An insignificant review of 2012

i photoshop, therefore i am

i photoshop, therefore i am

To sum up my 2012 in one sentence would be; the year that things began to change, or transition. Transition is a better word, it implies controlled and positive change. After 16 years working for one organisation, the opportunity to leave was offered, and I took it. Before I left I was offered a new part-time role and with the rest of my time I am preparing some very exciting ventures.

2012 saw me become debt free. This has been a long-term goal, caused by long-term stupidity. My transition into next year will be to not be stupid!

TV

I don’t watch a great deal of (current) TV, but I do tend to watch series. 2012 finally saw me watch The Sopranos and The Wire. Two great series that kept throwing surprises. The Killing III was also good, with a really shocking ending.

Movies

Nothing really stood out for me this past year. I watched Prometheus, having waited over 30 years for Ridley to finally get around to making it. I liked it, in fact really liked it, however there was one major problem, and this has been something that has annoyed me with most films recently. The trailer of the movie told me pretty much the whole story. When it came to seeing the actual film, there was little left to make me wonder what going on, and engage me. I hope this is a trend that will soon disappear.

At the very end of the year I got to see The Avengers… brilliant, another fun flick from Mr Joss Whedon.

Books

Again I was catching up on the book front. I read the complete back catalogue of Chuck Palahniuk, and overall that was really good. One surprise was Old Man’s War by John Scalzi, it was lent to me and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Perhaps I was sci-fi deprived at the time, but I recommend it.

Music

I continued my descent into the world of John Darnielle and The Mountain Goats. I saw him perform with Anonymous 4 at The Barbican and that was quite amazing. I also caught Frank Turner at Oxford doing a great live show. I missed out on seeing Dead Can Dance, but the album made up a little for that.

Apps

Back in February I enjoyed taking part in FAWM, a social songwriter’s event where participants write 14.5 songs during the month of February. I took part and completed the challenge. But the writing was made significant.y easier by a wonderful app on the iPad and iPhone called Songwriter HD. This simple app allows you to jot ideas for lyrics and record bits via the microphone. It’s nice and simple, but perfect. Exactly what a good app should be.

UKPLC

I am not a royalist or a fan of the Olympics. With the year being dominated by the Queen’s jubilee and London 2012, it was difficult to avoid both of these events. However, it was nice to see a country, that 12 months before had been shocked by inner city riots, being proud. More importantly being proud without being arrogant.

2012 was a good year, although looking at what I have written above, I think I need to record things a little better. This was the first year in several where I haven’t kept a diary, perhaps I need to buy another Moleskine.

2013

So unto 2013 I go. I know there will be several more transitions ahead, many already in motion. But it is my story. Story is my word of focus on 2013, but that is another post.

What is a successful month?

I’ve just done my own personal review for April. As I looked at the list of things I wanted to achieve I realised that I had pretty much failed to complete them. However, perhaps I should redefine success. I have been trying to implement Covey’s ‘sharpening of the saw’ from the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. This is all about keeping balance and developing four distinct areas; mental, physical, spiritual and social.

The last of these is the area that I find most difficult: social. Being a natural introvert on the MBTI scale I don’t look forward to mixing with too many people. However, looking at April I really pushed myself, got involved and was quite a social chap. Therefore, perhaps I need to look a little less critically at what I do, and give myself a little pat on the back.

April visualised

 

Oh, and I’ll try to balance them a little better next month…

March 2012 Review

March 2012

March was a good month. I managed to do all the things that I set out to do. It would be easy to say i could have done more, and I could have, but I also want to celebrate what I actually achieved.

I have created another digital scrapbook image of what I did. Not just as a record but to keep the Photoshop learning going. A fair amount of time was spent doing some recording and if you follow my creative alter-ego you’ll probably find links to the work(s) in progress.

The other good thing about March was the reappearance of the sun. When the sun comes out so too does my bandana, and that IMHO is always a good thing.

Now onto April and a new set of things to achieve.

I have finished reading the whole bible in a year

And so, as with all good things, my journey through the bible has come to an end*. I set out on 1st January 2011 to follow a reading plan and work through the whole bible in a year. Okay so there appear to have been a few days when I didn’t manage it but there were good reasons, being unwell, being too busy or away and being not-bothered to name a few. However I have now reached the end. I have also written mini book reviews of each book of the bible along the way. I tried to review them in the light of what they were about and how they read, in other words to be quite subjective. I didn’t write any theology along the way… well I may have lapsed once or thirty odd times. I haven’t checked but I think I managed to write something about every book, so not bad going.

Bible read

Thoughts

As I read through the whole bible I did have one or two thoughts that I will share. The first is how much emphasis my own religious tradition puts on certain passages above others. I suppose this is only natural but you can see where over the years the church and its various incarnations and denominations have chosen one passage to have significant importance above others. The whole faith verses works issue is one that springs immediately to mind.

In a similar vein is how some people take some passages literally and others not. This is quite difficult and people far more cleverer than I spend time mulling this over. The problem, in my humble opinion, is when people far less cleverer than them decide what verses they will or will not take literally.

Finally, and this did make me think quite a lot about how I live each day. There is far, far more in the bible about how we should live our lives full of justice, mercy and love to one another than getting into heaven. I don’t want to make light of the eternal nature of the bible, but it does put a much bigger emphasis on  how we live now, than how we will live one day.

Ever onwards

I’ll probably return to some of the issues that I have mentioned above, but not for a little while. I thank you for sharing this journey with me. I decided to create these posts to make myself accountable, so dear reader, thank you for keeping me to account.

If you want to see all the posts they are tagged ‘bible in a year‘ so you can browse through them at your leisure.

As a pre-cursor to my footnote below, when I say the whole bible I haven’t actually read the apocrypha in this reading plan… what did I say above about my tradition ;)
*I have read the whole bible before, but it has been a few years since I sat down and did it in such a short period of time. I do recommend it.

2012 here I come

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks looking at my goals, dreams and projects for 2012. Okay, when I say the last couple of weeks that has been on and off. I’ve also been listening to some great music, making some (great?) music and doing my fair share of writing too. And that really is summing up where I want to head in 2012 – with a little bit of digital art thrown in for good measure. Of course I’m talking primarily about hobbies here. The day job is more challenging than ever, and the goals there will stretch me too.

Post it time

I spent the last weekend with a pile of sticky notes and covered the desk with these. The picture above was when I had finished just one pack, I ended up using several. The aim was to capture all the things I wanted and had to do. Since then I’ve been trying to align everything, using the classic GTD approach. To end up with the following:

  • Next actions
  • Projects
  • Roles (or areas of responsibility)
  • short-term goals (1-2 years)
  • long-term goals (3-5 years
  • life long vision, mission type thing

I haven’t completed it yet, but I am getting there. But one thing I do know is that 2012 will be a highly creative and transformational year for me. I hope it’s good for you too.