New Year's Eve with 2012 hours away ...

For those of you who have been with me for a while, expectations might be for an agonizing post about where I have been, as I lament a lack of visibility into the coming year.  Where is the blog going, why do I blog and what path might I follow, no doubt would spring to mind.  I am surprised to find that I actually have a vision for 2012.

It is all falling into place and seems to make so much sense.  The first two years were about building the house and the long process of moving in and turning it into a home with a string of projects.  To some extent those projects continue today but at a much more relaxed pace.  Later attention was focused on our social life, primarily exploring the expat community that exists here in the Rai.  This last year has been one of consolidation as we sorted through what was important to us and allotted our time accordingly.

Admittedly I exerted more than my fair share of influence over the navigation process, as I was in the driver’s seat both literally and figuratively.  With my wife finally taking to driving on her own, the impetus coming from my trip to Hawaii, she has gained more independence and confidence to do her own thing.  Her iPhone has freed her from our computer, allowing her to interact in a way that is more natural for her.  Nearly constant interaction with friends on Facebook has expanded her circle of friends, reinforced her Thainess and tickled her creativity bone.

After being joined at the hip for so many years it is with mixed feelings that I watch my wife refine her own style and venture down her own path a little more.  I try to support her while keeping in check any impulses I might have to be excessively protective.  While age has never been an issue with us, it is nevertheless important for me to remember our age difference, when it has a bearing on our growth and development as individuals.  I do ask questions to help gauge my wife’s interest and commitment to projects she is considering but leave the final call to her.

If anything my wife has too many interests and finds it difficult to narrow things down enough to keep life manageable.  Fortunately the days and hours she volunteers at the local school are flexible.  Her expressed desire to further her education and get a teaching degree is admirable and potentially beneficial on many levels.

If it has not become clear yet, 2012 is shaping up to be “the year of my lovely wife” and the continued expansion of our Thai connections here in the Rai.  Having been through what one might call a Farang phase it is now time for a Thai phase.  I have had my turn, so now it is my wife’s turn.  As yet I am not certain how her being busier and away from home more often will affect my schedule.  Perhaps we will need a little more structure to make sure everything gets done.  Then again being spontaneous and going with the flow might continue to work best for us.

Not being burdened with my usual angst over the coming year has put me in a very mellow state of mind, perfect for ushering in the New Year.  Wanting to share some pictures today I finally settled on the Chiang Rai Flower Festival now in progress and a shot of a few of my wife’s students that I snapped during an impromptu visit to her class on the Ninja.