2010… The year that was ; 2011… The year that will be

Home, UK     Friday 31 December, 2010     11.15pm GMT

“And everything we’re going through will be our memories

I’m going to make them worth remembering

For years…” – Memories, Beverly Craven

2010 – what a year it has been. One of ups and downs. I guess the same as every other year… we must have the ups and downs, the yins and yangs… to keep the balance. If everything was rosy throughout the year then life would have been boring… if everything was rosy throughout the year we would not have learnt much… we would not gain the life experience that makes us who we are.

So, 2010 for me was bad in some ways, good in others. Financially, professionally, personally. Everything. I lost lots of money, I made some money. I removed myself from various professional responsibilities, I started new companies. I lost some acquaintances, I made new friends. Throughout all this, I learnt a lot… increased my knowledge of various things, got new perspectives, shaped opinions old and new, and most importantly concreted my direction and purpose with an idea of how to move forward.

I don’t always make New Year resolutions. Not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. There have been some years where I have written my resolutions down and more often than not I have completed 70-80% of them. Other years I have had sort of an idea of a resolution and just gone with it. This time around, my resolutions are continuations of things that have occurred in the past year! The over-riding themes this time around are simplicity, joy and knowledge, which will ultimately lead to inner peace.

Over the years I got involved in many different businesses at various levels.. board, advisory, and so on. I even volunteered my time to many organisations and businesses. All at the same time as running my own. Partly due to the company sabotage that occurred in 2009 by someone I trusted, I realised that even though I generally enjoyed all the stuff I was doing, I did not have enough time for myself and for things that really mattered to me. So in 2010 I began making my professional life simpler by shedding various professional responsibilities, closing some of my companies and opened three new companies with a simple and particular structure in mind that matches my ethos. The simplifying of my professional life continues into 2011 at the same time as continuing with moving down the path I wish to go. One thing is for sure – I will be shedding things I no longer enjoy and focussing on things that give me satisfaction and enjoyment. Whatever I do will be done with passion and gusto.

I started de-cluttering back in September. De-cluttering physically, mentally and electronically. It is amazing how long this is taking and this will continue into 2011. I hope to have de-cluttered by at least 90% by the end of January. No travel planned until that time so I should be able to get through this.

2010 also saw me travel a lot. Probably the most I have travelled within a particular year. I travelled over 96,000 miles to 42 different cities this year alone – not counting many cities I visited within the UK. That is a lot of travel considering pretty much all of it was from mid-April onwards and that half of my time since then was spent abroad! The good things that came out of all this travel was that I learnt a lot about other cultures and countries… learnt something about their ways of life… it also made me realise what I was looking for in a place to live. Lisbon and the surrounding area up to Cascais pretty much sums up what I am looking for within Europe (the excellent weather, the proximity to the sea, the standard of the food), whereas Southern California is the equivalent in my mind in North America. This does not mean I want to break ties with the UK. Far from it. Just that I would prefer to live outside of the UK.

The travelling and de-cluttering also made me realise how much of a slave I had become to technology. Technology is supposed to make our lives easier but I find the opposite prevails for most people. The same was happening to me. Don’t get me wrong. I believe technology can enhance our lives, but we do need to keep it in check. Over the years I have collected so much technological junk, have become reliant on technology that any time away from it and I get withdrawal symptoms. Travelling made me realise this. While being away I got into the habit of watching TV much less than before, not following the news (most of which is depressing anyway), losing the habit of reading a newspaper (most of which is depressing anyway), and only using technology when it was needed (ie, not all the time)… the result being that I enjoyed myself more! So, a project for 2011 is to simplify the technology usage in my life and to focus on using technology to enhance life and not let technology rule me. πŸ™‚

I started losing weight again in 2010… after a number of years. Some of my older clothes fit me again… Yay! I’m now pretty close to my BMI and my focus needs to change from losing weight to toning up. No pain, no gain. πŸ˜‰

2010 was also a year of firsts. I took my first ever flying lesson and I intend to continue with flying in 2011 – first by taking my first helicopter lesson and then deciding which one I wish to continue with. I also took my first motorbike lesson, passing my Compulsory Basic Training and in 2011 am determined to get my full motorbike licence.

There are other things I want to do in the coming year… learn new languages, gain more knowledge about things that interest me, laugh more, sing more, dance more, travel more, spend more time with the people I love.

Nothing is more dangerous than waiting for work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the “ideal moment.” Waiting, waiting, waiting. There has been too much waiting and I must stop waiting for things to happen.

In some respects, I need to stop being who I was and start being who I am.

And on that note, folks, as New Year has just creeped up on me – at 11.58pm – I wish you all a prosperous and joyful year ahead. Happy New Year and my love and best wishes for 2011.