Monday, July 20, 2009

Reflections On Another Year #4

Why do we blog? Well, more specifically, why does Daniel blog? (And why does he speak about himself in the third person!?)

My blog's recent sparseness has made me question its reason for being. Here's what I came up with: It tells me about myself, and how I've grown. It helps me understand where I've come from. The writing makes it concrete somehow, while making it public makes it motivational for me, and possibly informative for others. Also, the aspect of creating a discussion forum strikes a chord with me.

Realising that my yearly review is six months overdue has helped me refocus, despite the deadline being self-imposed. I've only written two entries for 2008, correctly concluding that I am too "busy", so I've tried to slow it down by booking vacation time, and making more time for family and friends (some of whom have commented that I occasionally disappear). Also, I've obviously decided to write my yearly review, which admittedly usually takes a few days (or weeks in this case) anyway.

So let me get right to some of the significant happenings I've had this year (okay, year and a half).
  • I got a new job with GM as a manager, recently celebrating my one-year anniversary, and received a great performance review (we still went bankrupt)
  • I opened a US bank account and got a US credit card (difficult for a Canadian with no US credit history)
  • I conducted a 13-person orchestra for a succesful musical, and composed a clarinet part for Catherine
  • I visited Mexico for the first time, work-related
  • I vacationed back to Mexico, and visited Chichen Itza (Mayan ruins), and also had my fourth and best scuba dive off the coast of Playa del Carmen, with David, Katie, Megan and Tyler
  • I visited Australia for the first time, for World Youth Day and saw the Pope from a few feet away, with Scott, Jessica, Todd and others and pumped up the statistics: Countries visited: 17. Popes seen at arms length: 2
  • I saw the Dalai Lama in person at a talk he gave with Laura, Emily and others
  • I got an Apple laptop in a flash of bravery (must learn shortcut keys!)
  • I authored two and a half new songs that are album material
  • I recorded another original song in the recording studio with Chris
  • I helped to organise a retreat with Sean, Anne, Lauren,Tom, Claudia and Mike and spoke about my thoughts on prayer life
  • I played a lot of soccer, and added trail biking to my sports (thanks Sean!)
  • I participated in an Engineering competition to help the deaf experience music with Sean and Chris, resurrecting my digital signals processing skills
  • I helped build and care for an organic garden with Josh and (almost) Kabir
  • I met several American dignitaries during a tour and press conference at work, including: Jennifer Granholm (Governor of Michigan), John Dingell (US Congressman), Hilda Solis (US Secretary of Labor), Ed Montgomery (an Obama Auto Task Force Director), Alan Lambert (Mayor of Romulus, Michigan)
  • I performed a bunch of consulting work in Toronto for Pearl
  • I cleared out most of my belongings in Toronto (through recycling and donation, I generated only half a bag of trash)
  • My long-term relationship ended with sadness after many wonderful memories

But I don't want to just list all the important happenings in my life. I'm trying to fully internalise the idea that what I'm learning and how I grow matters most. So here are some of the things I think I've been learning:

  • Money can be seen as the ability to do what you want with your time
  • Reluctance to burden others can be unhealthy, allowing others to help is often needed
  • People generally can't fundamentally change, nor should they, and we must learn to accept others and ourselves as we are
  • It is often incorrect yet easy to feel responsible for others' actions and feelings
  • The only person who takes care of one's best interests is oneself
  • Sustainability, diversification and balance can be applied to everything in life
  • Everyone wants to be listened to, understood and acknowledged
  • What we believe about ourselves, we often create in our lives, positive or negative
  • Our conscious and subconscious mind should agree for maximum strength of purpose
  • Making time for oneself is a powerful step toward appropriately making time for others

That brings me back to the concept of the blog itself. Writing seems to be something I do primarily for myself and that I can be proud of. If I have so few entries this year, perhaps I'm not making enough time for myself. So, I have about six months before my next entry is "due", and I plan on writing at least four quality blog entries. Please suggest an interesting topic that you'd like me to break down!


P.S. This entry will be imported into Facebook automatically, but comments are welcome in both places.