Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in review

2012 has been an adventurous year for me, but sadly I did not have such a great blogging year. Today i wanted to take some time to review the year that was 2012, and to consider 2013 (particularly my blogging goals). So the image of the hammock reminds me of one of my 2012 adventures - a visit to Cocos Keeling Islands, but it also depicts the mood of one who reflects and rests with reflection. I hope you can rest with me today too.

2012 was an interesting year for me professionally, and this has an impact on where my energies were spent in my personal life. I lost 7 team members due to a restructure, leaving me alone and acting in senior positions most of the year - a challenge I enjoyed, but it took some energy to manage.

However, early in 2012 I set myself some physical challenges, cycling and running, so many of my spare hours have been spent training, or getting to events.Some of my highlights included
  • 2012 Tour down Under Bupa Challenge - Road cycling 138km
  • Loop the Lake - Road cycling 90km
  • Wollombi Wild Ride - Mountain Biking 50km
  • Fernleigh 15 - running 15km
  • Grape Adventure - tri event - kayaking (2km), mountain biking (10km), running (3km) x2
  • Crowne Plaza ride - Road cycling 60km
  • SES navigation comp - 25km bush walking event
Yes, one could say it's a midlife crisis, but it's been a fun crisis.

Reading & book reviews: Needless to say, this year my reading time has suffered dramatically. I spent way too much time this year trying to read one book, Monica McInnnerney's 'Lola's Secret'. Monica grew up in the same region as me, and this book was set in our town. I really wanted to read it because she reflects so many of the characters I recall from my childhood. But, unfortunately I wasn't in the space to get into the story line. After much struggling, I put the book down. 

I picked up Muakami's 1Q84 when I went on holidays in September and read the first two parts in the two weeks of holidays, but on my return, reading was again a challenge, and I still have not yet finished 1Q84. I then decided to join Bellezza in her November read of 'Norweigan Wood' - but again, I haven't read any more than 1/2 of it. I also started Joinson's 'A Lady Cyclists Guide to Kashgar', but... not finished yet. 

So in review of reading 2012 - I don't think I finished one book.

So what about blogging and me? I love co-hosting Paris in July with Karen at Bookbath - it has to be one of the highlights of my year. I also enjoy being part of the Japanese Literature Challenge, and I have dreams of joining other challenges too. Paris in July is an online community experience which I love to be part of. Community is critical for me, it's part of my essential ingredients to life, and being part of community can be difficult in this day and age. But Paris in July reminds me that where ever we are in the world, what ever we do, believe or practice, we can share something like our love of Paris, and be part of that community. I love to think that if all the Paris in July participants were in a similar place we'd have a wonderful festival and enjoy each others company over a Parisian meal to die for!

So blogging for me is about connecting with others (funny that I don't do facebook then), but blogging allows you to connect with like minded friends (without all the invasion of privacy that facebook offers). And I like being part of the blogging communities who
  • review books
  • post recipes
  • blog about gardening
  • discuss social justice issues
As 2012 closes and 2013 begins, I was wondering what blogging would be like for me. I found this post and wanted to share my goals with you. 10 things first time bloggers should do:
  1. Choose the name of your blog carefully - Thyme-for-tea is perfect for me - combining gardening, tea, rest & reflection into the name of a place where I do just that.
  2. Comment and email others - this is where I've let my blogging friends down in 2012, and i hope to be much better at this in 2013. any hints?
  3. Don't write anything you cant say to someone - I am quite particular in who knows about my blog and what I post - especially photos. I will continue to be particular.
  4. Write for yourself - this is always my goal - to share with others while I challenge myself to learn from life.
  5. Edit, edit, edit - for one thing, this is important for me because I have dyslexia and my spelling can be very bad, but editing is about making sure you say what you want, in as few words as possible. I try.
  6. Know who you are blogging for - me! but then I do know the bloggers I visit and if they visit me, I hope they find something they like too.
  7. Be true to yourself - always important - not always achievable
  8. Read - this goal is about reading other  blogs, other site, commentaries, and current affairs. This adds so much value to the blog. I will endeavour to do this more in 2013. 
  9. Find a blogging mentor - mine are currently Karen at Bookbath, Meridith at Bellezza and Jeanie at Marmalade Gypsy.. This week I'm particular attracted to the website 'Healthy Chef'. 
  10. Keep it simple - each post and the site should be kept simple - unlike this one!
I think I will try and use my blogspot a little differently in 2013 - not yet sure how, but currently considering a weekly rotation of my favourite topics - gardening, thinking, reading and social justice. I hope you'll join me on the journey.

Here's to blogging in 2013!! May we connect again, and may the blogging journey be rich with challenges, fun and friendship.
Here's to 2013 - enjoy the challenges!


Bellezza said...

I read this post of yours with fascination; it gave me insight into your year, and spirit, which wad quite revelatory. It's hard when work requires so much ofus that reading suffers. But, your cycling didn't! And,I'm so glad you co-hosted Paris in July. That's a favorite of mine, and many other bloggers love it, too. Your goald are worthy, and thank you for mentioning silly me in your post. It's good to be friends. xo

Frances said...

That is a fantastic mid-life crisis if that is what you choose to call it! :) It will be lovely to see you around more (I have similar goals for myself) but it sounds like a very exciting year you had. The books are not going anywhere nor are all the folks to read them with. Happy reading!

Jeanie said...

I love your honest wrap of 2012. It does indeed sound as though there were challenges, but some great highs, too, including all that biking! Bravo! And LOVE Paris in July!

Your list of new blogger tips is a very good one. I have had a few challenges being a good commenter/visitor too. I love this blogging world, so that's on my agenda to get in line. Fast! Happy New Year to you!

vicki (skiourophile) said...

A very belated Happy New Year! I sometimes think I forget about the reading (and enjoying the reading) bit of blogging in my interest in what everyone else is reading, so goals are always good!