2012: trudging through the mud

And so 2012. I want to begin at the end as it is more positive. I’d bought a house and my garden was growing. I’d finished my Masters and had a successful first year teaching. I had lunch catch-ups and coffees and bike rides with various friends. I shared about my SSA with my new pastor and he was very encouraging. I hadn’t masturbated in 11 days. I was praying and reading the Word daily again.

But, oh, how this year feels like a long, hard slog to get to that place. The year was simply a lot of work and it’s all catching up with me now in a kind of exhaustion. Sometimes I just want to pop off the earth as it all feels too hard.

It was an incredibly busy year (and I’m not usually one to be very busy) with teaching high school for the first time and all the preparation and correction that goes with that. Then some weekends and holidays were taken up with Masters and then there was all the usual life stuff of exercise and cooking and cleaning and catching up with friends and family.

Then sometimes, usually towards the end of school holidays or on a Sunday afternoon, I was incredibly bored and had too many thoughts and said and did things that were unhelpful and inspired by odd emotions that only existed after my mind was clear of whatever busyness I had been experiencing.

My post about ‘being a man about it’ is still true and covers a lot of my highlights/lowlights in terms of the biggest things in my life this year with teaching and house buying so I won’t repeat it all.

So, instead I will talk about next year.

I’m looking forward to teaching in a bigger English department at the other campus of my school where I have been transferred. It will give me more ideas to improve my teaching. I also have a couple of new subjects, which will be a good challenge. One of my classes is going to be tough behaviourally, so I will also improve my classroom management skills.

In 2013 I will get more involved in my church and begin to get to know more people there. It’s a great church and I’m glad to go there. I’m glad that there is such a good church in my country town. Everyone there is really Biblical and also passionate about living out their faith in the day-to-day things that happen.

I’m excited to keep making improvements to my home and garden. In Autumn I need to replant a section of my garden that currently contains annuals, so that will be fun to choose the plants to create a theme. Other plants I have purchased, including a whole heap of climbers, will grow and create atmosphere. I want to invite more people over for lunch and dinner and for my home to become a place of hospitality. This is something of a long term dream. I guess with my friends we tend to go out and do stuff or eat, so it may not be a big thing.

I also want to become more adventurous with my cooking and try different things. I have about three things that I make a lot and regularly, which is fine as food is power and I’m busy, but I’d like to add some new dishes to my skill set.

I am also going to be able to do some more things with my weekends and holidays now I’m not doing my Masters although teaching will still take up time here and there. Hopefully it won’t be so much that I have to shut myself in a room all day. This should mean more time for going to the city and catching up with friends and doing photography…maybe even blogging. I want to make productive use of this time.

I’m going to work on being more pure in 2013. 2012 was a bit of a mess temptation wise. I only look at porn maybe 10 times in the whole year (and then only in about three bursts), but after deciding it was okay to masturbate without lust it eventually became masturbating a lot with lust. I also had a few emotional dealings that were unhelpful and I could have dealt with them better. It was nothing major; but an annoying reminder that I’m not whole yet.

I also want to draw nearer to God and make everything about how He is working in the world. I lost my footing a bit and stopped reminding myself of how everything worked together. Not that it led to sin or apostasy, but simply that it led to despair and some feelings of hopelessness about my position in life. There were a few nights when I went to bed and wished that I wouldn’t wake up and I don’t think that is being true to how God created the world to be and my place in it even as a single guy.

I think 2012 was a good year. It was just hard and so the good parts were in the learning. I hope that 2013 is good in another way.

I wish all of you who made it this far a Happy New Year and that you would seek God with all your might in 2013 and stay faithful to who He is!