The obligatory “year in review”. Theme of the year? Resilience, growth, and grace. Realised in hindsight. It has been a tough year, but also very rewarding, and lots of fun. Tough because of grief and work related burn-out. Rewarding because of personal achievements and growth. Fun because of scheduled silly times and making new friends.
Highlights and lowlights: January saw me in the thick of implementing the restructure and knee-deep in recruitment. It was hard in many ways, and the root of the burn-out. The restructure wrapped up in March, and I can look back now with satisfaction. The structure works, the new staff are great, and we’re making progress. February I enrolled at bible college. Because what better way to deal with work stress than by starting post-graduate study? The evening lecture ended up being the highlight of the week. A breath of fresh air. The assignments and exams were a challenge, but the results were a huge personal achievement. (D and HD. Yeah, I am a nerd. But a thrilled nerd!) And I’ve made some good friends there. March was dominated by the March Scavenger Hunt which was enormous fun! Wearing a chicken suit in Martin Place with Jane, trips to Melbourne and Newcastle – again with Jane, and the last weekend with #Team4568 road-tripping, recreating rooms outside, and buying way too many cheeseburgers, are all good memories of a fun month.
Then in April we dip into darkness. Uncle Jim died suddenly in April, Aunty Elva died in June, and my request for voluntary redundancy was rejected. On top of the burn-out it was too much. Tired, empty, and angry. I was in trouble, I knew I was in trouble, and I knew that I had to dig myself out. So I made it through July somehow, talked with my boss, and started working part-time in August. Three days a week for four months was the right tonic at the right time. I rested, had some counselling, focused on having fun, and slowly healed.
Fun at this point included: the Transport Challenge in July; celebrating the arrival of Spring by watching the last Lord of the Rings movie with Jenny at the Opera House while the Sydney Symphony Orchestra played the score – an incredible experience; enjoying the ridiculously bad Sharknado with 60 strangers at the cinema – and sharing the awesomeness with friends later in December; the Sydney Moderns exhibition at the NSW Art Gallery; and many, many visits to the theatre and the fabulous SSO. (I do love a good requiem.)
And here I am. On the last day of 2013 looking back and reflecting on the year that was. Some pieces of the puzzle have clicked into place and I have learned a lot about myself. Yes, it has been a difficult year but a good year. A year of resilience, growth, and grace. A year of friends, family, and faith. Can’t ask for much more than that.
Except for an away holiday. Long overdue. Maybe next year.