2014 has been an interesting year - one of downs and ups (in that order) from a work point of view, as has been chronicled elsewhere in this blog. While there's an element of uncertainty over one of my clients going into the New Year, the world won't end if that work does, although it will mean I won't be continuing the frankly stellar run of income (and the multiple juggling of balls on daily basis that goes with it). If I'm honest, I'm a little short of where I'd like to be in terms of repairing some of the damage done to the savings with the purchase of our new car, which - so far, touch wood, etc - has been a delight. But the fact this work is likely to be snatched away after a mere six months doesn't surprise me, and at least it's the usual tale of internal politics rather than a reflection of my work should it disappear.
I've learned a lot over this past year - including the fact I probably shouldn't be earning anywhere near what I have been doing as a writer. But then when I reflect on the aforementioned ball-juggling, it does make sense. The stress of being the sole bread winner is starting to weigh a little heavily on my shoulders, but I'm grateful I'm still in the position of being able to support my family with no outside help (car loans from parents notwithstanding!). I just hope I can keep it going into 2015 and beyond.
2014 won't go down in history as a great year, I fear. 100 years on from the outbreak of the Great War and our species continues to infuriate and delight in unequal measure. The conflict raging in places including Africa, the Middle East and even the fringes of Europe is proof that we're still failing to learn the lessons from history, and the outbreak of Ebola shows how skewed our priorities are - we could have had a great headstart on this, but man's greed and selfishness means this and other pressing problems (climate change, mass extinction event, anyone) continue to be ignored in the increasingly vain hope that they'll go away. The devastation in the UK earlier this year should be incontrovertible proof that sticking your head in the sand won't work, but still we do.
And yet, there have been glimpses of mankind's potential, nowhere more so than when looking to the stars. Europe landing a probe on a comet, the US successfully launching the first Orion (unmanned) flight ahead of a trip to Mars, and so many other breakthroughs. Life can be depressing, and it does get me down, but I'd like to think I'm learning to look more for the best in people.
With the space theme in mind, let me end my 2014 blog by sharing the following video with you, by Erik Wernquist. It's utterly inspiring, and if you want a reason to do more to save our planet so one day our children might get to see the rest of our solar system, this is it. Happy New Year.