End of Year

It is coming up in less than 12 hours now, a new year, the end of 2008 and the start of 2009. Is it a fresh start, an oppertunity to do all those things I just never got round too this year, to make “new year resolutions” that are rarely kept, or to continue life the same as normal?

I’m trying to think what I have I managed to do over the past year and the main things that come to mind is working in different Christian groups like Just 10, and Harvest aswell as the Salsa dancing that I’ve come to love.

I’ve learned a lot this past year but not sure how to write it all up as yet. I took a different approach to things in life than my usual do as expected and follow what others do and try to fit in. I decided I wanted to try and find new things where I could meet lots of new people, make friends, find things I could enjoy and be generally happier.

Overall, I think i’ve managed the aim with better results than I thought would happen.

Changes really started around April / May time where I got involved with friends in a stewarding team at Just 10 North East and saw so many people coming together from my local area to listen about God in a different way, and worship and enjoy. Seeing so many (over 5000) from the local area was good in one place, and was glad to be a part of it all. I’ve seen large groups of youth upto around 2,000 in total in previous years of events i’ve helped with and the atmostphere was great.

Harvest was a good time, I learned a lot about myself in a new place and made a whole new set of friends that meet up reguarly and enjoy each others company. Harvest moved to a new location – almost rained all of the time, in a larger field with a nice big barn instead of a windy tent – I made great friendships and re-discoved my love for dance that I lost many years ago.

I started doing different dance things… I wanted to do dance for a long time. I’ve not been bothered too much in night clubs but enjoyed it while out with friends but never been sure what to do except sway in random movements to the rhythem of the music and enjoy. I wanted to know how to dance for more traditional means so tried some classes.

First set of classes – I tried Ballroom dancing… Which to not much suprise is very difficult when your on your own. I was lucky and got the dance teacher to help teach and correct me when wrong… I don’t remember much more than the dance position but then again not been in a situation when needing it so maybe it’ll come back to me if needed… I enjoyed it and was suprised at how energetic little moves were.

Next I tried salsa dance, also gone on my own which was fine this time. I love it, I really enjoy it more than I thought I could. Its like a new passion of mine and try to go to events where I can learn more and dance. Its a strange thing salsa… The guy has to lead the girl in almost every move directing where and how she is to move. This took a lot of adjusting too but is interesting and fun.

I’ve been doing salsa now for about 3 months in total (12 weeks) and feel like i’ve done it much longer. I’m only a beginners level and can see there is a lot more to learn. It has helped my confidence with talking to people, dancing, and generally interacting with others. It is helping my fitness and always something new is learned whenever I try.

It scares me to ask the girls to dance, I don’t know most of their levels (Beginners, improvers etc) but they just go with it and its really enjoyable. Most of the time they will say “yes” to a dance, and i’ve only had 2 say “no” over the 3 months i’ve done it. Its quite pleasing to get a “yes” and relaxing too. I can not imagine looking forward one year this time last and seeing me even trying this… Its one of those many things that I put on the list that “i’d love to try but…” type and always have an excuse.

I wanted friends to go with me to the dancing, but everyone decided they were busy or would drop out and that put me off for a while then I decided i’d just go for it and if it all went wrong then no one would know who I was so it wouldn’t matter… In actual fact – I’ve loved it and made a lot of new friends through it all and very thank ful I just went for it.

Other things I’ve tried: Trampolining Assistant Coaching – Something I thought i’d not get through… started around May time – completed and passed in december with a week or two of little sleep.

I wanted to better understand why I was told to do thing a certain way and to be able to help out the club if need be. I learned how to be more assertive, and how to handle situation in teaching and demonstrating how to do things on the trampoline. I better understand what people have told me over the last few years and why and can better word for others to do what is needed.

I’m really glad I went for it and passed. I wasn’t sure how to feel at the time of the exam… we got there early and told we could start right away… it wasn’t until about half way through I stopped reading my “exam checklist/session plan” and just got on with it relaxed and helped people… It was a lot easier then and then got off, finished up and thankfully passed.

Bad News of the year: Family cat died at the great age of around 19 and a half – A loved moggy that is missed and remembered.

Overall, the past year has been quite amazing and although there doesn’t seem much mentioned above I feel i’ve achieved a lot, pushed many bounderies for myself and set a few new targets to reach for. I’m thankful for the great support from friends new and old, and quite happy seeing this year end and the new year come in.

After seeing all that can happen when the attitude changes a little from “what if”, to “lets try and see” – I look forward to what could happen this next year… Maybe at some point i’ll get round to writing up the dreams for life i’ve had… Who knows… Lets see.

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