But before I get to that, a few words on my long term plans.
First, I shall definitely stay in Britain for next three years, but head out, to Asia perhaps, in December 2012. I gather I need three years to complete what I came here for - to learn. After that will be my time to concentrate on family, usual social life etc. But, I must give these 36 months in the pursuit of what I want.
Second, I shall focus on education. Become a teacher myself, perhaps, at least for a while. I am dreaming of setting up a college - an open access liberal education facility - and I have the sense of destiny pulling me into the project. This, deep in my heart, looks like a project I can devote the rest of my life too. That will surely be my New Year wish.
Third, I shall take up writing more seriously. I am aware of the stylistic limitations of what I do in this blog, but the point of doing this here was practise - I would not have learnt of my limitations if I did not try. Besides, I have realized the value of doing more serious research based writing, and I shall try to focus my thoughts more and put in the efforts on research before I write. But amateur as I am, I shall also serve a purpose if I continue to say what I believe - that all men [and women] must get equal opportunity and this will make the world a better place - because the world in general is driven by people with a perverse and selfish agenda.
So, writing, research and education - are the broad directions of my life in 2010. I have a plan, which is more elaborate than just resolutions, for the New Year. My experience showed me that it always helps to share things with friends. So, I am writing it down here, expecting another flurry of emails/ comments. That always helps.
This is how I want to achieve it:
Work: I shall continue to do what I do now till March 2010. This will, hopefully, give me enough time to set up structures and partnerships in India, Philippines and Poland, which will be sustainable and profitable businesses. This will complete my own contract with myself and give me the sense of accomplishment that I need - that I did not leave a project mid-way because of difficulties and saw it through to a logical conclusion.
I see setting up the structure as my end objective, not running it, because I must get started on the project that I kept in abeyance for so long: that of setting up a World College, a social learning platform designed to make education accessible to everyone. In my spare time during the January to March period, I shall be formalising the business plan, raise money, create a network of international business partners and form a team of people who will think as passionately as we do about the project. This is what I want to do starting April 2010.
Having done hands-off work for last three years, I am actually quite desperate to start doing things hands on. Also, doing something meaningful and important, and not just fringe speculative projects as I do now. I hope that the World College project would let me refocus my life on a single objective. My new year wish is to find that one single thing that I can work on for the rest of my life: I hope this will be it.
Education: I have a bit of an unfinished agenda with my Marketing studies. While my mind is set onto other things now, I must complete what I set out to do. I have restarted the work on the dissertation and forced myself into a review date in early January. I am hoping that this will set things in motion, clarify my doubts, allow me to reorganize myself and eventually, I shall be able to complete this. My timeline for this is 31st March: That will be a nice clean date to deal with all legacy issues and start April with a new slate.
On the other hand, I am quite enjoying my studies on Adult Learning. This is allowing me to reexamine issues which I faced in my day-to-day life as an Education Administrator with the benefit of understanding and perspective. I am very keen to continue these studies into the next level, which will help me earn a Masters degree some day. Since this has been and is going to be my core area of work, I do think this is a worthwhile exercise.
Writing/ Research: I have decided to take up one topic/ area of interest each year for next three years, outside the realm of my academic commitments, and write a coherent piece, of a size of a book, every year. I am not expecting to be published. That's an honest statement: I don't think I am ready yet. However, I see this as a logical next step of this blog-writing endeavour. This will also help me bring together my thoughts and my studies, and focus my efforts around something meaningful.
I am hopeful, however, that if I can refine this process and get ready, my ability to write will improve in time, and I shall be able to communicate with greater effectiveness and become a published writer some day. And, of course, I hope some people will eventually read what I have to say. Wow!
Life : I am going to change the way I live in 2010. I am applying for naturalization in January, and I shall stay put where I am till the process is complete. However, once the process is complete - I hope by July/August 2010 - I shall shift house. I shall move closer to my place of work, which I expect to be somewhere in West London, which will not be too far from the university I am studying in. I see myself taking up a small place, which is easier to manage, and travelling a lot more than I do now. I wish to focus 100% on the work at hand: I know three years of hard work will be needed to get the project off ground. So, less of family and friends, and more commitment to work, is what I see happening in 2010.
At the hindsight, I know that I did the right thing by not shifting to Northern Ireland. It would have been far more difficult to be able to pursue an independent path if I chose to do that. Besides, I would not have been able to do anything worthwhile if I did shift. The only lure was to have a calmer, more comfortable life. But I am not there yet - miles to go before I sleep, miles to go before I sleep.
So, in summary, 2010 looks like hard work, but exciting. The key is to make every moment count. The key is to be different: in my approach to work and life, in making firm decisions and sticking to it, in knowing my priorities and unwaveringly work towards it. I have learnt my lessons over last five years: I am hoping to put them in practise now.