Taking stock of 2018 a couple things come to mind. It was the first time ever that I flew to Australia twice in one year. I was there for Mum’s 90th birthday in January, and then back again for Genevieve’s wedding in November.
Moving out of the house in Kirchberg where we lived for nearly 20 years, to a flat in Vienna is another monumental change in our lives. I was President of VIC Toastmasters Club until June, then, and still, Area Director for F2 which has become four clubs in Austria.
Since moving to Vienna, doing the marriage course and being more involved with the church community is also an enriching change.
In 2018 apart from my two trips to Australia I was also in Greece, Bulgaria and Italy, first for Toastmasters and then with the Women’s Federation. I met with Diana my dear friend and mentor almost once a month and we continue to exchange books, ideas and support each other with our life stories.
I have learned to take advantage of a health club at work and now attend lymph drainage massage on-site. I’m also still going to a cranio massage therapist who I still believe has saved me from a knee operation the last years. Yes, I still have pain. I have managed to lose some weight. I’m still taking supplements and still working on my health. I’m inspired by the Lightworkers, a group of spiritual women, mostly connected to the UN. We meet about once a month in a private home for fellowship and sharing.
In January I was still taking the train to work every day from Kirchberg am Wagram and managed some lovely shots of the sun rising over the UN reflecting on the Danube. Josef and I are actively involved in quite some interdenominational work. The conference Himmel und Hoelle (Heaven and Hell) was another of a series of meetings we enjoy together. I still love Airports. This year I spent quite some time in them. I flew home to see Mum for her birthday. In Interview with nearly 90 year old Mum I reference some of the film footage I have taken to help me to write her story. Much of it is now, nearly a year later, still not processed. Mum’s turning 90. Wow! Lovely! Summer in the middle of the Austrian winter: Beach; Ben and Sarah’s; Photo of the sunset on the beach; Lunch with Susan; Travelling with Christoph; Mum’s biography; Lots of video footage; Photos. I asked Mum to talk into the camera and then posted: My Mum’s Advice to You. Walked along the creek. Library with Christoph. All too quickly back to the Austrian winter and snow. And back to work.
In February Am I becoming like my mother is the article I wrote and posted with a photo of my mother, my brother and myself in Australia. I ramble on about my digital issues, many already resolved since. If you manage to get past all the boring stuff you might be surprised by the rest.
In March my girlfriend started the Achikochi Gospel Chorus and we began singing on Fridays after work with some colleagues from the UN.
In April Mrs Hak Ja Han Moon, widow of Dr Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Movement, came to Vienna and spoke to ten thousand people at the Stadthalle. Then we went on a celebratory Danube cruise. The kids gave us a doormat for our wedding anniversary as we prepare to leave our domicile in Kirchberg.
My Blog Peace Starts With Me Festival has a brief footage I took during the rally in Vienna. Peace Starts With Me #peacestartswithme is a blatant effort to witness about my life after the inspiration of the Vienna rally in the Stadthalle with Mrs Moon. I wrote Happy Mother’s Day reflecting on myself and my own mother and even though she doesn’t read my blog, I wrote a tribute to my Mum. Towards the end of May I was in Athens at the Toastmasters Conference. The two districts, 59 and 95 were splitting into six new districts. I met the international president of Toastmasters and lots of other interesting people. When I got back to Austria we had a barbeque for Andi’s birthday in our garden in Kirchberg. On 14 May I met Herta at a side-event at the VIC.
In June Josef organized an event in Seidengasse and invited Christian politician, Gudrun Kugler as a guest speaker.
I am learning to let go as we started moving to Vienna. I continued working fulltime, trusting Josef to empty the house and pack our stuff.
For my birthday I decided to do a cover of the Beatles and posted Now I’m 64.
In Transition you can see me in my new office in Vienna with a slide show below of our move from Kirchberg.
The first Toastmasters meeting at the VIC in July was a tribute to me as the former president of the club. I wrote Why I nearly cried today and posted a photo with the flowers they gave me. When will I start blogging? Is the post I wrote in July after we moved to Vienna. I used a photo of me and the tree in Kirchberg. Gary and Caroline came to visit in our new place in Vienna. We are happy to have visitors in Vienna and started a marriage course which we do in our new flat.
In August I published my blog: A Year to Clear What is Holding You Back! It Is a personal explanation about how I do not read my mails, nor am I addicted to my phone, despite appreciating the convenience of modern technology and social media. It’s also a tribute to a couple of internet gurus, especially Clare Josa, author of Dare to Dream Bigger. Toastmasters is a brief report about my trip to Graz as Area Director to conduct the Club Officer Training. It was such fun and so inspiring. I realized I really do enjoy travelling! We took a motor cycle ride to Tulln. I am posting on FaceBook or Blog, sometimes both.
In September I went to Bulgaria as the Toastmasters Area Director responsible for three clubs in Austria. I wrote Fly Away With David’s Angels and posted a photo with Deniz whom I had just recently admired in a webinar training by Toastmasters. It was for me a confirmation of you can do anything you want. Such an inspiring person and then she said she was inspired by what I said! There’s also a mention of the prize I won by responding to an internet posting of someone I met about six years ago and also admire.
In What’s it like? You read a little and watch some video footage as I ramble on about myself, shortly after we moved to Vienna. We have managed to invite our kids to our new home in Vienna and sometimes go out to walk to the nearby university campus where we’ve taken a few photos. Family walk after lunch, altes AKH
In October Josef was invited to speak to a Catholic lay order in St.Poelten so I accompanied him on a week night after work. Then we both attended another conference by RPP called Mann /Frau. Then I was off to the WFWP conference in Padua. I took a train to Venice in Italy. The blog: Historical Memories is just a brief allusion to the experience.
Genevieve is getting married. The only granddaughter of my mother who has 12 grandsons, four sons, and I am her only daughter. Of course I have to go to the wedding. It was also great to see Christoph who returned south after 6 months in Cairns, where he achieved four diving certificates to become a Dive Master. All too quickly, two weeks was over and it’s back home to Vienna, again to snowfall. Why do I enjoy flying? I wrote this and posted a photo I took from the aeroplane window. In Autumn to Spring I wanted to show the contrast of flying from the northern hemisphere into the southern hemisphere at this time of year. In Being Grateful you can see a photo of my Mum and I grinning into the camera. I arrived at midnight Friday night. This is on Sunday afternoon at a christening. In Attitude I’m recording my Mum’s spirit of gratitude. I’m bragging about how well she is doing and I’ve inherited so much from her. Was also great to meet again with friend, Diane Simboro. In Last Sunday in Australia I briefly mention why I went to so much trouble, spent so much money for just a couple of weeks Down Under while trying to respect individual member’s privacy, yet yearning to tell my own story. How important it was for me to participate in this special wedding of a special person in my family of boys and men. I was pushed and grateful to witness this beautiful ceremony. The pains of separation. The trials of immigration. The joys of family! I saw the 12 Apostles Before the Trip Back Home. Haha. Do you get it? Only if you really read my blog! In A Week and a Day I reflect on my time in Australia in November and post a video created by Google with clips of home, the family, the garden, my activities. I love the warm weather. It was just a bit warmer in Melbourne than in Vienna when I left, but very light and sunny.
So finally in December, another full month, marriage course, Irish Christmas, family Christmas, private New Year. Blogging a little less than last year, but perhaps more “when I have time”. lol.
Merry Christmas; ****Season’s Greetings****New Year Reflection