2012 was for many people around the world a difficult year. Before I started writing this letter I scanned the internet and felt almost overwhelmed by all the challenges we are facing. War, poverty, global financial crises, climate change and in a few days time the world will come to an end according to some people (even found a website showing the best doomsday prophecies in history!).
But, I believe that we all can play a part in the world we live in and contribute to it in different ways. Often small changes become the most sustainable once and to remain the perspective of what is important I want to send you a Christmas letter with a few inspirational tasks.
I would like you all to listen to Matt Cutts talk “Try something new for 30 days”, then I would like to send you a message from Candy Chang “Before I die I want to” and finally make you listen to Johan Hunters talk “World peace gamer”. All these talks are to be found at www.ted.com and only last from 6-18 minutes which are well spent minutes. At the same website you will find a lot more inspiring talks! In 2012 the talented musician Dave Brubeck passed on and I also want to send you the song Take five which I think is a classic piece of music for any age. Enjoy!!!
We, the Geeraedts family, are all doing well leaving an active year behind us full of trips (to London, the Netherlands, to Malta, to Skåne in south Sweden etc.), great visits from both close by and far away and a lot of fun with family and friends. I celebrated number 40 with a big party in Ulricehamn and really appreciated that so many of you showed up. It was great! Thank you! And thanks for all the greetings I got from around the world – it was heartwarming!
Jochem worked at Philips (the NL), at Volvo, had some time off and just started at Arla (in Sweden) and I will be starting a new fun job as CEO for Ulricehamn Business Development and Tourism next year. We keep on being active in the peace organization CISV and took part in a family interchange with children from Rome, Italy. We renovated the basement and got a bigger house despite saying we would never renovate again (actually it was the talented carpenter Eric who did it!) and faced some more challenging days when Jochem had to have knee surgery. It will be a long healing process but he is doing better every day. The kids are growing and keeps us busy with tennis, drama lessons, football, singing and homework. Elsa (12) is still totally into cooking and baking making Christmas candy while I am writing this, Ingrid (13) keeps working hard at the English school, enjoys her international friendships and will soon be winning the world championship for sleeping out on weekends. Nils(9) combines his interests for computer games with tennis, football and has a new hobby playing the flute. Life is good and we are grateful!
Today Ulricehamn is covered in a thick layer of snow and we have all enjoyed a lazy Sunday. The house is fully decorated and in December we have celebrated Nils 9th birthday and our 14th wedding anniversary. Christmas is around the corner and I hope you all will have the time to enjoy it with friends and family. Let us all make time for reflection and contemplation and think about everything that makes us smile!
My wish for you all is a laugh a day in 2013! The best medicine ever invented!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!