Images by John 'K'

Life as seen through my lens…

Welcome to 2007

Well somehow I have survived into another year relatively unscathed by things.
 
Life has continued to throw some interesting challenges at me, money continues to be a bit of an issue – as fast as I clear up one problem and recover from it another set of big bills comes up and resets all the work I’d put in to sort out the previous problem, and I know I only have a few months to try and pull this one back before there’ll be another batch of demands….. but at least this time I see some light at the end of the tunnel – I’m a bit further through it going forward than I’d be looking at were I to just turn around and go back from where I came, so I’ll muddle through. It’s nothing I haven’t faced before – just was hoping not to be facing it again this year…. oh well. The bike will have to wait another year I guess.
 
At least from a personal level things could be a lot worse. My eldest daughter and her family were over to visit for 3 weeks and went back to the UK after Christmas. They seem happy, and the boys (my 3 grandsons) are all growing up fast. Even the youngest (who is now 3) seemed so much older than when I last saw him. They are all doing fine though, and a bit better off into the new year than they would have been had they been paying for more of the trip themselves. I’ve put a representative selection of pictures up to cover the fun from those 3 weeks – it’s a large collection, but any less wouldn’t do the trip justice. Needless to say things have seemed a bit quiet since they went back to England.
 
My other daughter still back in England is also doing fine. She’s visiting for Easter with her boyfriend, so we’re looking forward to seeing her then. We spoke with her at Christmas, and things seem to be going OK for her – guess we’ll get the whole story when she visits, as she tends not to be too talkative on the phone.
 
For those of us over here, December saw my wife start a part time job, working in the teaching profession, so she’s happy that she can put a lot of her knowledge from her years working in the UK to some use, and also happy that she’s got a reason to be out of the house a bit more during the week.
 
My youngest daughter is into this year’s basketball season and is losing a lot of her free time to games or practices, but she loves it. She does however need to make more of an effort at school, especially with getting homework in on time and completed, otherwise her grades could see her off the team. She’s doing generally well in class, but not completing projects or homework is pulling her grades down badly. We as parents need to keep a better eye on that, but she also needs to make more of an effort – she is 16 after all.
 
Our elder daughter still spends more time than is really good for her on-line, but less time than she was at the start of December, and she does at least acknowledge that it’s an area she needs to work on more; just doesn’t seem to have the will power to do it herself. She’s also become involved with a guy she met on-line – things seem serious, and he’s visiting us this month, so should be interesting – no doubt I’ll have some things to report on after it happens, but for now he seems nice enough fro the interactions I’ve had with him, and in the on-line circles where they met he is well regarded, so we’re hoping it works out well for them.
 
My wife and I… well.. what can I say? She says she’s happy and for the most part seems to be, but there are times when I feel she’s holding something back. It might be she feels insecure about us because I am spending time chatting to friends I have on-line. If that is the case, she should know that it is nothing more than friends talking (and helping one another out with a few problems). I’ve spoken to her about things and have told her what’s happening, and I hope she trusts me enough to believe me. If however there is an element of doubt there, I wish she’d say something, as I’m sure those concerned would be more than happy to put her mind to rest if she won’t accept it from me. If there’s something else that’s bugging her, I hope she’ll share it. It may just be that she’s feeling the impact of having our eldest daughter and family visit and then go back home again… On the other hand, if there really is nothing and it’s just my paranoia, then perhaps her response to this will be what I need to see that. I know I’m happy so long as she is, and at the end of the day I want to do what will make her and keep her happy.
 
As to those friends I chat to on-line, there are a husband and wife where I chat to both regularly – they’ve had their problems, but seem to be working through them, and I truly hope for them that things continue that way into 2007. There’s a separated wife whose husband hit her with divorce papers in the run up to Christmas, and who has been coming to terms with that at a time where she should have been having much nicer things to deal with, so she’ll be having a less than ideal start to this new year. Then there’s a husband and wife where it looks like things aren’t going so well, so I have been doing what I can to offer advice and support as best I can, and to them I hope they can sort out their differences and do what is best for them and their children and move on gracefully to something better in 2007.
 
Talking to them, and seeing some of the stuff they are dealing with, has helped me see even more clearly that what I have with my life and family is very special and dear to me, and regardless of some of the challenges that come our way, I want more than ever to see things work for us long term; not that 27 years isn’t long term already, but we are only in our 40s and so have much more ahead of us, and I would love for that to be together. Time will tell.
 
So I start 2007 in a reflective mood, but with hope for the future. There are some challenges ahead, but I’ll deal with them as best I can as they come up. I know where I want to be, and I’m making the journey towards that end much as I would a long distance car journey – some basic planning up front, but taking the journey mile by mile, dealing with what I encounter as it happens, and continuing on the journey, and much like a long journey I hope I’ll reach the destination – perhaps a bit late, perhaps after a bit of a detour, but barring some major catastrophe that I cannot foresee, I can’t see me not getting there.
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