Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Tempus Fugit... Time Flies- Farewell 2013, Welcome 2014!

We begin with a bit of trivia courtesy of Wikipedia...
"Auld Lang Syne" (Scots pronunciation: [ˈɔːl(d) lɑŋˈsəin]: note "s" rather than "z")   is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788   and set to the tune of a traditional folk song (Roud # 6294).  The song's Scots title may be translated into English literally as "old long since", or more idiomatically, "long long ago",  or  "days gone by" or "old times". Consequently "For auld lang syne", as it appears in the first line of the chorus, might be loosely translated as "for (the sake of) old times".
This year we actually managed to avoid the crowds in Central London and instead opted for a quiet New Year's at home watching the various celebrations unfold both here in London and around the world.

Reading  posts  on  the various social media   platforms,  it  seems there are lots of  people  around the world who are not  sad to see 2013 depart.   It has been a difficult  year for many.   Economic pressures  around the world, while  easing  somewhat  in places, remain  an issue for  vast  majority of people.  We have seen   a  largely  jobless recovery that  seems to be  benefiting a the top 1% far more  than  it has helped anyone else yet.   

For us,   2013  was not a bad year but  it was challenging.   My travel schedule  was  insane  having  started the year with a trip to Hong Kong,  then  hitting  the Middle East,  Central Europe,  North America,  then back to  Germany and Poland,  and finishing up the year last month  back in Hong Kong.   Thankfully   2014  promises to be  a year  of  considerably  less  business travel.

One bright spot this year were  dramatic  changes in the US  around the issue of Same Sex Marriage,   along with our own  American wedding, in  San Francisco  last July. (We were already legal spouses here in the UK through our Civil Partnership)   Consequently, a question  we have been asked regularly this year, is  will be  be moving back to the United States?    

That is  a complex issue and frankly, there isn't a simply yes or no answer to that.     Yes,  we would like at some point,  to move back to the  U.S.,  but  No,  we don't  know  exactly  when that will be. 

Also,  we look across the pond  and see the state of  affairs back  in the United States,  and frankly it doesn't  inspire an overwhelming  rush to pack up and move back.   The end of 2013 saw the  Republican Party  double down on the  Obama Derangement  Syndrome  that has defined  them  for the last 5 years.  A move that   has accomplished nothing,  other than critically damaging the GOP's  chances of  ever again being a national governing party.

Yet stupidity cloaked in political ideology is not solely an American prerogative.  Here in the United Kingdom,  Britain's own  version of the  "tea party"  are  the  folks over  at  the United Kingdom Independence Party or  "UKIP".    Like their  Duck Dynasty loving cousins  across the pond,  UKIP has  decided that  trying to make voters scared of  people who are not  white anglo-saxons  is the best way  to  take votes  away from  Britain's  Conservative Party.    The effort  however, rather  like a Sarah Palin Book tour, has not been going well.


We are optimistic  about  2014 though.   It  will be a year  of  big changes for  Eric and myself.   Later this month  I will  leave my current  role with  Buro Happold  after a wonderful 3 years as their head of  Learning and Development,  and move on  to an exciting  new role  leading global L&D efforts back in the  Financial Services sector.  It is in many ways  coming full circle  for me.  Having had my first senior role  in Corporate  Learning years ago, with  the global  Dutch bank  ABN  AMRO.   

In wishing a Happy New Year to all our  friends and family around the world,  we  are so  grateful  for  your love and  friendship.  To our  families  in  the United States in  New Jersey,  Wisconsin and California, in Malaysia,  in  Kuala Lumpur and  Malacca and  here in  the UK in North London.  We  love you all and hope to see  more of  you  in  2014.

To our incredible "extended family", our  friends  scattered  all over  the globe.   We think of and miss you all.    From folks back in LA and San Francisco, CA  to  Dallas, Houston and  San Antonio TX,  Omaha NE,  Chicago, IL,   Madison and Milwaukee WI, New York, NY,    Knoxville, TN,  Seattle, WA,  Portland, OR,   Latrobe, PA., Winchendon  and Wilmington, MA.  Columbus and Dahlonega GA.  Sydney and Melbourne  Australia,  Osan, South Korea, Hong Kong,  Toronto, Brussels, Kuala Lumpur , Amsterdam,  Lisbon and Sao Paulo , and of course here in London.   To name only a few of  the corners of the world where  we are blessed to have  amazing  friends.  

 To all of you  we  can only say how much we hope to see you  at some point in 2014, and remind you  that  we do have a rather nice guest room here.... just  sayin'...

Happy New Year  Everyone.   Here's  to  2014!  May it bring  all that  you hope for, and more.


David & Eric

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