2008 – A Year in Review

Well, I’m slightly relieved that I survived 2008. It was a year filled with huge highs, and mega lows. In fact, in the space of 12 months I have completely changed my whole aspect on life. I guess that could be considered a great achievement, but it has come with a significant cost.

The year started fairly well. New Years Eve 2007 kicked off at the Brisbane Town Hall, all frocked up and set to stun. Despite the fact that I was rubbing shoulders with very beautiful people, I felt good about myself and about my little world. In fact, when a certain somebody whispered in my ear that “2008 is going to be our year, baby” I actually believed it. Ha! Funny how some things turn out.

2008 certainly wasn’t “our” year. On April 1st, 2008 the shit officially hit the fan. The legal shit took a few months to sort out, but the fallout included sorting out property and the custody of a furry-child. The whole affair will always be a major landmark in my life, as all at once the shared hopes and dreams came to a clattering full-stop. I’ll never be able to show my gratitude to my family and friends for the way that they all closed ranks around me. There was never a short supply of shoulders to cry on.

However, the best piece of advice came from Papa Bear.

Throughout your life, you need to surround yourself with people that will be there to support you if things get rough. If you’re unlucky enough to fall off a cliff, you want to know that your friends and chosen family will be there to grab hold of you. Whats more, you want to know that when they’re holding you, they will never ever let go.

I have people in my life that will never ever let go. So, 2008 became a cross-roads for me. I decided, quite consciously, to bite off more than I could chew, and then just chew like buggery.

I renovated my kitchen. I landscaped my backyard. I threw my hat into the ring at work, and decided to take on the biggest project of my career.

Everybody told me that it’d never happen, my project would never see the light of day. I half agreed with them, but also kept reminding myself that fortune favors the brave.
“Fuck it, lets just give it a crack and see where it takes me. I’ve got nothing better to do with my time.”

My new kitchen is now finished, my backyard looks great, and the contracts at work are now all signed, and sorted. I have achieved something that I never thought I’d get to see. When everything went through, I couldn’t stop grinning. I threw myself a few high-fives, and called my family to celebrate. It made a nice change to have to call them with good news!

My family and friends have had their own share of bad news this year. My Grandma and Uncle were both diagnosed with cancer. Cancer also took the life of one of my cousins. Without dwelling on the bad news, we’ve also had a lot of good news.

Ava Grace, and Hannah Jean were both born in 2008, and my cousin also got engaged.

The Richmond football team still didn’t make the finals, but we’ll give it another tilt in 2009.

This year, I managed to try a lot of things for the very first time. I played underwater hockey, I got my belly button pierced, I tried (and failed at) internet dating, I completed a PRINCE2 Practitioners course, I helped invent a cocktail, I bartered website work for jewelry, I went on a Thai cooking course, I wore fake eyelashes for the first time, I did Jagermeister shots, I bought my own set of Stormtrooper armour and joined the Fighting 501st.

The 501st was a bit of a lucky find. I actually read a review about a documentary made on the 501st which piqued my curiosity. I had to find out more. So, I went to the main website http://www.501st.com and read all about the work they do for charities and the madcap Starwars love they spread. I was hooked, and I simply had to know more.

I visited the local squad during one of their “troops”. There were about 10 stormtroopers, and biker scouts having fun with the crowd and raising money for the Starlight Foundation. In fact, the local constabulary even got in on the fun and let one of the guys jump on his bike. Even Vader had a bit of a run selling fairground tickets. I decided that this was something worthwhile.

I bought my own set of armour a few weeks later and I’m now very proud to say that I have been officially accepted into the 501st fold. I am TK6232 of the Redbacks Squad, as part of the Terror Australis Garrison. Wookies and Jedi beware!!

So, I now head into 2009 armed with a bunch of hard-won wisdom and a bucketful of optimism. I feel, for the first time in many years, like I have the capacity to do anything I set my mind to. In the last year, I’ve met some amazing people and despite the hardships, had quite a lot of fun. And that, I think, is the secret to happiness.

Looking forward to a wicked and wonderful 2009,
Jac xx

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