2009 was probably the happiest year of my life. 2010 had some challenges that were probably some of the hardest I have had to date, but also some peaks that I have never achieved before.
Both to satisfy my voyeurs as well as an aid to memory and the way forward, I thought I would amuse you by giving you a brief rundown of my year.
2010 started out well enough, but with some tell-tale problems.
I had quit all work in October of 2009 and moved apartment. The problem was that the new apartment became nightmarish in November and the issues relating to it (lack of running warm water, a washing machine that only washed clothes with water in the boiling temperature range and wiring that was actually dangerous throughout) did not get addressed in any way by the landlord or his agents, and a lengthy legal process followed, which cost both him and me money and in the end resolved little. I have left those premises and can only say the experience cost me a lot of money in real terms. A lot more than the unpaid rent I tried to use as some kind of leverage (unsuccessfully). It seems that landlord was challenged in more ways than I can fathom. Mentally, mathematically, logically, and humanly. But no point in being bitter. I wish him many meetings with people like himself over the rest of his life. The upshot of this however was that my resources and goals for the year were severely impacted.
Another thing which started out well but became an issue was that I went for a seminar that included a rather experimental mind-altering technique, not unlike a very intense hypnosis session. This is not the first time I subject myself to this sort of thing in my quest for knowledge, but I have to say it was the first time the results were negative and persistent for a couple of months. It really took me a very strong effort of will to return my brain to the happy-go-lucky character I have worked hard to develop after a life during which the qualities of waking up happy (something I have always had) were definitely NOT encouraged.
I am also aware the process was this bad because the individual concerned with it just does not have enough knowledge to really understand what he is doing, and as a result, using a powerful technique, which can have positive effects for some people (but not for people like me or a friend of mine who also underwent the process) he sometimes causes more damage than good.
I also had some friends that required my help at critical times and I put their needs before my own, which didn’t help my overall situation, but there wasn’t really an option around this. I believe friendship is more accurately measured by how people treat you when you are in deep shit and have no ladder to climb out of the well, than when you are flush with cash and easy to be around.
So these were the negatives, and then, just when I got back on my feet, I popped my Achilles tendon and became a cripple for several months in a row.
I also didn’t really achieve all the things I had set out to do for this year.
I did manage to do more or less what I wanted for a year without having to do any work outside of what I imposed on myself though, and this was a much needed thing for me internally. And I managed to change my brain/mind in order to overcome that negative influence from early January in a way that only reinforced my overall mental health, and in fact helped me cope really well with my injury. Something that would have rendered me impossibly impatient only a few years ago, was now taken on as a learning experience. This new mental attitude was a direct result of having to overcome the negative mindset instilled in early January, so overall, I would say in the end it was a good thing. If achieved in a way I would not like to repeat or recommend.
My leg is still not back to how it was, but it has only been 6 months since the surgery, and I only recently found out, that for the type of injury I had, 6 months is the minimum time before the tendon can be considered healed. That is before any physiotherapy can rehabilitate it fully. I can walk, jog, swim and do most things reasonably well. I went on a 6 km hike wearing flip-flops up and down slippery tropical jungle in the hills and have been fine apart from a little pain, which was expected. I can do some wrestling and can do some training again, so at least I can carry on with Systema when I get back. In other words, the healing of my injury is way ahead of where any doctor has ever expected it to be, and I can’t complain. The experience has also been pivotal in learning how to get around issues you can’t do anything about. A lesson I hope to have finally learnt well, as the lack of ability in this respect has often slowed my progress in life much more than I would have liked. Because bashing walls down with your head takes time mostly.
I also finished another book, the first manual on Systema in the world. It received a rather blatant attack from the Systema gurus, mostly I think because they didn’t issue their own version yet, but has so far been well-received by people who ordered a pre-launch copy. The issue of the book has been a little delayed due to several factors beyond my control , which is not ideal from my point of view, but again, in the summary of things it’s not a huge problem.
Overall so far, you may be thinking that it’s been a pretty rough year. Especially considering I will probably have to return temporarily to some 9-5 work, which is not ideal at all from my point of view, but… and there is a big BUT:
I have learnt a lot about how to manage myself beyond what I had learnt in probably the last 10 or 15 years, and I did this in a single year.
- Achieved the completion of another book, more than some 400 pages of what I think is some pretty unique and interesting stuff.
- Managed to realise a LOT more than I already had about relationships in general and make some rather important steps forward on my idea of how a good life should be lived, these, for me at least, are invariably internal processes, before the external manifestation can occur, and given the rather huge leaps I have taken, I am eager to see how my future plays out.
- I got married! And have been in Brazil for the last 5 weeks enjoying the whole experience.
- Renewed bonds with various family members and overall improved those relationships greatly.
Overall then, I would say 2010 was definitely a test, but one I feel I have passed with flying colours, and that is ending on a life-altering high.
And now for the wedding stuff.
As most of my readers know, I am not exactly one for the sentimental/romantic, sappy turn of phrase, however, there is really no other way to explain the day of my wedding other than say that it was truly magical.
Everything went absolutely perfectly. Honestly, even if you had hired the best wedding planner in the world at 50 times the cost, there couldn’t have been anything more they could have done. And in fact, the whole thing was organised by Redhead Girl, mostly over the internet, location unseen! My total contribution to the wedding plans was to choose that the wedding happened on a boat/yacht and that there would be no priest/legal third person “presiding” over anything we wanted to do. Beyond that I just said “Whatever you want is fine with me” many times, and sometimes pulled out my credit card. Best division of labour on a task yet!
We got married on a boat in idyllic weather (after 3 days of solid rain, the day of the wedding turned out to be perfect!), complete with (I kid you not) dolphins coming to greet the boat just before we said our vows.
We then did a tour and photo-shoot of a fortress island that had not a single tourist on it except for us. You’d think I hired the whole place to be free of people. The photographer was a genius and all our guests actually enjoyed themselves instead of having our marriage inflicted upon them.
I am currently posting from a small hotel in the North East of Brazil, so the photo upload will have to wait until I post a new Gallery, as it takes ages to load even the single frame I have above at a reduced size. The connection here is minimal, but the water is warm and the sun permanently set on perfect, so, dear readers, I’m off to enjoy more of my honeymoon.
I hope you had an amazing Xmas and that your 2011 will be your best year yet. I know I plan to have 2011 be the greatest yet, and the mountains ahead do not worry me.
I wish you and yours all the best.
You might be interested in the following posts: