Week 52: out with the old

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Week 52

Happy New Year, for those that are celebrating and Happy Birthday again to my wonderful Mum. New Year is always a bit of an odd one for me, an intensification of the liminal feelings that come between solstice and the official start of the new year.

We’re going for dinner with friends, then drinks and firework watching.

Whatever you are up to, have fun and be excellent to each other.

No Promises

… Last year I made some resolutions and really struggled to live up to them. The year before, I only made one promise, and that was to try harder… I think the latter worked better for me: rather than setting targets and getting upset and demoralised when I don’t meet them, deciding to push myself out of the comfort zone was good. I’m going to take it a step further this year, and stop trying, and DO. My Dad and I have had a lot of useful conversations about just getting on with it. No matter how terrifying, boring, unpleasant. Get rid of the paralysis and just get on with it. Running, writing, big things and little things. This, for me, means a lot of staring the scary things in life down rather than hiding from them.

The scariest thing I have to do this year is sort out what my life will look like next year. My current role runs out at the end of February in 2014, and given the lead-times on developing and funding research projects, that really isn’t very far away. This isn’t something I can ignore until next September, and it isn’t as simple as applying for jobs.

It means:

getting some stuff published…

..which in turn entails writing some stuff, which has been an issue in this last year.

It means getting serious about a load of ideas I have and being brave enough to share them with people and try to turn them into working projects that can keep me gainfully employed.

It means trying to be less outwardly unsure of myself, and projecting the other side of me that apparently knows what she is doing.

It means supporting Matt too, either finding a way for him to move here (including a job) or perhaps making the decision to go back to the UK. This one is tough. I miss my friends, the ready availability of bacon and cheddar, and being near my parents. But I don’t miss the government, a lot of the culture or the mess that is Higher Education at the moment. prospects for a job are a heck of a lot stronger in Europe than they will be at ‘home’ for quite a while. And living somewhere else appeals to my innate curiosity. But I think we’ve agreed, that if at all possible, 2013 should be our last year of living apart. It’s just that the how of together hasn’t been decided yet, and can’t be for a while.

I also think it means I need to get serious about learning Dutch rather than cobbling along as I have been.

So, pretty big task then. I am trying hard not to be daunted and to think of all the amazing things I get to do on the way. I’ll be in Italy at least twice next year, in Belgium in a few weeks, in Vienna at the end of May. Hopefully this will be the year M finally gets to visit Italy. With any luck he’ll love it as much as I do.

Looking back, 2012 was fast- as I said in my previous post. A hell of a lot happened- babies were born, people got married, we said goodbye to my Granddad Thom in the beautiful western highlands of Scotland. In the last few months, some pretty awful things have happened too. A friend found out before Christmas that her cancer has come back and this time it is terminal. She is my age, and has two little boys and an amazing husband. This is one of those things that makes me want to punch the universe in the face. The much loved big brother of an old friend from home is missing, and has been since the end of November. His family are also heartbroken. These things all remind me that it really is the little things that matter. Time with the people you love is always time well spent, if you recognise it. Don’t be complacent. I think that is my ‘lesson’ from 2012.

The Year of Yoda

The Year of Yoda

It has been a very Star Wars Christmas for us, so my motto for next year is ‘Do. Or do not. There is no try’.