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Sunday, January 1, 2012

10 Questions To Ask Yourself As We Bid Farewell To 2011!

It was the reading of my sister in-law's blog post (Krista) that my wife wrote one of her own (Kmarie)
and thus after reading both of their's for myself... it was the inspiration of these great women that I do so likewise.

Often, as these inspirational women have shared,...we forget to REFLECT

To reflect is to QUESTION,
question to REFLECT,
reflect... to ALTER the course of ones FUTURE.

1. What is one truth you learned?
The greatest truth learned... was that of LOVE.  Everything... all things done without love are, as Paul iterates in a New Testament letter,  'skubalon' , translated to english... BULLSHIT!  What good are things done when done without love?

2. What is something that you did that you are particularly proud of?

One thing in particular was the completion of my apprenticeship in carpentry. I started my forth year, technical training at, in January and finished in February.  2011 witnessed me obtaining my Journeyman Carpenters ticket. I am, what some have referred to as, a "J-Man".

While being a Carpenter has never really been what I have expected to do as a career... it has been enjoyable. I have had a like/hate relationship with carpentry. There have been moments where either my workplace, life circumstances and/or, extensive personal issues that had distorted for me the life of a carpenter and labourer. I underwent moments of detest, repulsion and utter hatred for it. I blamed it for holding me back. With those feelings, have also been times of enjoyment and thankfulness for what I have. Still...I hasten to say that it is what I love.

3. What was the hardest thing that you had to do?

The admission of my own failures in two specific circumstances along with many other, smaller, but no less important, incidents.
Admit my selfishness.
Being honest when it was not comfortable to do so.

4. What is something that you changed to improve the way you live?
When... in all my yearnings for  future things and struggles to make more money by working extensive amounts, all the while failing to be present in the Present and being unavailable to those of whom I love... I decided to work less. 
Some may say it crazy or foolish, but when we only live one life it is foolishness not to LIVE FULLY in the NOW!

5. What was your favourite Arts and Culture discovery (this could be a book, movie, song, etc.)?

It would have to be that of Julian Smith(JulianSmith). I was introduced to Julian in January by a friend of mine at school. Once I watched one video clip of his, I was hooked. I appreciate  his genius. He is intelligent in what he creates. My favourites are: I'm Reading A BookRacist Coffeegrandma-like-whoastuck-inside-your-head-remix, and pre-blessed-food

It is the likes of these that have me repeating what Soren Kierkegaard once shared,
"It has often struck me when reading a good poem or some other work of genius that it was a good thing after all that I myself was not its author, for then I would not be allowed to vent my joy without fear of being accused of vanity (January: I A 118)."

What was something new you tried?
I guess that this may apply... A.D.D.. I discovered that I have it. I was diagnosed with it in May and ever since that realization I have been able to, thanks to my counsellor, utterly change my life. Without this coming to knowledge I fear that I would have continued on down a very deep and dreadful path.

7. What experience did you appreciate the most?
Like my wife... I can not answer singularly.
1. Receiving my Journeyman Carpenters Ticket.
2. Celebration of my apprenticeship completion and birthday, with friends and family, that my precious wife put on.
3. Receiving a much needed vehicle from my in-laws(thanks guys).
4. All the phone conversations I have with a friend so dear to my heart(I love you Nathan).
5. Every chance I get to be with my exquisite wife and darling children.
6. Every Philosophical/Theological event this year - CALLED TO QUESTION.
7. Close friends with whom I enjoy the riches of conversing... with pipes hung from our lips while contemplative pondering's ascend and variegate with the ever gentle sway of smoke.

8. What did God surprise you with?
The immaculate GRACE and COMPASSION of Christ. I had spent years of agony and heart wrenching searching for something... not quite sure exactly what it was, perhaps, most likely myself, but in a moment it came to me or I to it. I was met with utter grace and compassion, so much so that all other things drifted away. All other voices, institutions and social pressures telling how and what I should be, where eliminated and the only voice that I gave a shit about anymore was that of Christ's. 

9. What was something that inspired you?
Kung Fu Panda 2 and watching number one again with my children. Such great teachings about inner peace within those movies that are taught along side humour and love. 
Of course, I was most inspired by MY WIFE. You never cease to amaze me my dear. 
Second, to my friend, MY NATHAN. Thanks for all your support and love over the years, you know that they have not been easy for me, but you were always there.

10. If there was one word to describe 2011, what would it be? 


I encourage you to look through these questions yourself and take time to reflect... it could alter your entire future. 

Song Choice: Auld Lang Syne- Piano Version
My wife took this picture of the kids honorary Auntie and I. She spent the New Year with us and deserved the reflection after figuring out the Spiderman Yahtzee instructions.


Anonymous said...

Loved "Called to Question" - I always felt challenged to think and clarify what I think - it goes to the depths.
Also, Kung Fu Panda is very in-depth with its truths and challenges.
Thanks for being you alongside your wife and family. You're all awesome.
Cheers to New Years!

CalledtoQuestion said...

Thanks Miriam, we always enjoy your company and input at Called To Question and look forward to journeying 2012 alongside you. Yes, Cheers To News Years!

Kmarie said...

I love you. Always. As Chicago sings, "You're the meaning in my life- you're the inspiration." You really are...which is why I often forget to mention you in my posts until later...because you are so much a part of me you go without saying...Kind of how I feel about my relationship with God too. You both are the reason I live and it takes effort to explain it sometimes:) But I do love you and I liked all your points. You make me chuckle.
Happy 2012. SO glad I get to spend the better parts of it with you:)

Kmarie said...

Ha ha- That last comment sounded like it was to Miriam...I did not realize you were signed in and wrote it...Ten minutes later I thought I'd check and it said Philip said, "..."
I quickly deleted and signed out but I died laughing. Sorry Miriam - that would have been a shock wouldn't of it?!:) LOL

Nathan said...

Hey, I really enjoyed reading this post, I think it captured your year, the different accomplishments, struggles, and realizations. I wish our families were close...I miss hanging out and I think Erin and Charissa could have become close friends too. Well man I appreciate chatting with you as well! You are a good thinker and an awesome dad and husband. Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Would have died laughing with you - HA!
Hopefully we're not THAT close...;) Oh the wonderful world of blogging.
Lovely picture of Phil and Keren.

CalledtoQuestion said...

Nathan- I love that we are able to share together our struggles and joys in family, work and thought. You too, are a good thinker and awesome dad and husband.

Miriam- Glad Kmarie caught that, we had a good laugh.