While the world seems to be freaking out about the number of celebrity deaths and seemingly trying to pin the blame on the year 2016....suggesting that the dawn of a new year will solve the ills of the world and stop people dying I am choosing to not write a post on my annoyance at this shallow and misplaced sense of anger and sorrow in the face of real pain and sorrow and war so many of our fellow humans are facing across the globe.
Instead I am reflecting on 2016 in my world.
2016 has certainly been focused on tertiary education in the Byres household.
Allan spent the year completing the bulk of his Masters of Education in Leadership and Administration at the University of British Columbia. The finish line is in sight and another 4 months of research and presentations will see this journey over. He has been a dedicated and conscientious student and despite some hard times and pressured timelines he has enjoyed his studies. He continues to enjoy his work at McMath and we are both curious about what the future holds for him. He got in many fishing days and spent many happy hours in lakes and rivers of our beautiful province.
Lindsay finished her First Year Psychology at the University of Victoria with a very impressive set of results. Residence was a blast but she was more than ready for some time at home and in the kitchen. She had a bit of a fight with an avocado early in the summer which led to surgery and a few weeks of rehab for a damaged finger. She worked all summer while amassing furniture for her first apartment. We moved her in September to a sweet place and one in which she has managed a steep learning curve as she embarked on second year and living alone. She got a nasty case of mono in the Fall but managed to keep on working and going to school after a weeks rest. We are so proud of how she handled herself this semester in the classroom, at work and managing her home. She loves her studies but does not love living alone and we will search for a different arrangement for her for next year.
David is tackling Grade 12 and applying for University for next Fall. He hopes to go to UBC like his Dad but the process is super competitive and he is going to need a bit more hard work and some luck to pull it off. He spent the summer away from us in Kelowna working in various roles at Green Bay Bible Camp. He loved it and hopes to reprise that experience in 2017. He continues to be a very social, very busy boy involved in leading youth at church and many other activities as well as working 12-18 hours a week. He pulled off a 5th straight year at Strathcona Outdoor Ed - a place that will forever have a special place in his heart. He continues to be an avid photographer and has had some wonderful times shooting various things, the highlight of which was We Day this year.
My work continues to be busy and fulfilling and ever changing. Our organisation has doubled in size since I started and we are set to grow again in the year ahead. HR takes the bulk of my time but I continue to have a deep heart for the curriculum side of early childhood and my passion for creating an organisation that honours childhood and the Educators is undiminished. I am also continuing to teach in the evenings but the program in Richmond is closing so it may be my last course. The additional teaching work is rewarding but is a lot of work but it has certainly helped with all the tuition fees we have !! I do a lot of driving for our busy teens and am happiest when my little family are all in the house.
We managed a brief family getaway to SaltSpring Island at Spring Break and Allan and I had another brief vacation in August on our way to pick David up. Lest you think we were footloose and fancy free..we did have Mr Spanner with us. He continues to be a delightful addition to the family in spite of the work he creates!
Some other highlights for the Byres Clan this year were our community farm plot with our friends that yielded delightful crops all Spring / Summer and was a good reason to get out on the land; lots of lovely meals and some great adventures with friends; our St.Johns Richmond home group, my Dad's retirement; a visit from an old friend; and so many ordinary yet extraordinary moments that enriched our days and weeks and months.
We look back with gratitude for a year in which we grew and learned and loved and we look forward to a year ahead in which some important milestones will be reached and in which we will endeavour to walk in peace and with joy in all the circumstances.
Thank YOU for being part of our story, for tracking with this blog that continues to be a source of joy for me and a means of connection with friends and family across this planet we call home. My very best wishes to you for a year ahead that sustains you and challenges you and in which you find a path that brings you JOY!