The year didn’t start off very well. We had to have our Yorkshire Terrier Leonie put to sleep on the 7th of January as she had snapped her right back leg.
Friends kindly gave me a UPS to use. This was a big help with all the power cuts that were taking place in January. It was a great relief to be able to keep working on my computer despite the power being off.
One of the good points for this year was that my mom has been able to go on three 5 day holidays. One in late July, another in the middle of August and the third one in the first half of September. These were her first real holidays in over a decade!
Thankfully my health has been very good this year. Frustratingly, at the end of July, the second carer which we had trained, who was extremely good, decided to leave. As those of you who know me, winter isn’t a very good time of year for me energy wise. Thankfully I got through it without any illness.
The only thing I can say from a negative point of view is on the 14th July, my friend was replacing the rail on my sliding door in my room. To replace the rail he had to take the door off. In the process of doing that, he had the door balanced against the wall in an upright position to cover the doorway as it was Winter and he wanted to keep the cold air out. While he was outside, a gust of wind pushed the door over and it came crashing down on the wheelchair handles behind me, which caused it to bounce up and hit me on the left shoulder blade. As you can imagine it was extremely painful. Thankfully when the door initially hit the wheelchair handles, it knocked me over. If it hadn’t done that, the solid wooden door would have hit me directly on the head. It took almost a month for the bruises on my shoulder blade and shoulder to go away. Thankfully, my friend finished the job and replaced the rail on the door so it opens a lot easier now.
As some of you will know, I have done many online courses. This year I focused primarily on two. On edX I did two courses from MIT. First one was ‘Introduction to Computer Science and Programming in Python’ which I did from mid-June until the end of August. The second course was ‘Introduction to Computational Thinking and Data Science’, which I did from mid-October to mid-December. Both these courses had an enormous workload so thankfully a friend helped me with a large amount, particularly on the assignments. He did some of the work and a lot of the explaining, because I would never have coped with the large assignment work load. So I am very thankful that he helped me get through those courses and in the process, which was the main thing, greatly improved my understanding particularly in the second course on computational thinking issues.
In May someone gave me a 500Gb solid state hybrid drive. In late August, a friend very graciously bought me a new video card for my computer. This has been a huge help considering that my old one was almost 5 years old.
Those who visit me will know that I spend far too much time playing games and watching a great many TV episodes. So I’ll briefly mention the games I have played this year. Dead Space 3, which I said to myself at the time, ‘this is the last time I’m playing it through’ – time will tell. Those of you know me will know that I love the Mass Effect Franchise. Unsurprisingly I have played Mass Effect 2 and 3 through several times this year, largely playing as a sentinel. I have spent on average 2 hours of each day playing Command and Conquer: Tiberium Alliances. I have made many friends through this game.
As for TV episodes, I have watched far too many to mention, so I’ll just name a few shows that I like. I am a science fiction fan so I’ll start there.
- The Expanse which is still ongoing in Season 1 and I have enjoyed it immensely so far.
- Dark Matter
- Fox had Minority Report, I enjoyed it, but Fox has now cancelled it.
- NBC has Blindspot which is still in the first season, currently on a break.
- Amazon had The Man in the High Castle which is a view of what would have happened if the Axis powers had won World War 2 – it has been quite interesting to watch so far.
I don’t watch many movies, but here are the ones I did watch this year. I’ve watched ‘Atlas Shrugged’ Trilogy based on the books by Ayn Rand. I’ve also watched ‘Divergent’ and ‘Insurgent’, based on the books by Veronica Roth. I have also enjoyed ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’.
I spent a lot of time this year viewing, reading and listening to resources from Desiring God. I particularly enjoyed their LABS (Look at the book bible study with the focus being on the text, not the person speaking).
As I’ve mentioned already, I spend a lot of time watching TV episodes this year and played games. With all this it is very easy for life to become tedious and monotonous, and then I am constantly reminded but for my hope in the Lord Jesus, I would have nothing to live for. And it is this hope that keeps me going through all the pain, difficulty, frustration and loneliness. I am thankful for the Lord calling and sustaining and guiding my life.
Throughout this year many bible verses have come to mind at various times. One of them is Job 19:25. I have also been reminded this year of the book of Habakkuk (particularly Habakkuk 3:16-18), largely due to our unstable political climate in South Africa that God does not need a financially or politically successful country for his people. This is difficult to say and think about, but scripture is very clear. In this life you will have trouble, Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33). One song says, ‘Earth has no sorrow That heaven can’t heal’. One of the other verses that comes to mind is from Lamentations 3:22-24. The chorus for the hymn Great is Thy faithfulness, says:
“Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!”
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
“Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!
Lastly, thank you to all those who visited me regularly throughout the year. And thank you to those who helped me financially, without your help covering my care needs would not have been possible.