deal. Even so, I'm looking forward to the challenge of another addition to the family (in a weird, masochistic kind of way!).

In terms of work, I have witnessed the business swing from barely existing to making a profit (and sustaining both me and my business partner). This can be largely attributed to the good fortune of meeting Eileen Younghusband and publishing her book. Without her, I'm not sure if I'd be doing the same thing right now and I'd probably be working in McDonald's. We are by no means out of the woods, but I have a positive feeling about things to come in 2012, in spite of the doom and gloom of the current economic woes.

I have been pondering about long-term things and can't stop thinking about the big 40 looming ever closer. While I am happily married with a terrific son, living in a nice house with supportive friends and family, I still feel the itch of not feeling totally fulfilled. I'm pleased about the business, and I'd like it to grow in order to be sustainable, but whatever happens I'm probably best off staying put – keeping my head down and trying to earn a living while the world sorts it self out (if it ever does). Time and time again I have come across the big question that has plagued my life – what do I want to do? My fear is that, by the time I've figured it out, I'll be ready for retirement!

Wifey bought The West Wing boxed set before last Christmas and we have been slowly working our way through, making 2011 our year of West Wing. There was one point when we were watching four episodes a weekend (that's 3 hours worth). It has to be one of the best TV shows for a long time, with witty dialogue, interesting characters and engaging storylines. Everyone says that after Aaron Sorkin left the show it went downhill, but I disagree. I think the stories have been pretty strong all the way through. The question is – what TV show do we watch next?

Back in the summer, we took in a lodger. He was the son of a friend who was homeless – out of work and sleeping on friend's sofas. As Christians, we felt it was the right thing to do, offering someone a chance to get their life back on track by providing accommodation free of charge. It has meant a big change for us as a family, and we're not naturally hospitable people but we feel it was a sacrifice worth making. In anticipation of a new sprog arriving on the scene, however, we simply can't support another grown up in the house so he won't be staying with us for much longer. Our hope and prayer is that he can find somewhere stable to move onto without too much difficulty.

I wasn't surprised to hear in October that Steve Jobs had died. Ever since he'd had his transplant he never looked particularly healthy and when he stepped down as Apple's CEO in August I knew he didn't have long. As an Apple fan, I did find his death something of a shock, but it was curious to see the public's display of grief and also how people clamoured to revere him as a god-like businessman. I don't doubt his intellect and applaud his success as an entrepreneur, but the truth is he was a tyrannical boss who didn't believe in giving to charity (two big negatives in my book). I love Apple products, but I am not one of those weirdos that believe Apple is perfect. Apple has made mistakes and will continue to do so, and now Steve is no more there's a very good chance that they will make even more. I look forward to Apple's next move with interest.

Faithwise, it has been great to continue to worship at Woody's ( I really believe that, as a fellowship, we are maturing year on year and I hope I don't come across as smug or proud about it, it's just the way I see it. After all, a spiritually mature church is a good thing. Yes, we still have our faults and a long way to go but at least we're not going backwards or stagnating. There is a lot of growth from within, which is interesting. A lot of couples have settled at church after university and are now starting to breed(!), which means our children's work is going to get busier over the next few years (again, a good thing). Personally, I've been challenged on a number of issues – most notably social justice – and desire to do more for God on a day-to-day level. I still regard my ministry to be work and family. Both have proven a struggle for me in different ways, but then a calling is never meant to be easy. Also, I have taken more of an interest in theological matters (especially concerning the prophetic) and hope to go deeper in this area in 2012 (if the imminent family changes make it possible).

So that's the year just gone.

2012 will no doubt be dominated by work and the birth of our second son. The rest of the 12 months is up for grabs.

Whether I will have any energy or sanity to maintain this blog after that remains to be seen...

Happy New Year!

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