I tend to ruminate (it’s legal in Ireland) during this last week in December.
Ruminate on … the year just gone … how I feel … what’s happened.
And one thing struck me.
I realized that I was deciding whether I had a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ year by the way I was feeling right now.
So … the last few months have had there own challenges and I wasn’t feeling tickety boo (always wanted to write that) … therefore … I was filtering memories to ‘prove’ that the year had been kind of blah and mediocre.
If I wasn’t careful … that could become my ‘reality’ memory of 2008.
On deeper reflection (which is useful in so many ways) I realized that 2008 had been just as I had ‘wished’.
In January of each year I wait for a word to wander into my brain (yeh, thanks … I can deal with more than one word … be patient and follow my story).
That word becomes a kind of theme or mantra or learning (whatever) for that year.
The word that rose from the quaqmire of my unconscious for 2008 was …
Thanks a lot.
Now life is a challenge just by being what it is.
I’m obviously a closet masochist to have made that word my mantra for 2008 … and in a really not funny way it has become the worlds mantra.
Did I receive … develop … run head on into … challenges?
On soooooo many levels.
And I say that with a smile on my face.
Some of the challenges arose from the external world and others I consciously generated for myself.
I decided to develop a social enterprise that I called SKIL2.
When it’s built it will provide online learning and exchange places for small to medium profits and non profits who can’t afford big fees to custom develop Learning Management Spaces.
Am I a wizard code developer? Do I have thousands of dollars to invest?
No way … where’s the challenge in that?
It’s a huge idea and I’m still in the process of developing it … and … I’m a long way forward from my initial idea in March.
And within that challenge I have invited and attracted a lot of people to support me … and they all said yes!
Special thanks as always to my brother Marc who worked with me to design the visual branding for SKIL2 … and in the process of questioning me … he helped me refine my ideas.
The recession (or something) gave me a lovely challenge … very few contracts since June.
That means much less money … and still the same bills and living expenses.
I’ve had a good time working on that one … many thanks to the Credit Union for a start.
Having less money makes some decisions really easy … there’s no real room for frills so I don’t want them (for now anyway).
A bit like a Giacometi sculpture … I have pared my needs to their essence.
I also ask for help and support (and in this town it’s more likely to be offered before you ask) … that’s how I got coal for Xmas.
I can also exchange my skills for products through barter.
The upside is that I’ve had time to do a lot of unpaid work in town with people I enjoy … big hellos to all the people that came into Dee’s when I was working there.
I get to sleep in and read and do this blog and just relax.
I also have developed some other money making ideas that use my skills … and I’ll be putting them in place during January.
Apart from SKIL2 and very little money … what were the high and lows of 2008 for moi?
- Coco – both a high and low – love that puppy to bits and she shows me on a daily basis how to be joyful and enthusiastic. She also drives me crazy as she constantly follows me everywhere and demands attention … that’s her job. She literally and figuratively gets me out of bed in the morning.
- Paris – I got to go there for a week in July for a conference that was related to SKIL2 development. I adore Paris and got a whole week of sunshine and made some new friends. And it’s tax deductible!
This photo was shortlisted and won a place in an online guide to Paris … tres cool.
- Friends – I got to know people here in Ballinamore better and am constantly delighted at their friendliness. Mags is a very special neighbour and friend and makes me laugh whenever I’m with her … love her Ma as well. Derek & Lynda (my American writer friends) have become dear friends during their stay here in Ballinamore. They are returning to America at the end of January but will be back to Ballinamore as they love it so much. Dee and Gabriel are great friends and the D’Arcy’s and Hamills have a very special place in my heart. And then there’s all the other great people including the Smyth men and Rosie and Ann and Brent and Mary and Orla and Kevin and Eamon and Noeleen …. and heaps more … and always … my very good neighbour and friend … Therese Hamill.
- Australia – I was in Oz from November 2007 to mid Feb 2008. I only get home every 3 years or so and I spend time with all my family and a couple of very close friends. I love seeing everyone and just enjoying their company. I also got lots of sunshine. My brother Marc lives in Singapore so I spent time there with him and Yang on both ends of the journey. Always a joy to see him … and drink cocktails and champagne in cool bars.
- Ballinamore – I’ve been here 2 years now and love love love the place … as you can tell from the blog. I have found a place and community that I want to live in for the rest of my life (with the odd adventure to sunny climes).
- Lizbiz blog – I love writing and would write this blog even if I had zero readers. Having you as a reader though is a delight. I thank all those readers who leave comments. I really enjoy people stopping me in the street or pub and telling me they enjoy the blog and have sent it to friend and family … many thanks.
- Sunny Funny Garden – what fun I had with the D’Arcy and Hamill children as we planted the garden and played. Every Friday at 3pm we gathered and chatted and pottered in the garden. Many thanks to the children and also to Eamonn & Noeleen (gave us free and reduced price plants and garden tools) and Dee (cardboard boxes and doo daas from the shop) and Caroline and Lindy (2 wonderful readers who sent us seeds from America).
- Moo Bar – I had some fantastic times in the Moo Bar … behind the bar and in front of it. Brent and Mary were the fine hosts and became good friends. Alas … it closed in October. My liver may be grateful but the rest of me still mourns.
- Children – I never had kids myself (no regrets at all … jeez … I can barely raise the Coco pup) and I don’t pretend to like every one I meet (same with grown ups). There are 6 children that bring me very special joy and I count it a privilege to have them in my life:
- Eoin Hamill – my prince
- Maeve Hamill – a delight and spookily reminds me of me when I was a child
- Thomas D’Arcy – a delightful thinker
- James Hamill – he is a doer and I would ask him for help on many things before I’d ask an adult
- Aoife D’Arcy – a strong character with a great photographic eye (she took the photo of me that is the banner for this blog)
- Gavin D’Arcy – the youngest of the clan (3) who has a wonderful imagination
SO …after further reflection … not a bad year at all … and full of interesting challenges.
I just hope that the word I receive in January opens different vistas … what about these words … champagne … sleep … loll …
To you wonderful reader … I send you wishes for health, prosperity and much frivolity.