Thursday, December 31, 2009

Time for reflection

It's true - the older you get, the faster time flies. Somewhere I read, "don't forget that you are your own pilot on the flight of time"! So I guess I'm fastening my seat belt as I head into 2010 but not before looking back on 2009.

Tough year on many fronts. I've watched two of my children struggle with the realities of the economic downturn. My plan was to sell this house I bought two years ago and into which I have poured love and money, to go in search of my dream house. Market realities cut that move off. I'll hang on here - maybe even make peace with a house that I've never felt totally at home in and let it grow on me - much like the way the garden I put in has grown.

Wonderful year on another level in that I got to live a dream and cross Africa off my wish list. Time spent there was both amazing and disturbing. I learned I'm not indifferent to poverty and human suffering, that I can't shut it out, that being an observer in the midst of appalling conditions made me uncomfortable in a way I had not previously experienced. Re-connected with an old flame too, and despite the best of intentions learned the hard way that those differences that forced us apart first time around still worked their negative magic. It just wasn't going to work.

Read some terrific books this year and not all escape literature. Ended the year with Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese - one of the best fiction books I've read in years. I know my interest was heightened by the book being set in Ethiopia - a country in which I spent the most time on my odyssey earlier in the year. It was not an escape book. Like, Half the Sky (Kristoff and WuDunn) which is not fiction, both books made me acutely conscious of just how good is my life and how determined I am to give more back in the future.

I suppose that time is all about lessons waiting to be learned. How we learn depends on just how wide we open our eyes to the world around. Whether the world of nature; happenings on street corners in our own immediate world; or a wider world view - everything we choose to see can make a difference in how we act within the world. "You are never too old to learn," is my mantra as I struggle to absorb new things, keep up with grandkids interest in technology, find out that my Mac can do far more than I realise.

Connections for Women reached a major milestone this year too - and how close Genny and I have come to giving up on occasion is an open secret. I'm energised by her commitment, she's the one who keeps me going - reminding me of all the first-rate readers we have come to regard as friends. So to you Genny, good friend, amazing woman, to Jeffrey and Heidi Peltier of Peltier effects who keep Connections moving forward, and to everyone of you who take the time to read, comment, send little e mails of encouragement - a huge hug! and of course endless thanks along with my very best wishes for a Happy New Year.

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