It should be said from the start that this year has definitely not gone the way that I expected that it would at the start of the year. At New Years Day 2007, I was part way towards starting the monastic life, was entering my first year since 1990 when I had not been in formal education and had a full-time job doing real office work...largely a pattern that one could feasibly throw ten years at and wonder where the decade had gone. I had played a key role in rejuvenating the parish bookstore, was leader of the altar boys and was a chanter with some potential.
But obviously, at a very fundamental level, there was something that I was very unhappy about, and my life wasn't going in the direction that it should have gone.
By the end of January, I reverted my previous life decision and had to figure out exactly how to live, and to get comfortable in the skin that I'm in. That's not an easy thing to do when you think that you do that all the time. The final defeat of my previous life (prime decision, life, lifestyle and all) came about when I prayed for a new workplace, was told about a position in the city I wanted, got a haircut and shaved my beard, was offered the position and accepted it at Easter.
I moved cities to take my new job, deciding also to change which parish I considered to be my principle place of worship (which was under a different jurisdiction) and was asked to begin theological studies. As part of my job, I delivered sermons and began a Bible study group. I was asked to chant at my new parish.
I finished my contract of employment there and moved back to Brisbane, sharing a place with a roommate. I was asked to continue going to the parish that I changed to this year.
So, at the last day of 2007, what are my dreams for next year? Well, I'm not totally sure on a complete list, but...
1. Continue theological studies. My long-term goal for this is something on a Masters level, but that's for the future.
2. Improve spiritual life. I know, not the standard thing to put on a blog, but a lot of things suffered for various reasons this year, and they really need fixing.
3. Start and finish the qualification for teaching, have a teaching position lined up for next year.
In some ways, I'd like a longer list. I know that this is a small list of big things, but I'm sure that some other things will come up through the year, particularly as a result of the above. I'm also aware that there will be a number of busy periods, and I want to be ready for them when they come.