Thursday, February 21, 2008

Reflections On Another Year #3

As a general rule, I try to do my yearly reflection within a month after each birthday, and I feel late on this one. I didn't really plan anything special at all for my birthday this year. In fact I was so busy worrying about all the things that needed doing for my upcoming musical that I didn't really plan any celebration time. I did attempt to merge a quasi-celebration with my friend Jolene at a restaurant, but as it turns out none of her people could make it, so I cancelled it... actually she cancelled it first, and I cancelled the process of inviting my people to a cancelled event.

I spent the whole day at church and in rehearsals. Now it may sound like I'm complaining, but in fact rehearsing was still fun, because I enjoy all that time with music and the people involved (the Joseph family), even working on it on my birthday. After that, though, what actually made it feel like a birthday was that Laura actually baked me a surprise birthday cake, and this was no ordinary cake -- it simply dwarfed the word delicious, and though it seems crazy, it tasted even better than that because of the caring that I knew went into it -- in fact it might be the best cake I've ever tasted in my life. So I spent the evening with her and we just talked and hung out together, which made it a fantastic day. I even got a few phone calls from various people which was nice. Overall I think I fared pretty well!

But the thing that surprised me most was how many messages I got on Facebook (this might just be my first birthday after being pressured to sign up by my now facebook-friends). Even people I haven't heard from in a while send me a birthday greeting, and I'm now starting to appreciate how convenient facebook is, because when we see so many people writing on someone's wall, then we're more likely to realise it might be their birthday, for example, and many things like this can strengthen a community of people... almost like a support network, except in electronic form. As much as I was against facebook at one time, I'm starting to realise some of its benefits... although I still worry about privacy concerns, as I did before being coerced into signing up.

Again I feel like I've had tremendous personal and professional development this year (again!), so I will try to recap some things, but I'm not going to categorise anything as good or bad or hard like I did last time. Most of the time experiences are there to learn from, regardless of whether you call them good or bad.

  • I finally became a fully licensed Professional Engineer in Ontario, and you can look me up!
  • Recorded one of my original songs in a recording studio (waiting on post-production still), for a friend's project dealine, which is something I've been dying to do for a long time, and I'm thinking I could do more recording to produce my album eventually
  • Broke up on really good terms from my longest relationship
  • I briefly broke my land speed record again (229 km/h) on a trip on the German Autobahn (but this is getting old in a way)
  • Conducted a musical for the first time working with a fantastic orchestra and cast to create our own version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
  • I went to Goa, India for Christmas for the second time, and spent a week with my parents and friends (who just happened to be there!)
  • I took my first real vacation in about 5 years without my cel phone or work email
  • Went scuba diving in the ocean for my second time (with swimming-pool training!)
  • Achieved Platinum Status on Northwest Airlines, but lost Platinum Status at the Marriott
  • I didn't publish very many blog entries
  • Started a great new relationship with a lot of potential
  • Wrote some new songs on the guitar
  • Designed a website for a condominium complex

Again I feel like I've had tremendous personal and professional development this year (again!), so I will try to recap some things, but I'm not going to categorise anything as good or bad or hard like I did last time. Most of the time experiences are there to learn from, regardless of whether you call them good or bad.

  • Ideas and thoughts seem less and less absolute, as I am starting to see the multitude of interpretations and perceptions that form reality for everyone
  • I feel more able to access my feeling at times of difficulty and am learning to understand them better
  • I trust myself much more than I did only a few years ago
  • Stepping in to help solve others' problems doesn't necessarily make things better, it is better to ask what they need rather than make assumptions
  • When someone hurts you, there can often be a vast complexity of reasons, and initially it is very easy to react without understanding that complexity
  • Important relationships can end, but this isn't something that is automatically negative
  • It is wrong to believe that everything has a simple easy solution - in fact most difficult problems don't, and it is often unrealistic to expect to find one, so it is a waste of energy to be confused, upset or disappointed about being unable to 'solve' a problem
  • Feelings are very important, and the value of understanding your feelings and being able to communicate them clearly and appropriately cannot be overestimated
  • Spending money on good healthy food is well worth it
  • Cooking is not a mystery once you get a few ideas, it is actually an art form
  • Beauty occurs during quiet moments
  • It is not our achievements, but it is our choices that tell us who we are

I await what is in store for me this coming year, and if the pattern holds, it will be even better than the previous one.

Daniel

1 comment:

Marika said...

I know you probably don't read these, but how come you don't update your blog anymore?