The year is drawing to a close. Typically, at this time of year, I try to reflect on the year past and get overwhelmed with processing details. I like to keep track and end up running out of time. I’ve come to the conclusion that I have a paradigm issue with time deficiency. Some people think they don’t have enough money. I think I don’t have enough time.
I retired over two years ago and still have a long list of all the things I want to do. Yet as time goes on, some of those items become less pressing and I even forget about them.
When I first retired, I was so happy to finally have enough time to process all my kids’ photos and videos. As each birthday came along, I started preparing slide shows of baby photos – and they were amazed and thankful!
Yet I knew that there were still many photos which had not even been scanned yet.
As I write now and recognize that my reading audience may come from a very wide age range, I have to tell you, that as my kids were growing up in the 1990’s we were using film cameras and towards the end of the last century we eventually started getting some photos on CDs which they made from the film we used.
Later on, there were digital cameras and so of course I have now accumulated thousands of photos since the digital age has enabled saving every single photo you take, limited only by capacity of the storage medium.
I still remember the first computer that we got in Zwettl which had a capacity of about 23 000 MB. There was no picture there, only text. Eventually we got some computer games which allowed us to play ping pong on the screen. All this still with no graphics installed.
Fast forward and now I want to talk about gratitude. All I’ve experienced lately makes me think everybody already knows how important it is to be grateful. However, since I’ve just recorded a vlog about faith, I think I need to go there.
I’m amazed and grateful how things have developed over the last couple of years. When Corona first came, and we discovered we have a global pandemic there were some thoughts of doom and gloom. Even now, two years later, as the virus continues to mutate and the scientists tell us that there will probably be a fifth lockdown in early 2022, here in Austria, I marvel at how much we have been able to connect on a worldwide level.
This year I am involved with the Women’s Federation for World Peace United Nations office in Vienna, and we cooperate with Geneva, New York, Africa and South America. I have weekly meetings with my colleagues in the other international offices and we have had some amazing meetings! I am proud to be a part of such an illustrious team and to contribute to the technical support of getting our meetings live-streamed and published on YouTube and Facebook.
I also just recently contacted the Division Director of our National Toastmasters group and offered my support to get our club management system working a little more as it was originally intended to do.I realize that with a volunteer group like Toastmasters, where professionals come together just a few times a month, and change leadership every year, it is not easy to maintain the continuity and transparency which I feel is required in such a programme. I’ve been proud to contribute to the V.I.C. Toastmasters club, at the beginning of the pandemic as zoom master, educator and now that we have finally managed to have another live meeting in person, I’ve pulled out the video camera again and hope to get some of the new members involved with physical filming, apart from all the zooming we’ve done. It is a matter of pride in our club that we transitioned quickly to on-line meetings and have actually gained membership, whereas some other clubs seem to have closed down completely during the pandemic.
Yesterday we attended a concert in the Imperial Palace Chapel (Wiener Hofburg Kapelle) where two of our sons sang with Chorus Vienensis, the men’s choir of the former Vienna Choir Boys. This concert was scheduled already last year and was cancelled due to the pandemic. One of our sons then left to ski in Canada. The concert was scheduled again for the beginning of December this year and was again postponed, and we were grateful to be able to finally attend and even welcome family and friends. Christoph is back in Austria and so he and Nathan were both singing, while Timi was outside guiding the audience into the chapel.
Josef and I have settled into our apartment in Vienna as if we never lived anywhere else. Of course, I miss the tree, the balcony, the garden, and the sunshine in the window. I miss not having the kids around to ask for help in technical issues. Josef and I have lots of time to talk and share and do our own thing.
We pray and read and study together every day and philosophize about the amazing decision we both made independently of one another, over 46 years ago, worlds apart, which brought us together in the Unification movement. We study the words of Reverend and Mrs Moon and consider where and when and why they were spoken. We commit to applying the Divine Principle and seek to understand what Heavenly Parent really wants and thinks now.
We think of our ancestors who paved the path before us and wonder what they are thinking now “on the other side”. Do they understand us now? Can they support us now? We commit to continue to live our ideals and to contribute to building Heavenly Parent’s Holy Community.
We are often up in the middle of the night for a Rally of Hope or Rally of Prayer. We pray for the reunification of North and South Korea. We marvel at the outspoken support of Paula White and other prominent VIPs.
Josef is actively promoting moral and ethical values and character education to counter the onslaught of perverse sexual education practices in schools and is still talking about producing a publication.
I respond to calls of support from WFWP without wanting to deplete all my resources. In fact, I am still working on my personal vision which is one of abundance. I am a communications trainer and virtual assistant. I see all the streams of influence bearing fruit in a wonder world where all my experience and expertise come together for greater good.
I am so grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to work here in Vienna at the United Nations in the Department of Nuclear Security. I’m so grateful for my five sons who have grown up to be responsible citizens in solid relationships. I am so grateful for my four brothers “back home” in Australia, who were with my mother until the end. I’m so grateful for the values my parents raised me with.
Now I understand I can share that hope and vision by simply telling my story. Next step will be to reach out to the other relatives and friends.
Isn’t it amazing what we can do and share today? You can influence somebody else’s life with the press of a button.