I’ll be going analog for the next couple of weeks – aka eating, drinking and having fun with family and friends – so blogging will be on hold.
But before I sign off, it’s opportune to reflect on the year, give thanks and share some of my hopes for 2009.
2008 marks 13 years since I started my own business. Who would have thought such a thing was possible? It also marks the birth of a new business, Facilitating With Confidence, dedicated to quality facilitation training, with my friend Anne Pattillo, in New Zealand.
The year began slowly. Fairly normal for Australia, when everyone, myself included, would prefer to be at the beach. February was a sad time when my trusted companion of 15 years, Radar, died. You can read a tribute to him here,and here.
In May I was privileged to do some work in Cambodia with World Vision. Siem Reap was a magical location and I met people doing wonderful work in disaster recovery and community development. The World Vision theme continued in August when I delivered a Citizen Voice and Action program in Zambia. The icing on the cake was a 10-day Zambian safari I enjoyed at Victoria Falls and South Luangwa National Park with my husband. Everyone should have a chance to do a walking safari once in their lifetime.
Back in June, on a cold, windy winter’s day, and with the help of 15 friends and two dogs, we planted 800+ trees. With 17 of us sitting around the table, eating and drinking after a good day’s work, dinner was a meal to remember!
In July I travelled to San Francisco for the World Open Space on Open Space. There I reconnected with many dear friends, Lisa, Yael, Peggy, and Harrison (from the US) and Larry, Becky and Chris (from Canada).
Many of my friends had a difficult year – and I tried to be there for them as much as possible. Kevin, Sue, Geoff and Lyn, Vera, and Coddy all struggled with personal and/or professional challenges.
I didn’t manage to do any improv this year – something I missed. But I did make it to the Applied Improv Conference in Chicago. There I reconnected with more friends: Karen (Canada), Caitlin and Jodi (US), Henk (Sweden), Simo (Finland), Andrea (Aust via US) and Johnnie (UK). I also indulged my passion for the city of Chicago – finally doing the architecture cruise and enjoying the ambience of this fantastic city.
Not long after I returned from Chicago the US elections were held. I watched the results unfold on-line and on my TV and listened to Barack Obama’s speech live. It was a great moment and I was moved in a similar way to earlier in the year when Australia’s Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, finally said sorry to our indigenous people.
I enjoy working with others, and this year I worked with some fantastic people: Geoff (Aireys Inlet), Keren (Sydney), Stephen (Mildura), Jen (Geelong), Brian (Melbourne) and Anne (NZ). And I also work for some fabulous people: Nic, Vera, Greg, Sue and Murray.
Then there’s people I’m just grateful I know, who inspire and delight me: Andrew and Sascha (Melbourne), Lenny and BJ (US), Izzy (US), Patti (US), Fiona (Italy) and Dave (Canada).
And those who generously share their wisdom, knowledge and skills: Olga, Brenda, Heather and Scott.
I was delighted to be able to deliver a pre-conference workshop at the Asia Facilitators’ Conference in Taipei, Taiwan. There I reconnected with more good friends – Gail and Dick, and Paulina. I also worked with the best translator in the world, ET (Elizabeth Tsai).
I can’t finish these thanks without acknowledging the Gang of 12. That old saying has never been truer: friends are the family we choose for ourselves. The Slips also inspire and challenge, and make me laugh – and are great friends to boot. I am indeed blessed.
2008 was the year I first tried rock balancing, embraced Haiku and got back on my bike. I also rediscovered writing, learnt how to do ‘insanely great slideshows’, became an iPhone convert, and learnt some expensive lessons about web site design!
And thanks too to everyone who has visited my blog, to those of you who have left comments and to Cameron for saving me when technology baffles.
Pete makes it all possible.
And what of 2009? More of the same please, plus more conversations, more activity in the outdoors, skiing, diving, improv, time with friends, and opportunities to indulge some whacky, global projects.