Thursday, 22 December 2011

Warm wishes to all: how the potential to learn and network blessed me this year

The last couple of years I have been racing: racing to stay on top of the latest eLearning and mLearning news, racing to be at a maximum amount of events that I perceived as 'important', racing to combine working life with personal life (failing at it), racing to get a degree, racing to be found interesting and 'a person to know', racing ... luckily life suddenly stopped me from racing.

Two major changes happened this year: my boy was born (Isaak is wonderful) and I got diagnosed with diabetes 1, my pancreas is no longer functional. I understood that less than a century ago, I would have been dead, not being able to see my son grow up... or share laughter's with those that are so dear to my heart, both professional and personal. My own mortality hit me like a brick wall. I am living on borrowed time!

So is racing a good speed for life? No, ... it probably never is no matter what life you lead. It never pays to chase status, illusion ... This is the year that I fully realized the idea of living in the moment. Nurturing and savoring the present. It is not about who I am compared to imaginary boundaries or levels, it is what I do compared to what I belief in, action to get closer to the wishes of my heart. Working to come closer to my own humanity.

Less than nine months ago I had to decide whether to go ahead with a personal mobile learning project, called MobiMOOC or not. It was a tough decision looking at the circumstances (just diagnosed with diabetes, tough time at work, baby coming), but I decided that this was what I wanted to do, and so I went for it. There was no financial gain, it would only mean: work and engagement. But what a pleasure that turned out to be. Thanks to MobiMOOC I got to connect with a wide variety of really wonderful, driven people that are into mLearning for the sake of it, just to make the world a better place... I felt as if the world gave me a small, very valuable gift: people are willing to join hands and wonderful moments no matter where they are, no matter when. So thank you to all those wonderful people, my heart goes out to you. MobiMOOC also resulted in a research collaboration that really got all of us to the next mLearning understanding: so thanks from the bottom of my hear to Michael, Sean, Nilgun, Rebecca, Osvaldo and Apostolos... thank you for showing me that all can be done when in good company, and thank you for all your kind support all along the way.
MobiMOOC also got me closer to people I have wanted to or was working with already: the wonderful, sometimes reserved John and the driven, extravert Adele, the ever spiritual Devaji, and the ever inspiring believer in openness Stephen (thanks for showing me that it is one of life's wonderful options).

Thank you also to all the people I (re)connected with, and that I am still connected to (Patrick, Ingo, Kim and Luka, you are all dear to my heart). Thanks to all of you I now fully understand that connecting - digitally or face-to-face - really makes a difference. At numerous occasions I felt your warmth and kind spirits and it made my heart float and sing more openly then it did for a long time. I am very grateful to all of you, that are scattered around the globe and have sent me so much kindness all throughout the year.

And of course I am truly thankful for my whole family (Mom, Dad, Amber, Kris, Leo... and all of you), especially Isaak and Ciska. Isaak for showing me how natural learning is and that it occurs organically and informal, and I thank all of the gods and the universe out there for Ciska, for always being there, supporting me and trusting that my mind will learn how to cope with any new challenge. It is truly a wonderful world that surrounds me, and I hope to spread it to all the people I meet and will have the pleasure of meeting.

In some strange way I have been able to feel the christmas spirit of peace throughout the year (and feel free to swap christmas with any holiday that is similar to this mostly western tradition, or simply peace).

So I wish you all a prosperous 2012 and warm hearts!