The Christmas season and year’s end is a time of reflection for many of us. For me, the greatest gift of 2009 has been the immense gratitude I feel for the many blessings in my life. So the final post of the year brings you this writer’s first annual “Past Year in Review.”
I hope it will inspire you to create you own list, and to share your reflections about 2009 with us on this blog.
As I look back on this year, I can truly say that 2009 has been a year of discovery for me — in so many ways. I have learned how new technology and social media can benefit me. I have learned how hard work and embracing new challenges can bring great personal satisfaction as well as the acknowledgment and encouragement of others. And I have learned how important it is not to sweat the small stuff.
Financially, 2009 will have been my worst year ever. But spiritually, emotionally and professionally, this was a year of immense growth for me, making it one of my most successful years of my life.I learned long ago that although money is a fine frill to have in life, it is not the driving force for personal or professional growth. So it should never be the primary motive of our actions. But by embracing hard work and honourable intentions, financial reward will find its way to us through the seeds we have planted. (This metaphor connects to the modest, farming roots of my ancestors and the passion my parents shared for gardening and watching things grow.)
Here are the highlights of my 2009. I’ll be looking forward to hearing about yours.
My visit to the Dominican Republic taught me that my beloved chocolate grows in large unattractive pods that contain slimy beans, which after cleaning, drying and roasting, produce the basis for the delicious substance we know as chocolate. This education planted the seed for my upcoming book on chocolate.
The TMAC conference taught me the importance of blogging and embracing social media. So on Feb 22/09, this blog was born. Click here to see more of Paul Gillin ‘s advice on the importance of blogging: http://gillin.com/blog/
I finished my 6-year term on the Access Copyright board and it led me to reflect on the 25+ years I’ve spent sitting on non-profit boards. What resulted was the idea for my book, “Before You Say Yes …”
— a guide for directors on non-profit boards to be launched in March, 2010 by Dundurn Press. Look for updates at: http://dundurn.com/
A month of networking. Book signings for the Manitoba Book of Everything.
helping out on the planning committee for the District 64 Toastmasters Spring Conference and other great events. http://www.district64.ca/
Probably my best month of the year! Attended the MagNet Conference: http://www.magazinescanada.ca/
. Don’t miss it in 2010. Won two terrific awards.
Thanks to the prod I received at MagNet, I got on Twitter in July. Five months later, am now just shy of 850 followers and really enjoying the opportunities this form of social media can provide. Find & follow me at: http://twitter.com/wizardofwords
August: This was a difficult month. Writing deadlines, poor weather, terminal illness in the family. But still managed to stay positive and enjoy some summer fun.
September: This was summer in Manitoba, breaking the all-time record for the warmest September on record. Weather greatly improved, book done. Spirits rising.
October: The highlight of this month was an amazing two-week research trip to Europe for the chocolate book.
November: More unseasonably warm weather in Manitoba this month, and a trip to Las Vegas for more chocolate research. Why had it taken us 16 years to return to Sin City?
Plenty of amazing social activities and fun that has made me most grateful for all the positive people in my life. We may face some challenges ahead, but I know that I have a strong network of friends to pull us through.Here’s a glimpse at some of the faces that have made me smile over the course of this year. If you don’t see your face here, it doesn’t mean that we haven’t shared some good times or meaningful moments. It might mean we need to share more! Thanks to everyone, and if your year was anywhere as good as mine, we’ll all be smiling as we head into 2010.