2012 / 2013

As 2012 comes to an end so the inevitable opportunity to look back on the past twelve months presents itself.

And, in-keeping with a post I published late in 2011, the chance to lay out a few hopes for the next twelve months is too irresistible to ignore.

So, what what were the things which marked out 2012 for me? Here’s the list.

  1. At the beginning of the year I couldn’t imagine getting excited about the Olympics. Within only a few days of the torch relay I was swept along by the euphoria. Yes, the sporting events were unexpectedly compelling (possibly because most were short bursts guaranteed to hold even the most disinterested of TV viewers).
  2. More importantly however, the opening ceremony achieved something none of us realised we collectively needed: the reassurance that when when push comes to shove we can organise things well and those of us who weren’t involved can enjoy it without the usual cynical subtext.
  3. 2012 was the year I did my best multimedia work to date. My trip to Azerbaijan to meet UK Eurovision representative Engelbert Humperdinck was a task of Herculean efforts (financially, mentally and logistically) but the finished product looked as near professional as I think a one-man operation with a compact video camera and Final Cut Express can muster.

    It was a real shame the effort bombed spectacularly. It failed to gain any sort of traction on the Internet or within the circles I’d hoped to influence. No matter. It was good work.

  4. This year also saw me tackle one of my personal challenges. I’ve finally got my current account in order. I can now look at my bank account balance on a daily basis and not fear what it says. I’m not exactly rolling in it (there’s still plenty to sort out yet), but it’s a major achievement.
  5. Back in January I completed on a professional challenge a former boss inadvertently set when he ‘advised’ me that because of my technical background, I’d never make it editorially. I took on editing the About the BBC blog at the beginning of this year, nearly five years after my former boss’ ‘encouragement’ and just over seven after i joined the Beeb as a webmaster. I work with some truly amazing people and feel as though I’ve grown as a result. Raise a glass, if you’d be so kind.
  6. I turned 40 this year. So far, I am loving my forties.
  7. I rediscovered the joy of drinking tea from a cup with a saucer. Not only that, I also discovered that strong tea is the way forward.
  8. Cycling has become part of my daily routine again. I’m enjoying it too.
  9. Learning how stress and anxiety effects me and discovering new ways of managing it has been liberating.
  10. I’ve learnt to love strategies, key messages and statistics. There. I’ve said it.
  11. Although Sainsbury’s foolishly withdrew their Basics range Orangeade earlier this year and failed to give anymore than a weak-willed response to my complaint, a suitable alternative low-calorie drink has been identified: sparkling mineral water mixed with the Basics low-sugar orange squash is the business.
  12. I did succeed in my aim of not getting quite so involved in the BBC Proms – my God, the summer was glorious. So much so in fact that I only got along to one Prom. The best, in my opinion. Peter Grimes. A tear-jerker of a success.
  13. I’ve managed to turn things around in the kitchen. There are statistically fewer monthly disasters at the end of this year compared with at the beginning.

So. That’s all good then. Collectively, a real result.

Cynical journalists pour scorn on the readiness of individuals to set goals for the coming year, reckoning the motivation no more than a knee-jerk reaction to the Christmas excess. Shame. That isn’t how it is at all. Having a plan – or at least, a few tick boxes – makes things a bit easier. It also provides the basis for some copy 12 months from now. Everyone’s a winner. Those cynical journos are lazy thinkers.

What about 2013? What’s the plan for the next twelve months?

  1. Continue to stop wasting money; strive to pay off more debt.
  2. Consolidate this blog around the subject areas I’m interested in and develop its audience.
  3. Develop my coaching skills. It takes practice. Any volunteers?
  4. Get to the gym once a week maybe more (in addition to the cycling regime).
  5. Relax more.
  6. Have at least one trip to the cinema, two trips to the theatre and read one book a month.
  7. Visit Aldeburgh.
  8. Get a radio doc commissioned. A bold goal, but not necessarily out of reach.
  9. Stop biting my nails. It’s boring.
  10. End the year feeling less-defined by my love of my employer than I am at present. Pride is one thing, emotional dependency is something quite quite different.
  11. And finally ‚ĶMake 2013 the year I finally write the most difficult thing of all: some fiction. One short story, maybe more. That’s all.

Happy New Year. All the best for 2013.