The day I stop learning will be the day I will stop living. That’s a bit of a mash-up of a quote originally penned by a guy called Michael Scott – never heard of him, haven’t googled him, don’t really care who he was. Today is not the day to learn about Michael Scott, today is the day to reflect on what I’ve learned over the last 12 months. It’s been a roller coaster of a year that started abysmally in January and February (in England), provided a few highlights in April (in Tasmania), kicked-off big time in June (in Canberra), provided a few inspiring moments in July (in Wellington), peaked in late September and early October (in Italy and the UK) and wound down gracefully in December (back home in Melbourne).
So what did I learn in 2013? In a nutshell…..
1) You have to wait 4 weeks to bury your loved ones in London
2) No matter how much I loved my Dad when he was alive my love for him has grown even stronger since he left us on a very cold winters night in January
3) Traveling in a Camper-van is far more acceptable than I imagined – in fact it even became fun!!
4) Referring to someone in the audience as a big Kiwi twat (while presenting on stage at a conference in Canberra) generates wildly conflicting emotional responses from the audience and leads to the biggest single-day readership on my Blog
5) Tester Certification is a hot topic – the Twittersphere and my Blog are living proof of this
6) KWST3 (in Wellington) rekindled my passion for software testing after the trials and tribulations of Canberra
7) Tuscany (in Italy) may be the most beautiful place I’ve visited so far, but sharing the experience with my brother (Paul) made it even more memorable
8) Sports injuries have become more frustrating as I grow older and winning at all costs has become winning without incurring a major injury. Losing is still unacceptable though!!
9) Spending time with my family has never been more important than it is right now. I have sacrificed far too much of my time (throughout my working years) for what I truly thought was a great cause – and it was. However, my truth (today) is that being with them is far more important.
10) Turkey may be the favourite bird for many at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it is also a beautiful country that forms a memorable gateway between Europe and Asia.
As we approach another Christmas I am conscious that my immediate family is one very special person smaller than at any other time in my life. This person was my very own Father Christmas when I was a nipper growing up in Greater London, he also taught me a great deal about the world and how to thrive in it. Today he is having his first Christmas with my Mum in almost 20 years. I wish them and all of you reading this a very Merry Christmas and a most joyous New Year.
Dateline: Melbourne, Thursday December 19, 2013