January 4, 2015

I love the Summer holidays. Work slows down, many businesses shut between Christmas and New Year. Some, like me, have the drive with the kids to catch up with relatives, followed by the frenzied domestic clean up to get ready for another year of work.

I don’t particularly like crowds and queues, but the holidays are a time when they cannot be avoided. There are traffic queues like the one heading North out of Sydney on Boxing Day, luckily we were heading South to Canberra so missed out on the worst of the coastal traffic that day. There is also the almost obligatory New Years Eve fireworks.

This year, we were in the beautiful sea side town of Forster, NSW . It seemed like half of Sydney had decided to spend New Year’s Eve at Forster, so there were two things I dislike, crowds and queues. The family convinced me that we had to go to the foreshore to see the fireworks and being in the mood to please agreed and drove everyone down there. We parked a little away from the main hubbub so eliminated traffic queues and got to do something I like, walking.

I have not been a fan of big fireworks displays mainly because of the cost. When I see things like the 2015 Sydney fireworks costing more than $7 million, I have often wondered how that money may have otherwise been spent on other social issues. I do understand that the $7 million generated over $100 million in economic benefits, however it does make me wonder and hence takes my attention away from the awe of the pyrotechnic spectacle.

With my new resolve to do more to go with the flow I just watched the Foster fireworks. I blocked out the annoying thoughts of “waste of public money”. I did get bitten by a mosquito, but my brother in law had some repellent so that didn’t become an issue. Watching the fireworks it suddenly dawned on me that there is massive relevance in exploding stuff on New Year’s Eve. The fireworks represent all the emotions of the year just gone. All the tragedies and triumphs. All the joy and sadness. All the efforts and rewards. It all gets shot into the sky and blown apart in a display of power, beauty and wonder. It puts a significant end to the year. It gives it a dramatic finality.

The old year is done, what is in store for the next? Sitting at my work desk this morning for the first time in 2015 I am planning. I am looking at all the things I need to do to make this year a success. Understanding the targets that I want to reach and understanding the resources that I will need to achieve them. Last year is over, we’ve had the fireworks to prove it. I am focussed on the outcomes of this year.