The End (of 2011) is Nigh….

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Well it would be impolite to let the year come to a conclusion without one last post to this collection of ramblings.

2011 has been enormous. By every metric it has been a big year. Full of change; some traumatic, some voluntary and some delightful. A lot of change.

It has also been truly a year that will be seared into the memory like no other.

If I were to sum up 2011 in one word it would be survival. Making it to the end of this amazing and tumultuous year with any form of functioning sanity is no small feat.

A year full of earthquakes, job changes, hundreds of thousands of kilometers of air travel on top of the ‘normal’ excitement of family life has certainly marked 2011 as a very memorable one.

Some statistics for 2011:

Number of take offs 74 and landings 74 (happily the number balances) – according to Tripit I have travelled 241,411 kilometres this year. That equates to flying around the circumference of the Earth 6 and bit times.

I have flown on Air New Zealand (my beloved airline), Air Canada, United Airlines, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, JetStar (shudder), Lufthansa (who unbelievably still fly aircraft long-haul with no in seat entertainment, thank Steve for iPads), BMI, Ryan Air (never never again), and Aer Lingus. Forgive me if I groan when I hear “even if you are one of our regular travelers please pay attention to the safety demonstration”…

I’ve done the vast majority of the flights in coach/ economy. I’ve sat in premium economy a few times and had the luxury of business class on only 3 of the legs this year.

I’ve travelled to: Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Washington DC, Winnipeg, Hong Kong, Bonn, Cardiff, Portsmouth, Dublin, Jersey, Toronto, Regina, Montpelier, Halifax, Ottawa… and some of these places I have been repeatedly!

I’ve stayed in at least 27 different hotels over the course of the year. I’ve been away from home for about 12 weeks of the year cumulatively. I find hotels soulless places. The best I’ve stayed in would be The Cambridge Suites in Toronto, the Hilton in Taupo and perhaps the Radisson in Regina. The worst would be the Comfort Inn in Toronto. These are very subjective assessments though and are greatly influenced by my mood at the time I’m there.

I’ve travelled to and from Wellington and Auckland umpteen times (where umpteen = more than 10 each at least).

Number of aftershocks (as at the time of writing) 9221 [see http://www.christchurchquakemap.co.nz/ for up to date numbers]

Number of glasses of whisky drunk = 700+ (note correlation to aftershocks)

But rather than spend too much time reflecting on the year that was, I shall look to the promise of the year that is to come.

I’ve hung up my noise canceling headphones for the year and will throw them in my carry on again in late January 2012. The holidays will include a few days under canvass at Hurunui and then a week or so in Auckland with the family. They’ll get a first chance to see where I now work and live when away. We’ll also get to play in Auckland with trips to the zoo, Waiheke and some teenage shopping sojourns to Newmarket no doubt.

I have also been reflecting on my New Years resolution for 2012. I believe I had some modest success with those I set in 2011 (in the main, with a few relapses from time to time).

I am always keen on rebuilding oneself and I suspect 2012’s objective will be to reduce some of my more annoying behaviours (I have many) to move on from those things that are beyond my control and to build on some more positive ways of thinking.

There are some things that will occur in 2012 that are well outside my control and I shall just adapt to them. There are plenty of other things that I can manage.

And to those poor souls who have read to this point… Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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