2011 has been a bittersweet year for me. As I struggled to look for work, I was suddenly faced with something I had never had this much of before: time! Time to do many things I had been putting off doing but was always too busy to do before. Although the opportunities of the “paid” variety were lacking, I was also given opportunities to do other things that just may one day lead to a more fulfilling life.
And so, as another year draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on some of the things and events that have impacted me in whatever capacity. Many have been happy but some, not so much. So here we go…
Retiring Swans Co-captain Craig Bolton takes a lap of honour around the SCG
The year in AFL has been a mixed one. My team, the Sydney Swans, spent most of their home games in Sydney playing in wet conditions, which means I spent a lot of time trying to stay dry in the stands. With the well-respected Paul Roos now retired after a very successful 8 years in the senior coach’s position, the reigns were handed down to his former assistant, John “Horse” Longmire. It had been six years since the Swans won a Premiership and with many of its Premiership players retired or retiring, many critics did not give the youngsters on the 2011 playlist much chance to make the finals series. As usual, the Swans showed their “Bloods” spirit and proved the naysayers wrong and we made it as far as the second week of the finals, finishing sixth on the ladder. Not a bad effort at all. Go Swans!
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!
Australia: the land of kangaroos, koalas and deadly spiders. Back in 1904, just three years after the federation of Australia, poet Dorothea Mackellar wrote what became an iconic poem entitled “My Country” to describe her love for her home. I’m a far cry from being a poet and am definitely not qualified to criticise such a legend, but I think there’s a little something missing from Mackellar’s tribute: Aussie Rules and Aussie meat pies.
OK, we can forgive her for not mentioning the pies…according to Wikipedia (don’t we all get our facts from there?) the Aussie meat pie originated in the early 1900s, so maybe Mackellar had not had the privilege of trying one when she wrote her poem. But Aussie Rules football has been around since the 1840s!
In case you didn’t know, today is Chinese New Year. It marks the start of the Year of the Rabbit. Now, before you go asking me what that means, let me just say I have no idea…will it be a good year? Well, there are a lot of people in this world so I’m sure it is bound to be a good year for at least one person, right? 🙂
As is tradition, I got a red packet (or “lucky money”) from my parents. For the first time this year, I would not be getting one from my Grandmother since she passed away recently (In Loving Memory for my Grandmother). The very thought threatened to bring tears to my eyes but I was determined that I would not start the new year with tears, but rather, I was going to remind myself of the many blessings in my life. And it would seem that I am not the only one to be thankful for my friends of late.
This next story I am telling does not belong to me but it makes me happy telling it just the same. You see, earlier this week, my favourite actor, Matt Bomer (star of White Collar) was appearing on US late night TV talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live. All of us Collars are excited at every opportunity that we get to see Matt. So needless to say it was very exciting for us fans seeing him promoting our favourite show, but of course, not everyone can get to L.A. to meet the man himself. And this is where having great friends makes me “squee”…you see, Christine Antonios could not make it to L.A. to meet Matt in person, but two of her friends were kind enough to go, and here is the best part. Not only did they get to meet Matt outside the studios, but they went, armed with a handmade sign for Matt to hold so they could photograph him with it…and below is the result:
Matt Bomer holding a sign in support of my fellow Bo-mite Christine Antonios
This is that time of the year when people are suffering the post-Christmas blues (you know, complaining they ate too much or spent too much) and contemplating what resolutions they are going to make on New Year’s Eve, ideally ones that they might actually keep. This is also the time of year when people say to themselves “where have the past 12 months gone?” or exclaim “I can’t believe it’s another year already!” as if it has taken them by surprise.
For me, new year’s resolutions have never been an issue. I simply don’t make them. What is it about that one day of the year that makes it different to any other day? Oh, I am not a party-pooper by any means. I love the parties and the fireworks and the all-night music video shows that count down to midnight. But I believe that if you are going to resolve to lose weight (which is likely the most common resolution on NYE, right next to “I’m going to find my perfect partner”) then eating and drinking copious amounts of caloric food and alcohol is probably not the best way to start off.
All my friends know by now that since I got my BlackBerry a few months ago, I have been almost joined at the hip with it. I never went anywhere without my old mobile anyway but now that I have all my emails, Twitter, Facebook, all more easily accessible and at a much cheaper cost than the old one, I am even more attached to it than before. Recently, one of my friends called me anti-social because I was checking Twitter while she was driving instead of talking to her, but the ironic thing was that I was tweeting with someone on the other side of the world or the other side of the country, discussing our common bond: White Collar and its stars Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay.
Ever been at a job interview where you get asked if you were a team player? It’s a pretty typical question. Now, how are you supposed to answer that? Unless you are trying out for a solo round-the-world yachting record, you’re most likely expected to respond to the affirmative (although I would say even “soloists” of any kind would say it takes a team of people to get them to where they are).
In my experience I have seen many people claim they are team players but really they are the “free-riders” who hide behind others to do the hard work whilst they all claim the glory at the end of the day. As usual, I sought out the Oxford Dictionary for a definition of Teamwork:
“the combined action of a group, especially when effective and efficient”.*