As 2012 draws to a close, every media outlet seems to be putting a considerable amount of effort into producing their own definitive ‘review of the year’.
And by general consensus, 2012 has been one hell of a year.
In the past, I have sometimes found New Year’s Eve to be a disconcerting occasion – a time to look ahead to the new year for sure (and maybe make some rash resolutions), but also a time to reflect back on what you’ve achieved over the previous 12 months.
Often I have found this self-reflection to be a ‘Groundhog Day’ experience as I consider how the disappearing year was pretty much the same as the one before. Same job, same house, same friends, same interests.
Maybe there is an inevitability about getting older that routine takes more of a hold and your horizons narrow a little, making it harder (but not impossible) to make major changes to your life.
But 12 months ago, as 2011 reached its conclusion, I knew that things would soon be very different as I contemplated the year ahead and the massive changes that lay in store for me and my family.
Moving away from Australia was a big call, after all, it had been a happy home to me for two decades.
I had made a lot of good friends there, had a successful career and established my own business as well. I had met my wife there and been blessed with two beautiful boys.
It would have been very easy to stay in Australia and reap the rewards of the firm foundations we had worked so hard to establish.
And yet… somehow, the prospect of spending the foreseeable future in Australia being comfortably predictable served in a strange way as a stimulus for us to make some big changes to our lives.
Despite all the uncertainty it would inevitably involve, in the end, the decision to move ‘home’ was pretty simple – we decided to make the leap and then devoted all of our efforts into making it work for us.
We figured that there may well be unexpected bumps in the road ahead, but to embrace them as all being part of the adventure. I’m sure that maintaining a positive outlook and not looking back have contributed greatly to the way we feel about the move.
And so here I am one year on, reflecting on the year that was 2012, blown away by just how much has changed in my life in 12 short months and how energised the whole move has made me feel.
I freely admit that I have been remarkably blessed, but the whole journey so far could not have gone much better if I had arranged for it to be scripted by a Hollywood writer….
Great new home in a lovely town, surrounded by beautiful countryside; developing a new circle of friends; boys well established and doing well in a good local school; my wife meeting lots of new people and becoming integrated in the local community; healthy new addition to our family arriving safely mid-year; extended family living nearby; me finding a stimulating new job…the list goes on.
And all of this taking place in a year when the Olympics, Paralympics, and Jubilee have provided plenty of opportunities to feel good about Britain.
A year ago, I felt as if I was leaping into the unknown and embraced that feeling with a mixture of excitement and trepidation, but with the benefit of hindsight, I can confidently say it was one of the best decisions I have ever taken.
Now, as I look ahead to 2013, I know it will be impossible to top 2012 in terms of life-changing significance, but equally, I’m determined to ensure that in future years as New Year’s Eve comes around again, I can sit back contentedly and reflect on a year well lived
I’d like to take the opportunity to wish a Happy New year to everyone reading this and I hope that your 2013 be happy, successful and eventful.