My Christmas letter to each and every one of you

This year I’ve decided there’s so many people I’d like to write a card to, call or share a conversation with. Sadly, circumstances don’t permit this – and doing so could keep me busy for a whole month of Sundays.

My 2011 is best summed up by this quote from one of my all time favourite movies; the 1998 David Mamet written masterpiece Ronin:

Vincent (Reno): Seven fat years and seven lean years.
Sam (DeNiro): That’s what it says in the Bible.

2011 has been a year of mostly downs, with the occasional spikes and highs of turns that didn’t always pay off.

Moving on from a nightmare of an employer, and the in the process of doing so and clearing my conscience I ended up unemployed. A five week stint in Sydney after business requirements changed seven days into a contract, and rediscovering the damage caused by the black dog.

This all of course lead to being unable to take my annual holiday, which would have included discovering the delights of Hong Kong and Macau. It also highlighted how not planning ahead for those potentially lean years has left me in the position I’m in.

But as the Christmas season draws to a close, one year ends and another begins. It ends on a slightly higher note, allowing me to combine my writing skills with my passion for aviation and airports – and at least earn some money from it. Granted, this is not enough to make a living from but it will at least supplement the pitiful amount the Government expects the unemployed to survive on.

And in polar opposite to most of the job seekers I have the misfortune of encountering during my rare visits to a Centrelink office. I for one have made sure to apply for and be looking at all and any relevant opportunities to me. I’ve been open to relocation, moving, or even tacking new challenges which I may not previously have encountered.

And unlike the aforementioned cohort of job seekers, I at least make an effort to rock up to appointments there dressed decently; not in the cut off jeans, tank tops, unwashed nature showing off body art and jewellery they put on display; conveying just how uncommitted they seem to moving off the sustenance of the taxpayer’s teet – one which I funded substantially during 17 years of continuous employment.

So what do I have to be thankful for this Christmas? Granted, I may not have been showered in presents, enjoyed massive banquets, or even bought myself an exciting present beyond razor blades (yeah, that’s a must-have Christmas gift – not).

What I do have is a roof over my head, friends, acquaintances who give a toss, and an even wider circle of lovely and warm people I’ve come to know across social media – for whom my daily conversation and interaction with provide a welcomed distraction from the monotony of this year.

Every day, so many of you and your musings bring a smile to my face. From photographs of your beautiful offspring, your day in pictures, various pets, sharing a love of cooking and travel, sharing the odd suggestive joke, through to deep conversations of matters life and universe and those things that are troubling you.

Time after time I want to just reach through the screen and hug you all, especially those I’ve still not had the pleasure of meeting in person. While I do have my own troubles, I hope that the occasional comfort and kind words I’ve been able to provide has at least brought you some relief in your own times of need and despair.

The only gift I can offer is hope – a longing and desire that 2012 for each and every one of you will be better than the previous year. Some of you face new challenges; from the miracle of new life, marital or civil union with a significant other, to moving from one stage in your life or career to another.

Each one of these challenges will help you grow as a person; putting the skills, knowledge and attributes you’ve acquired over the many years to the test.

I can only wish you the best of luck and success in each of your endeavours. Know that I’ll be cheering you on – if only from the sidelines.

And if there’s one thing I’d like for 2012 apart from stable employment – it’s a nice women who can at least provide a shoulder to lean on, be a strong and supportive player in the as yet incomplete play known as my life, and share the occasional cuddle and some deep conversation in my lonely queen-sized bed.

So to all of you, a merry Christmas and the best of wishes and good luck for 2012,

Michael H

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