Sometimes we can look back on the year that passed - as we are wont to do at this time of year - and consider that it was a good year; other times, we look back and see a bad year. Usually, however, these terms are more likely to reflect what happened in December than what took place over the year.
'Good year' and 'bad year' are such subjective, fickle terms.
I could easily look back on this year and see a fairly bad year. I found it difficult to find a place where I felt comfortable and at home (7 residences in a year and a week), I lost my best friend of 4 years, I deferred my studies because I had severe difficulty recovering from that as well as do everything else I was doing, and December has left me a little empty.
On the whole, I've got a lot of reasons to look back on this year and say 'bad'.
But, this year wasn't a total write-off, either. I've been involved in starting some pretty awesome activities (like a new mission parish, a new mission endeavour and expanding a church's cycle of services), had the luxury of taking time out from studies, got to live in West End (albeit for a short time), lived in Shanghai, figured out that I'm actually pretty good at teaching。Looking at that, the year actually starts looking pretty good.
But, looking at the past is only of value in assisting when looking towards the future.
So, what's 2009 bringing?
Well, in January and the first part of February, I'll be completing the third semester (i.e. first semester, second year) of my studies in theology. After this, from March to June I'll be completing the final semester of my studies in education. Concurrently, I'll still be chanting at a number of services, and beginning work with a new organisation promoting Orthodoxy in this part of Australia. I also intend on continuing my public speaking development, hopefully attaining my first Toastmasters' award, and in learning more about Orthodox liturgics and continuing research into genius and expertise. I am, however, intending on scaling down my adjudicating commitments.
On the whole, I'm looking forward to the year that shall be :)