Toodle pip 2009. It was swell.

The following piece was written at the beginning of the month for Design Notes. I’ve added a post-script to bring it up to date.


December is the time of year when we reflect on the previous 12 months. It’s a time to acknowledge what we’ve achieved and what we’ve learned, to celebrate, to let go of that which no longer serves us, and identify the knowledge and peace of mind to move into a new year with wisdom, hope and enthusiasm.

What have I learned this year? What’s worked? What hasn’t worked?

The year of Twitter Less is more. It’s been the year of Twitter – a world of instant gratification, news and encapsulating life in 140 characters. I’ve, um, quite enjoyed it and look forward to seeing how it evolves.

The year of Needs What do people need? This is the question that’s driven me (and my work) this year. The financial crisis may have been reportedly ‘bad’, but I think it stripped away a lot of bloated artifice of modern life and many got to consider what was really important.

The year of Hair Samson was onto something. For the first time in 20 years I let my hair grow out. It was weird. It was also nice to not get tapped on the shoulder and told that I’d mistakenly entered the ladies toilets.

The year of 40 “Don’t ever worry about the numbers” is what my 83-year-old mother told me on my birthday this year. 40 came with so many expectations, it passed and I got on with life. I quite like it now.

The year of Noosa Women Possibly the most successful thing I’ve done in my life – this vibrant, emerging group gives me so much joy. I searched so long for ‘my people’; little realising that I just had to stand up and ask them to join me.

What did I learn from what didn’t work?

Write for myself And get an editor. Early in the year I started writing for others (rather than myself). The tone, enthusiasm and quality of my writing bottomed out and I’d fairly much stopped writing by the middle of the year. Not really great when one of my 2009 goals was to shift from coaching to writing as my main work.

A longer version of this article first appeared in the December 2009 edition of Design Notes, the newsletter of the Work/Life Design Program. You can find out more about Design Notes and the WLD Program at


31 DECEMBER 2009

Since writing the above article, I’ve done a wee bit more reflecting and, probably more importantly, I’ve spoken with many people – friends, family, colleagues, clients, the lady in the fruit shop – about 2009.

Allowing the fallow times

What became clear to me as I spoke about the year was how it emerged as my ‘fallow’ year. I wasn’t singularly focused on achieving things, I just took them as they came and hopefully made the best of the opportunities that came my way. I can understand why I did this – 2008 was very intense and I was wanting to move in a new direction – but it only really made sense in retrospect.

Things that happened when I wasn’t looking

I was looking through my notebooks and journals yesterday while preparing an article on new year resolutions and came across references to some other things that I wanted to bring into my life in 2009.

Women’s Film Club One thing I wanted was to start some sort of local women’s film club. Tick. Actually, double tick if you include me finally joining Cinema Pomona – which is full of family.

“Win a Big Ass TV” Another thing on my list for 2009 was “Win a big ass TV”. I’ve always wanted a BATV but have never been able to justify buying one. So I thought winning one would absolve me of any responsibility of contributing to the global destruction of rainforests, um, etc. While I did not win any BATVs this year, I was given one. (Thanks Karen!) Actually, two. (Thanks Tan & Gretch!) It could have been three if I had found six burly blokes and a ute (not something I’m used to looking for every day). So there you go, a double tick for the BATV and a reminder that sometimes you just need to ask the universe for a big ass TV and she delivers – in triplicate.

Now I’m starting to sound like The Secret, so I will stop there.

[Oh, and Caro has advised me to put in a little note here informing you that I only came to possess two BATVs because one of them stopped working after we hauled its 5-tonne ass into the house. If you would like a decorative (read: non-working) BATV, please let me know.]

Nine None for 09? I was also surprised to find many references in my notes around this time last year to my “Nine for 09” (ie nine priorities for 2009) but I couldn’t find any such list. Imagine what the year would have been like if I’d actually put nine things out there?! So this year I’m doing my Ten For 10. Catchy huh? Actually it’s now at 11 for 10 because I keep thinking of “essentials for 2010”. As Simplicity is one of my priorities for 2010, I just need to whittle the list down to 10 for its framed version on the wall. [Yes, this is where you back away slowly from the crazy lady … Hey, it works for me.]

Just a couple more year end questions and I’ll feel ready to move on

I’ve also just received a copy of David Allen’s End Of Year reflection questions. Okay, I don’t get as excited as some by his Getting Things Done approach but he’s a savvy guy and I like these…

After reviewing your 2009, name:

Your biggest triumph?

Smartest decision?

One word that sums up your year?

Greatest lesson learned?

Most loving service performed?

Biggest piece of unfinished business?

Most happy about completing?

Three people who had the greatest impact on your life?

Biggest risk?

Biggest surprise?

Most improved relationship?

The compliment you would have liked to receive?

The compliment you would have liked to given?

What else do you need to do or say to be complete with 2009?

[Source: David Allen]

He’s also got some neat 2010 planning questions that you can check out at the original post.

And, the last word on 2009, I swear…

I’ve found the shift in Facebook statuses (from doom-and-gloom-the-world-is-fucked to woo-hoo-bring-on-2010) over the last few days fascinating, as people start (literally) looking forward to 2010.

Hmmm. Imagine how different life could be if we let our positive futures inspire us everyday.

Happy new year all. See you in 2010.