That’s that then.

2013 is done and dusted.

I am pleased to see the back of what was, for me, a particularly challenging year. (I also note that it has been a particularly challenging year for many people. The Year of the Snake, perhaps?).

It’s time to reflect. To remove the old stuff of the year from my life to make room for the new stuff that will come my way in 2014.

The absolute highlight (and the thing I’m most grateful for) is that I spend time with my kids often and I am loving seeing them continue to grow into very cool, very promising people. They’ve both had a great year at school and I’m really looking forward to spending time camping with them in January. Their presence in my life is grounding when all else is swirling about uncontrollably.

I didn’t achieve a great percentage of the Resolutions I made this time last year. This was primarily because the majority of them required finance which wasn’t readily available.

That being said, I did establish a gym routine (which suffered in the last third of the year due to routine changes and business distractions). I did tone up and strengthen, and I anticipate re-establishing that routine in 2014. I did learn that I don’t find going to the gym a solace or ‘me’ time. I don’t actually find it relaxing. I’m not sure how to go about changing that. It would be helpful if I could.

I did go on more walks (making good use of the boots I bought for this purpose). I did explore more of Auckland and its surrounds. I had a very enjoyable long-weekend in which I explored Northland (as far as Cape Reinga) with the girl. Amazing scenery and lots of wine.

I still loathe running (or more accurately, walk-jog-walking) so I tend to avoid the opportunity to do this.

I did get to read and relax. I am very happy in my own company and do need this type of time to recharge. I have learned that if I don’t get to hermit, I start to hate people. This, of course, isn’t entirely helpful.

I totally failed in my grand plan to learn to speak Japanese. There is a significant time factor involved. Perhaps I need to calendar it, and set up conversational Japanese classes regularly. That one goes in my 2014 list of to-do’s.

I’ve not traveled overseas since late 2011, my expectation is that I will make up for this absence in 2014. I didn’t get to Malaysia for a friends wedding (regret). I didn’t get to the UK to see my mother and family (regret). Even my kids got to California this year. I love to travel and discover new cultures and people, and I feel bereft if I don’t do it.  It doesn’t help that I do some work for a travel agent so I get to see email after email of travel bargains and exciting destinations. I’m extremely twitchy and the idea of hopping onto a Boeing or Airbus right now is appealing.

Business has been interesting this year.  I’ve been focused on getting my business stable and cutting unnecessary expense across the board (achieved). There has been a lot activity missed out on, but I’ve had my eyes firmly fixed on the end result. January sees a new beginning and the efforts of 2013 will have paid off. I’ve had some great clients that I’ve been working with, as well as some that turned out to be less than ideal. I’ve learned some tough lessons with respect to separating business from personal. In learning how to detach emotion. I’ve come out of 2013 a little harder and a little wiser than when I went in. I am grateful to those that supported me through these trying times.

Emotionally, I think I’m in a better place than I was a year ago. I do hope I’m more open and vulnerable. The guards still go up pretty quickly if certain buttons are pushed, but I think I’m getting better at verbalising what I’m feeling and reacting to. I do feel I did not spend enough time with people this year. I certainly didn’t spend enough time with those closest to me. I’m hoping to be more visible, available, and out-and-about in 2014.

2014 is the Chinese Year of the Horse (Jan 31-Feb 18, 2015). I like this overview for us Roosters: “Those born in Ox, Snake, and Rooster years will use patience and determination to support a foundation for success. What you sense about people and environments will be quite accurate. People are drawn to you. It’s an ideal year for research and developing your skills in any area of interest.”

Bring it on.

2014

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Pre-Christmas Musings

Whilst I enjoy the Festive Season and all the trimmings and trappings, there are definitely two sides to Christmas for me.

I do experience a strong sense of loss as a result of choices made and I miss some things I used to do and enjoy.

I miss out on seeing my kids getting involved in fun, highly creative ventures.

In previous years I have felt a bit lost at this time of year. Once work is completed and we all go our separate ways, I have felt a vacuum.

This year is different. I’m calmer. More relaxed. Less stressed. Gifts have been purchased and wrapped. Plans have been made. On balance, I’m actually looking forward to Christmas Day.

Interesting.

I do wish for all who read my blog the very best of the Season and I hope that your 2014 is full of joy and prosperity.

Len Brown

It’s time.

I’ve largely bitten my tongue in an online forum, but I have realised I do have an opinion on this.

1) I don’t care who LB bangs. To me it’s irrelevant.

2) I do care that he plays fast and loose with undeclared perks and gratuities – especially those where a perceived conflict of interest may lie (eg. SkyCity).

3) The Terms of Reference of the initial enquiry were tight. The EY report was sanitised. I believe the A-G needs to do a more thorough investigation as there was enough evidence in the EY report to suggest that this is required.

Len has a history of playing with ratepayer funds inappropriately (Manukau). I don’t believe people change patterns of behaviour all that much.

I think his position as Mayor is now untenable as he’s brought the Auckland Council into disrepute. He can’t lead because those he’d lead are currently mocking, protesting or simply turning their back on him. The office of Mayor is utterly compromised.