Happy New Year! The Year 2008 in Review and Looking Ahead to 2009
Uploaded on January 1, 2007by Creativity+ Timothy K Hamilton licensed under Creative Commons
Happy New Year!
Today I took some time to conduct an annual review of 2008 and make plans for 2009 as suggested by one of my favorite bloggers Chris Guillebeau of The Art of Nonconformity (see his post How to Conduct Your Own Annual Review).
2008 was quite a year of exploration on many levels for me. I have a goal to see many of our National Parks, and this year I started with a wonderful hiking trip to stunning Yosemite National Park. The hiking was challenging but fabulous, and the experience was nothing short of spectacular. I also have a goal to experience intercultural travel, and I had a wonderful time exploring Puerto Rico "off the beaten path". I also had a weekend of hiking in the Adirondacks, and spent some time reconnecting with family in Washington, D.C. where I met my beautiful little grand-nieces and spent time with my nephews and their families. I connected with some hiking and travel groups and made many new friendships. I took up running again and ran a 5K in the Fall. I participated in a historic Baha'i Conference in Connecticut called by the Universal House of Justice and experienced first-hand the amazing diversity and warmth of community of our beloved Faith.
One of the highlights of my year was volunteering at an Interfaith Youth Community Service event in Philadelphia. It was amazing to see youth from all backgrounds working side by side to clean up a local park. They reflected on the values which led them to participate in such an event, such as love for Creation, stewardship of the Earth, and caring for present and future generations. I was amazed by the depth of perception and sensitivity of these young people. I have found a local Lehigh Valley group which is planning an Interfaith event in the Spring, and I am looking forward to taking a more active role in this event. I also am hoping to get involved in some environmental concerns.
Looking ahead to 2009, my new goals really are on the same trajectory as 2008! I'm looking forward to more hiking and more social connections, and I have a few ideas for travel plans. But in 2009 I would like to have a renewed emphasis on service, specifically the interfaith youth events I am involved in. I truly believe that the best way to work for a better future is to encourage and facilitate the growth of the next generation, and to enable youth from different cultural communities to work together and learn to know each other. I am sure I will face many challenges along the way, and I doubt it will be easy. As 2008 was a year of exploration for me, I am envisioning and hoping for 2009 to be a year of service and connection. Insha'Allah (God willing)!
Let me know some of your fond memories of 2008 and your hopes and plans for 2009 in the comment box!